Here are the research projects receiving funding from FBA in 2024

Risks and opportunities for Moldova in the shadow of Russia's war against Ukraine, the importance of measurable results for international development cooperation, and the interplay between gender, climate change, and processes for disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration. These are the focal topics for some of the research projects that will receive funding from FBA in 2024.

FBA annually funds research projects within peace, security, and development conducted by members of the agency's international research groups. The grants promote empirical research with high policy relevance.

Since 2005, FBA has supported more than 150 research projects linked to the agency's areas of operation. Over the years, FBA's research grants have enabled numerous scientific articles, books, and other publications important for more effective aid and other policy developments in international development cooperation.

– This year, FBA is granting funding to eleven policy-relevant research projects. Several of them focus on Ukraine and its surrounding areas, reflecting Sweden's increased focus on the region. The projects are expected to strengthen FBA's efforts to create long-term conditions for peace and security in Ukraine, says FBA's Head of Research, Johanna Malm.

The research projects focus on thematic areas including security sector reform, peace mediation, women, peace and security, climate security, and the disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration of former combatants.

– New this year is that members of FBA's research groups were offered the opportunity to discuss their project ideas directly with FBA practitioners before submitting their applications. The consultations have been appreciated, and we see a clear effect in the form of innovative project ideas and enhanced practical relevance, says Johanna Malm.

Research projects receiving funding in 2024

Crisis governance in a multi-level democracy: transnational municipal cooperation during Russia's full-scale invasion (Crisis-TMC)

Karina Shyrokykh

After Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, municipalities in several countries in the Baltic Sea region have strengthened their cooperation with municipalities in Ukraine. This project investigates the effects of such cooperation in international crises.

Environmental devastation and trust among Ukrainian citizens experiencing war

Stefan Döring, Tobias Ide

War affects trust and cooperation within different parts of society. Damage to infrastructure and the environment, as in Ukraine, raises questions about the impact on social cohesion. This study examines how such damage affects trust and cooperation, which are vital components for building peace post-conflict. The analysis will be based on two surveys conducted in Ukraine, focusing on perceived environmental damage, infrastructure impact, and trust in individuals and institutions. The research will provide insights into the role of social cohesion in humanitarian aid and peacebuilding in war-torn areas.

Moldova's Bittersweet Moment: A Bottom-Up Perspective.

Eleanor Knott

The project examines Moldova's situation with both high risks and significant opportunities following Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, from the perspective of ordinary citizens. The project will conduct focus groups across Moldova to capture the hopes, fears, and challenges of ordinary citizens.

Navigating for 'results' in complex environments — in search of 'pragmatic bureaucracy'

Janet Vähämäki, Fredrik Söderbaum

International aid organizations today face strong demands to deliver clear, visible, and measurable results. While well-tailored result monitoring can increase the efficiency and productivity of an organization's work, procedures can sometimes become counterproductive. This project investigates how experts at the Folke Bernadotte Academy handle demands for result reporting and measurement while remaining relevant to the organization's purpose. The project will help demonstrate how result requirements can be better adapted and support the effectiveness of the organization's core activities.

Environments of demobilization: the gendered intersections between climate, security, and DDR

Judith Verweijen, Tarila Marclint Ebiede

The project examines the interplay between gender, climate change, and processes for disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration (DDR). Through two case studies in eastern DR Congo and northeastern Nigeria, it explores how climate and environmental changes affect DDR processes and how these effects are shaped by gender aspects. The results will contribute to developing a toolkit for environmentally, climate, and gender-conscious DDR.

Pathways to political transformation and integration of (former) Non-State Armed Actors

Gyda Sindre

Filling a research gap that bridge “Politics of DDR” with peace mediation, this project seeks to collect and analyze novel data about how Non-State Armed Groups (NSAGs) mediate their own political transitions as part of peace processes. Conversely it also provides new insights on the role mediators can (and do) play in forging political (re)integration as part of peace talks and DDR. Relying on a two-step qualitative data collection strategy that include elite interviews, desk study and in-depth fieldwork (in two of the selected cases), the data will contribute to research-practice of relevance to FBA’s ongoing work in these areas.

Investigating the role of sociopsychological factors in the perpetuation of security sector violence, a case study of the Colombian National Police

Alejandra del Pilar Ortiz-Ayala, Lucia Tiscornia

The project investigates the importance of sociopsychological factors for the security sector's use of violence, through a case study of the Colombian National Police. It complements existing research on the security sector's use of violence and coercion and on institutional reforms within the security sector. The study examines perceptions of threats, emotions, and identity among serving police officers and how these factors affect their relationship with civilians and their willingness to protect civilians post-civil war.

Shaping the WPS Agenda? The Role of Insurgent Women in (Post)Peace Agreement Politics in Colombia

Priscyll Anctil Avoine

Under President Gustavo Petro, Colombia's government has initiated negotiations with the ELN and other guerrilla groups. The country has also adopted its first national action plan for women, peace, and security, and there has been talk of a future feminist foreign policy. Despite this, many female former combatants in Colombia feel that their political reintegration does not match the peace agreement concluded in 2016 with the FARC guerrillas. This project analyzes their involvement in shaping Colombia's national action plan for women, peace, and security.

Intergenerational engagement for the Youth, Peace and Security agenda

Helen Berents, Yulia Nesterova

In the field of youth, peace, and security (YPS), the importance of intergenerational dialogue for peacebuilding is increasingly recognized. This project is the first to examine the practical application and consequences of intergenerational activities within the YPS field academically. The project will involve actors who have helped shape the YPS agenda in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, and the Philippines. It will use literature reviews, surveys, and interviews to learn from existing intergenerational advocacy efforts for YPS and deepen our understanding of intergenerational initiatives as a tool for peacebuilding.

Developing Gender Responsive Leadership in the AU via Sudan

Toni Haastrup, Catriona Standfield

The project examines how Gender-Responsive Leadership is realized in peace processes. Focusing on Sudanese women affected by ongoing conflicts, and the African Union (AU) as a peace actor, it explores how leadership can be designed and institutionalized within Africa's mediation structure to achieve just peace for both genders. Using qualitative methods, the project aims to highlight not only the agency of Sudanese women but also support FBA's ongoing work with and about women, peace, and security (WPS), mediation, and support to the AU.

Beyond Victimhood: Participatory Action Research on Civilian Life Amid Al Shabaab and Other Forms of Violence in Somalia

Ashley Jackson

This project investigates civilian life in areas controlled by Al-Shabaab in Somalia, focusing on women and youth. It aims to improve the understanding of civilians' survival and engagement strategies and contributes to both conflict studies and practical peace efforts in Somalia.

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