This evaluation of International Alert (IA) - an international NGO based in London, working to prevent and resolve conflict in developing countries and parts of the former Soviet Union - was commissioned by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs on behalf of five donors supporting the organisation. IA's operations in Burundi, Sierra Leone and Sri Lanka are examined in detail. The evaluation credits IA for making conflict prevention and resolution issues an important sphere of action among governments, IGOs and NGOs, through its numerous publications and its advocacy work. Through many of its field programmes IA has also successfully contributed to the development of local peace constituencies, supporting those who seek non-violent solutions agains powerful advocates of violence. However, the evaluation also revealed the lack of a clear and transparent strategy on the part of IA, which has made the organisation seemingly unpredictable in what it is doing and where it is going. The evaluation advises IA not to define mediation as its particular niche; the organisation should give priority to developing and empowering local peace constituencies - through the transfer of skills, knowledge and resources - and to lobbying for political, social and economic justice, as a contribution to long term processes of conflict management and resolution.
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