State (F) Releases “Strategic Prevention Project”

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Today, the Department of State’s Office of U.S. Foreign Assistance Resources (F) publicly released the final report of the Strategic Prevention Project. Frontier team members Jenna Lindeke Heavenrich, Steve Sheamer, and Alexa Courtney worked closely with Peter Quaranto of the State Department to research and publish the report.  

F coordinates and provides strategic direction for the Department of State (DOS) and USAID assistance resources to advance U.S. foreign policy goals. The Strategic Prevention Project (SPP), a joint initiative by the DOS and USAID, was launched by F in 2018 to evaluate the contribution and impact of foreign assistance resources on conflict prevention in strategic fragile states over the past decade.

Frontier implemented this project using mixed methods analysis, big data mining techniques, and creative data visualizations. The SPP identified how the U.S. and international partners can better target foreign assistance to priority fragile states to reduce the risk and severity of violent conflict and promote stability, posing five key recommendations:

1.       Establish Agreed Principles for Strategic Prevention: Elevate and mainstream the concept of “strategic prevention” and associated principles in assistance planning for relevant fragile states.

2.       Apply Strategic Prevention Principles across Assistance Planning and Implementation: Elevate, expand, and mainstream tools and practices for conflict-sensitive assistance analysis, planning, and design across sectors and across the U.S. Government.

3.       Promote Greater Coherence between Assistance and Diplomacy for Strategic Prevention: Establish mechanisms and processes to ensure programmatic interventions in relevant countries are better coordinated with preventative diplomatic efforts.

4.       Mobilize Data to Track Strategic Prevention Assistance in Fragile States: Design meaningful metrics for tracking prevention-related assistance as well as conflict and violence trends and risks in relevant fragile states over time.

5.       Engage Congress and Other Donors to Augment Strategic Prevention Programming: Work with Congress and other donors to promote programs that directly advance Strategic Prevention principles across priority countries, particularly to promote political inclusion, strengthen “checks and balances,” and enhance civil society mechanisms.

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F is using this report to bring together experts across the State Department, USAID, and the rest of the U.S. government to apply the findings of the report into concrete foreign assistance policies and practices for prevention.

For further details on the findings and recommendations, the full report can be read here.

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