COVID-19-Conflict-Peace Nexus

The Political Settlements Research Programme is working on a number of initiatives relating to the impact of Covid-19, and associated response policies, on the nexus between Covid-19, peace, and conflict.

Ceasefires in a Time of Covid-19

In March 2020, the UN Secretary General called for a global ceasefire in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, a call which was echoed by the UN Security Council in July 2020.

The Covid-19 Ceasefire Tracker is a publicly available digital tracking tool to examine the consequences of the coronavirus outbreak on peace processes and armed conflict across the world. The tool monitors the progress of ceasefires alongside live data on infection rates in country. The data can be viewed in a timeline format, a search browse format, and a map format which also includes live data on infection rates in country. Developed in collaboration with MediatEUr (European Forum for international Mediation), The Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), ETH Zurich – a research university, Conciliation Resources, and the United States Institute of Peace (USIP). Further research inputs have been received by the Mediation Support Unit in the UN Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs. Read more here.

The Impact of COVID-19 on Peace and Transition Processes: Tracking the Trends

This research used expert surveys on a set of conflict countries to understand how Covid-19 pandemic responses were affecting conflict and peace process dynamics.

In May 2020, PSRP collaborated with partner organisation Austrian Study Centre for Peace and Conflict Resolution to conduct a survey-based, small-scale research project assessing the impact of Covid-19 and related response policies on peace processes and armed conflict in over 15 countries across four continents. A short online survey elicited insights from country experts. The responses have been qualitatively assessed and taken as a comparative trend study on how Covid-19 and Covid-19 response policies impact peace processes globally.

Read our main findings in the report, The Impact of COVID-19 on Peace and Transition Processes: Tracking the Trends.

Political Trust and Social Cohesion at a Time of Crisis: The Impact of COVID-19 on Kurdistan Region-Iraq

This research project was designed to gather information about the socio-political impact of the Covid-19 situation in Kurdistan Region of Iraq. It mainly focused on evaluating the level of political trust in a number of actors who provide as many sources of information about the situation, and social cohesion across the region’s cities and communities. The responses of almost 1,000 Kurdistanis were quantitatively and qualitatively analysed and compiled in a report to be published in Arabic, English and Kurdish. The research was conducted in collaboration with Open Think Tank (OTT).

The final report is now available: Political Trust and Social Cohesion at a Time of Crisis: The Impact of COVID-19 on Kurdistan Region-Iraq

The Impact of Covid-19 on the Treatment and Lives of refugees/IDPs in the Middle East

In the middle of the humanitarian catastrophe that resulted from raging and protracted conflicts in several Middle Eastern countries, the Covid-19 situation is all the more alarming since it rendered refugees and IDPs particularly vulnerable. This study mainly focuses on evaluating how the Covid-19 situation impacted 1) the work of humanitarian workers; 2) the perception of refugees/IDPs as vulnerable populations; 3) the mitigation of the humanitarian crisis. Perceptions and insights of experts – humanitarian workers, policymakers, civil society – acting at the (inter)national and local levels will be collected via an online survey to be sent over 7 countries and administrative entities. Research conducted in collaboration with Open Think Tank (OTT). A full report is forthcoming.

Intergovernmental responses to Covid-19 in the Global South

Many regions in the Global South have more recently dealt with public health crises and frequently deal with trans-border issues. Responses from Global South intergovernmental organisations (IGOs) to the COVID-19 crisis may provide examples of effective strategies that other regions could adopt. This project will gather information on the responses of IGOs to the COVID-19 crisis through the collection of press releases, joint statements, declarations, resolutions, and other similar documents. It will then produce research on the responses of organisations in Latin America, Africa, and Asia to answer two questions. First, how have IGOs responded, and what strategies can be applied elsewhere. Second, what strategies developed to react to this crisis will become part of standard operations and potentially inform responses to future crises? A full report is forthcoming.

PSRP has published a three-part series on intergovernmental responses:

Responding to Covid-19: The coming of age of regionalism in Asia?

Responses by African intergovernmental organisations to Covid-19

Cooperation in Latin America: Responses to Covid-19 expose existing cracks in regional infrastructure

COVID-19 in Yemen

This is an early research blog piece which explores the potential of engaging local actors in navigating regional and sub-regional local dynamics in order to support the wider response to Covid-19 in Yemen.

Yemen’s Response to Covid-19: Part I

Yemen’s Response to Covid-19: Part II

Yemen’s Response to Covid-19: Part III


Rohingya Youth Action Research on Justice and Security in Cox’s Bazar Camps: The Impact of Covid-19

UN Security Council Resolution 2250, of 2015, outlines a global Youth, Peace and Security Agenda. This international framework, which is the first of its kind, signals an appreciation of the important role that young people potentially play in peacebuilding, preventing and resolving conflict, and countering violent extremism. This project, led by Dr Rebecca Sutton (Leverhulme Early Career Fellow) contributes to this global agenda through the achievement of two objectives, which have now been repurposed to canvas experiences and perceptions relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. First, on a substantive level, it canvasses youth perspectives on justice and security in the world’s largest refugee camp: Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. Second, as a matter of methodology, it espouses an explicitly emancipatory approach that centres youth agency and draws on best practices in the field of ‘participatory action research’. Rather than serve as local enumerators for an international project, the youth researchers develop the research questions, themselves, and build the project in accordance with their own vision for their community (with the support of academic researchers). Based on early conversations about life in the camps, the youth research team developed their own set of questions to investigate, relating to community experiences during COVID-19. Read the report: Rohingya Experiences of Covid-19 in Cox’s Bazar Camps


Return to COVID-19 Home to view all PSRP blogs and resources related to COVID-19.