The Research Council of Norway (RCN) funds two PRIO projects on the effects of aid: “Conflict of Interest? ‘Business For Peace’ as Development Aid in Volatile Environments” and “Aid in Crisis? Rights-Based Approaches and Humanitarian Outcomes”. The 3-year project “Conflict of Interest? ‘Business For Peace’ as Development Aid in Volatile Environments” begins in September 2014. Investigating business motivations and the local impact of corporate activities in fragile and high-risk areas, the primary objective of the project is to provide the first comprehensive evaluation of aid logics underpinning ‘Business for Peace’ (B4P). Studying four country cases, namely Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Myanmar, Somalia and South Sudan, the project aims to create case-specific knowledge on B4P as well as comparative peacebuilding. Furthermore, the project seeks to inform policy debates on B4P in the Norwegian and international aid communities and build academic knowledge of B4P and corporate governance in conflict zones.

Led by Cindy Horst, the project is in collaboration between PRIO and Uppsala University – The Nordic Africa Institute (NAI), as well as partners from the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan, Myanmar and Somalia. The research team includes Jason Miklian (PRIO), Øystein H. Rolandsen (PRIO), Peer Schouten(NAI), Mats Utas (Uppsala University The Nordic Africa Institute – Uppsala, Sweden), Min Zaw Oo (Myanmar Peace Center (MPC) – Yangon, Myanmar), Ahmed Mohamed Musa (Observatory of Conflict and Violence Prevention – Hargeisa, Somaliland), Onesphore Sematumba (Pole Institute – Goma, DRC) and Luka Deng Kuol (PRIO Global Fellow located at KUSH – Washington, DC, USA).

The 3-year project “Aid in Crisis? Rights-Based Approaches and Humanitarian Outcomes” begins in November 2014, and will be placed under the umbrella of the Norwegian Centre for Humanitarian Studies (NCHS). Aiming to contribute to the development of humanitarianism as a field of study in its own and to South-South collaboration, the project ‘Aid in Crisis? Rights-Based Approaches and Humanitarian Outcomes’ seeks to describe, understand and explain how rights-based approaches (RBA) to humanitarian action shape humanitarian assistance and contribute to humanitarian outcomes at different levels, in different conflict and disaster zones.

The project is in collaboration with researchers from Colombia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Palestine and South Sudan. Led by Kristin Bergtora Sandvik, the research team includes Kaja Borchgrevink, Jacob Høigilt, Marte Nilsen and Øystein Rolandsen, as well as the external project partners Julieta Lemaitre (PRIO Global Fellow located at the Universidad de los Andes – Bogota, Colombia), Khine Win (Sandhi Management School and Local Consultancy – Yangon, Myanmar), Anjum Altaf (Lahore University of Management Sciences: Development Policy Research Centre (LUMS) – Lahore, Pakistan), Mahdi Abdul Hadi (Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs – Jerusalem, Palestine) and David K. Deng (South Sudan Law Society – Juba, South Sudan).

Both projects are funded under the funding scheme for Effects of Aid (AIDEFFECT). This is a sub-program under the broad-based and action oriented program Norway – Global partner (NORGLOBAL).