Office of Conflict Management and Mitigation

Violence and deadly conflict are the biggest impediments to sustainable development.

In 2016, more countries experienced violent conflict than at any time in the last 30 years. In 2017, the economic impact of violence on the global economy was $14.76 trillion. By 2018, the number of people fleeing war, persecution, and conflict exceeded 70.8 million. Today, 2 billion people live in conflict- affected countries, and they are the youngest and fastest growing populations globally.


The vast majority of countries where USAID works exhibit the symptoms of instability and conflict, and more than half of USAID assistance goes to conflict-affected countries. The Office of Conflict Management and Mitigation (CMM), located in USAID’s Bureau for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance, leads the Agency’s efforts to identify and address the sources of violence and conflict. CMM also serves as a liaison between USAID and the broader conflict resolution and peacebuilding community. CMM represents a development perspective in the national security, policy- making arena, and coordinates USAID’s efforts with those of other international donors, including private foundations.


CMM’s support to USAID Missions includes conflict assessments, program design, and training. Drawing on 20 years of field experience, CMM is also a key architect of the Agency’s renewed commitment to enabling conflict prevention, and stabilization programs that support a country on its journey to self- reliance, while avoiding or escaping devastating conflict.


CMM brings together conflict-affected groups to interact purposefully in a safe space in order to address divisions that may be rooted in group differences such as ethnicity, religion, status, gender, class or political affiliation. The $30 million People-to-People Reconciliation Fund supports conflict mitigation and reconciliation programs and activities. These programs provide opportunities for adversaries to address issues peacefully, reconcile differences, and promote greater understanding and mutual trust.


A conflict assessment is an analytical process undertaken to identify and understand the dynamics of violence and instability in a given country context. USAID’s Conflict Assessment Framework represents the Agency’s methodological approach to helping Missions better evaluate the risks of armed conflict, understand the peace and security goals that are most important in a given context; assess how existing development programs interact with these factors; analyze how the programs may (inadvertently) be doing harm; and ultimately synthesize findings on where and how development assistance can most effectively support local efforts to not only mitigate conflict, but also bolster social and institutional resilience, effectiveness, and legitimacy.


CMM leads Agency research and analyses on the sources of instability, conflict, and violence. CMM’s technical leadership, honed by two decades of distilling conflict-related scholarship, evaluation, and experience, improves the quality of development and humanitarian programming. As it prepares to transform into a new Center for Conflict and Violence Prevention, CMM is revamping its approach to conflict and early-warning tools to provide Missions with additional insights into the trends in conflict and violence. This body of work creates a strong foundation for the Agency to build on as it develops new, operationally responsive, field-driven, and integrated approaches to conflict and violence prevention.

Last updated: February 12, 2020

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