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About Phil Vernon

Phil Vernon is an independent international peacebuilding and development consultant who has worked in the sector since 1985, and was Director of Programmes at International Alert from 2004 to 2017.

Articles by Phil Vernon

This week’s front page editor


Adam Bychawski is an editorial assistant at openDemocracy.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

What’s it all about, Oxfam?

We should seize this opportunity to re-examine the future of foreign aid.

Peace writ large: peacebuilding works, but we may need to shout about it more

On International Peace Day, a new report showcases the positive cumulative effect of peacebuilding initiatives, even when conflicts worldwide and the people killed or suffering are on the increase.

Sustaining peace

Half of all peace deals fail within five years. This is how you make them work.

The swing of the democratic pendulum is slow and long

We haven’t yet figured out how to replace political parties with some other vehicle for democratic participation.

Development is history looking forwards

Ten ideas for lobbying David Cameron as co-chair of the post-2015 Millennium Development Goals High Level Panel

A scorecard from Busan: did the High Level Forum contribute to aid effectiveness in conflict-affected countries?

The high ambition of getting global agreement tends to lead to an unambitious convergence on the least demanding positions and commitments. How did Busan fare?

What will success at Busan look like for conflict-affected countries?

The wording of the Outcomes Document from the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid is largely agreed, and reflects much of the new thinking on aid: statebuilding and peacebuilding; human security; transparency and results. But it fails to reflect the huge challenge of promoting and supporting development in conflict-affected countries in a changing world. To do this, Busan must rise to four more challenges.

Moving beyond the Millennium Development Goals: A more honest conversation?

It is critically important that the heads of state attending the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Summit consider the best way to support the complex and difficult process of making sustainable human progress in poorer countries. Those working within the development sector who know that the current paradigm is inadequate must take the initiative within their sphere of influence to create a kind of movement for change together that is both principled and politically expedient

Peacebuilding in Burundi: how peace transitions can work

International Alert supports a series of small post-conflict initiatives in Burundi. And some of the values that motivate these are also dear to the liberal hearts of the international community. A reply to Oliver Richmond’s ‘Liberal Peace Transitions’.

Overseas development aid: is it working?

This is a good moment for taking a step back and asking ourselves whether we would call today’s overseas development aid policy and practise successful – successful, that is, in providing sufficient impetus to overcome the strong forces worldwide that keep people poor
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