Photo credit

“Mine clearance in Somalia” by United Nations Development Programme is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

We provide evidence-based guidance to understand and forecast the directions and pace of change in conflict.

Our Impact In Practice

Dr Annette Idler Recognized in International Affairs ‘Top 10 Books by Women’

From the International Affairs review by Tom Long: “Idler shows the diversity and fluidity of armed actors and the blurry and shifting relationships among them. Perhaps most strikingly, Idler presents the communities that are often overlooked when the focus is on the people with guns. Her impressive research unflinchingly shows how prolonged, multidimensional insecurity reshapes and often sunders the social fabric.”

Apply Now

Analysing and engaging armed groups

ONLINE 17 October - 13 November 2022

An online course equipping practitioners with theoretical knowledge of current key trends and practical tools to conduct analysis of armed groups in order to understand the implications for engagement.

Apply Now »


We provide evidence-based guidance to understand and forecast the directions and pace of change in conflict, and thereby to assist in adapting responses to the ever-evolving security landscape in ways which will limit ongoing and future conflict, reduce human suffering, and save lives. On the one hand, this involves designing a practical analytical Changing Character of Conflict Tool with which security and defence practitioners such as UN staff can operationalise this novel understanding of change in armed conflict in their day-to-day work. On the other hand, we develop a dynamic software application that traces long-term trends. It is aimed at enabling decision makers, policymakers and analysts to anticipate the directions of change in conflict to support strategic planning. Read more about our collaboration with UNSSC in a blog article “Can an Oxford-UNSSC analytical tool prove a game changer for how we resolve conflicts?” writen by Svenja Korth.

United Nations System Staff College

United Nations System Staff College

We are collaborating with the United Nations System Staff College (UNSSC) in co-designing a tool to analyse changes in settings of organised violence that is policy-relevant and important for the work of the UN and other international organisations on both the operational level (field offices) and strategic level (headquarters). The UNSSC is the primary provider of interagency training and learning for staff of the United Nations system. The overall objective is to promote UN inter-agency collaboration, increase the operational effectiveness of the UN system as a whole and equip UN staff with the required skills and competencies to face today’s global challenges in Leadership and Management, Peace and Security and Sustainable Development.

Annette Idler is a regular contributor to the curriculum of the United Nations System Staff College and has designed and delivered the course Analysing and Understanding Non-state Armed Groups. The course explores the political context driving the genesis of armed violence and the forces shaping armed group inception, structures and resources. It examines the links between criminality and insurgency, and analyses the different implications for engagement.

New America

New America

New America is a non-partisan think-tank based in the United States. Their experts cover a wide range of topics, for example, national security, cybersecurity, education, social policy, future technology etc.