Why we work on Business Engagement

Foreign investments can drive prosperity and peace in fragile regions. They can provide jobs, services, infrastructure and opportunities. However, investments in these regions can also increase tensions over land rights, environmental pollution, migrant workers and unequal benefits for different societal groups.

Understanding the local context and engaging in meaningful dialogue with affected communities and government can not only help companies prevent tensions, but also improve staff safety, reduce operational interruptions and increase positive social impact. Clear investment policies and regulations that consider social and environmental impacts further encourage responsible business behaviour, while an empowered civil society can play an important watchdog function. 

How we work on Business Engagement

We support affected communities, local civil society organisations, companies and governments to improve business practices in fragile and conflict affected countries. We do so in four complementary ways:

  1. Engaging as a shareholder with progressive portfolio companies of the Cadmos Peace Investment Fund to raise their awareness of and contribution to SDG 16 (Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions). We pinpoint critical areas for further reflection within the company and facilitate exchanges with peacebuilding experts.
  2. Supporting civil society organisations, think-tanks and business networks to strengthen their advocacy potential for improved regulation and better business practices. We provide resources for research, advocacy strategies and organisational strengthening.
  3. Strengthening rules and regulations, including by supporting inclusive decision-making processes. We work with governments to support participation in policy design, bringing in civil society voices and encouraging cross-country collaboration.
  4. Providing dispute resolution services to affected communities and companies to sustainably resolve complaints through inclusive dialogue. We offer mediation services, process design advice or funding for joint fact-finding research as part of a dispute resolution process.

What makes our business engagement distinct:

  • Our extensive experience working with companies, civil society organisations and governments enables us to provide informed advice that is tailored to each group
  • Our financial independence allows us to provide technical and financial support that benefits all stakeholders in the process, with the goal of reaching informed, mutually acceptable agreements.

Results of our Business Engagement Support

  • Peace Investment Fund portfolio companies increased their awareness of their contribution to SDG 16 and about operating in a conflict-sensitive manner in fragile states (see reporting website).
  • Civil society organisations and think-tanks were able to facilitate a substantive dialogue with governments and companies on foreign investment policies and projects (see for example Central Asia Transport corridors).
  • Stakeholders in dispute resolution processes highlighted increased trust and transparency following our engagement and valued our independence (see for example Zenica Dialogue Process).

Learn more about our Business Engagement support

We invite companies, affected communities, (local) governments and dialogue conveners seeking support to contact Johannes Schreuder. Find recent examples and information on the Peace Investment Fund on our website, details on engagement with companies (see our business flyer) and our dispute resolution support concept note.