Lessons from confidence building measures (GSDRC Helpdesk Research Report 1131)



Please can you produce a short document on confidence building measures to identify lessons learned, what has worked and what has not in conflict-affected countries, and points to consider when designing CBMs including the effectiveness of different track approaches. In particular, please identify risks around ceasefires and how these have been mitigated in other conflicts. This is for a piece of work on Yemen so concrete examples from Yemen/the wider MENA.


There is a small amount of literature focussed on this subject – much of the literature explores inter-state military CBMs, rather than intra-state CBMs, and non-military CBMs. The majority of the literature focusses on continental European countries as the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) is a key actor in this area. There is some OSCE literature that focusses on MENA countries – if the broadest definition of MENA is used (i.e. including: Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Western Sahara).

Due to the focus on lessons, the majority of this literature is policy and practitioner orientated, and published by donor organisations or think tanks. There is a limited amount of evaluative donor literature publically available on this. However, it is important to note that at its broadest understanding, any action that has an objective of increasing confidence between actors could be considered a CBM. Therefore, examples could be drawn from a much wider pool of literature that does not reference CBMs. For definitional coherence, this query only includes literature that explicitly identifies activities as CBMs.


Herbert, S. Lessons from confidence building measures (GSDRC Helpdesk Research Report 1131). Governance and Social Development Resource Centre, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK (2014) 10 pp.

Lessons from confidence building measures (GSDRC Helpdesk Research Report 1131)

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