For millennia governments have been the only conflict resolution actors. After the end of World War II, the world changed dramatically. Under new conditions governments ceased being as effective. Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) began playing a vital and expanding role in ensuring international peace and security. The world experienced other essential changes in this regard after the end of the Cold War. The work of NGOs became more complex, and other actors within NGOs could have been identified. Conflict resolution and peacebuilding began to be viewed as a system of interrelated activities that eventually was named a Multi-Track Diplomacy System. Even though the activities within a system are interrelated, the communication between different actors, and level of cooperation among them still remains insignificant. In fact, this does not help resolve conflicts, and often even deteriorates the situation.

In the capstone paper I am looking at the relationship between government and NGOs. I am reflecting on my own experiences working for the Institute for Multi-Track Diplomacy (IMTD) in Washington, DC implementing a project in Georgia (Abkhazia). I have seen firsthand the difficulty of establishing a cooperative relationship between the government and an NGO. Understanding the importance of such a relationship, I have chosen a research question that would offer possible suggestions for methods of connecting the government and the IMTD through the framework of a project currently underway in Abkhazia. I believe some of the solutions may be used in other parts of the world as well.


Peace and Conflict Studies