In this document, IRSS provides guidance for the preparation of evidence about actions that can help to prevent deadly conflict between groups of people. The focus is on conflicts that may escalate to major civil disturbances, civil wars, or wars between nations. Experience suggests that violence can be prevented in many situations, often at relatively modest cost. Assessing the effectiveness and benefits of preventive actions is intrinsically difficult (the costs of preventive actions are easier to assess). However, evidence can be assembled in such a manner that it will support a reasoned judgment about effectiveness and benefits, thus providing information that is useful for many purposes.
This guide assumes that evidence will be obtained through a case study approach, and so it outlines a proposed standardized format that helps readers to draw their own conclusions. The objective is to assemble evidence on the effectiveness of the preventive actions, their benefits, and their costs. Two case studies are presented here, using the proposed format.