Source description last updated: 5 December 2018
In brief: The Center for Civilians in Conflict (CIVIC) is a non-profit organisation based in Washington D.C., focusing on advocating responsibility of conflict parties towards civilians before, during and after armed conflict.
Coverage on
Briefings and special reports.
Covered quarterly on, for countries of priorities A-C.
The “Center for Civilians in Conflict (CIVIC) works to improve protection for civilians caught in conflicts around the world.  We call on and advise international organizations, governments, militaries, and armed non-state actors to adopt and implement policies to prevent civilian harm.  When civilians are harmed we advocate the provision of amends and post-harm assistance. We bring the voices of civilians themselves to those making decisions affecting their lives.
CIVIC’s vision is for a future where parties involved in conflict go above and beyond their legal obligations to minimize harm to civilians in conflict. To accomplish this, we assess the causes of civilian harm in particular conflicts, craft creative solutions to address that harm, and engage with civilians, governments, militaries, and international and regional institutions to implement these solutions. We measure our success in the short term by the adoption of new policies and practices that lead to the improved wellbeing of civilians caught in a conflict. In the long term, our goal is to create a new global mindset around robust civilian protection and harm response.” (Center for Civilians in Conflict: Within and Beyond the Gates: The Protection of Civilians by the UN Mission in South Sudan, p. III, undated)
“Our Activities Are Four-Fold:
•             Documenting the toll of armed conflict on civilians, through interviews with civilians themselves, humanitarians, and the warring parties.
•             Advocating with decision makers in countries in conflict to change minds, policies, and practices in world capitals, international and regional institutions.
•             Engaging directly with warring parties to provide them with practical solutions to minimize civilian harm.
•             Amplifying civilian’s voices in the media, highlighting both their plight and our solutions to lessen their suffering.” (Center for Civilians in Conflict: Two-Pager, undated, p. 1)
Total revenue for 2017 is outlined at 10,811,487 US Dollars. Income is comprised of contributions, in-kind revenue, contract income and other income. (Center for Civilians in Conflict: Annual Report 2017 Let's Listen; p. 38, 2018)
Scope of reporting:
Geographic focus: Global.
Thematic focus: Conduct of warring parties and treatment of civilians in armed conflict.
Interviews with civilians, humanitarian workers and warring parties.
For instance, a 2016-report on violence in South Sudan has been “[…] based primarily on field research in South Sudan from March 5-19, including a week of research in Malakal. Center for Civilians in Conflict (CIVIC) interviewed 47 IDPs who directly witnessed aspects of the violence; 21 UN officials in Malakal and Juba, including civilian, military, and police; as well as humanitarian officials, members of South Sudan’s parliament, local civil society representatives, and experts on the conflict dynamics in South Sudan, particularly in the area formerly known as Upper Nile State.” (Center for Civilians in Armed Conflict: A Refugee in Flames; The February 17-18 Violence in Malakal POC; April 2016; p. 5)
A 2016-report on Syria has been based on interviews with “Ninety civilians, representing every governorate of Syria […]. When possible, CIVIC conducted face-to-face semi-structured interviews or focus group discussions with individuals who fled Syria in 2015 in Turkey (Urfa, Akcakale, Kilis, Gaziantep, Reyhanli, Antakya) and Lebanon (the Beqaa valley, Beirut). […]
CIVIC also held meetings with UN agencies, local and international humanitarian NGOs, citizen journalists, activists, medical doctors and professionals, and displaced persons camp directors. Interviews with members and commanders of 17 armed groups also informed the research and recommendations. We use only first names in this report to protect the interviewees; in many cases these names are pseudonyms.” (Center for Civilians in Armed Conflict: Waiting for No One: Civilian Survival Strategies in Syria; April 2016; p. 9)
A report on protection of civilians in the Democratic Republic of the Congo “[…] is primarily based on field research conducted by one Center for Civilians in Conflict (CIVIC) staff member and one consultant.” (Center for Civilians in Conflict: Protection with Less Presence: How the Peacekeeping Operation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is Attempting to Deliver Protection with Fewer Resources, 10 January 2018, p. 7)
Also, a report on Yemen from January 2017 “[…] is based on field research in Yemen undertaken between August and November 2016. Center for Civilians in Conflict (CIVIC) interviewed 71 civilians […] and conducted eight focus group discussions in which 95 civilians participated […]. CIVIC also interviewed 25 local authority figures and government officials, 16 security and military officials, 14 local armed groups leaders, and three members of armed groups. In addition, dozens of community and civil society leaders, as well as representatives from international organizations active in Yemen were interviewed.
Local researchers, who were trained and supervised by a CIVIC consultant, conducted most of the interviews. The researchers came from the same areas they worked in and were aware of the sensitivities. Through their connections, they were able to reach a wide range of local actors. A CIVIC consultant conducted additional interviews in Aden during the first two weeks of October 2016. CIVIC sought a diverse sample of interviewees in terms of gender, age, and geographic location. The interviews were semi-structured, with a questionnaire identifying topics to discuss in each interview, but also included an emphasis on follow-up questions to clarify or provide more detail about a person’s experience. (Center for Civilians in Conflict: ‘We Lived Days in Hell’, Civilian Perspectives on the Conflict in Yemen, 10 January 2017, p. 6)
Language(s) of publications:
English and French.
Further reading / links:

Center for Civilians in Conflict: Annual Report 2017, 2018
All links accessed 5 December 2018.