Effectiveness of Peace Operations Network (EPON)

2018 - 2022 (Ongoing)
NUPI together with 40 partners from across the globe have established an international network to undertake research into the effectiveness of peace operations.

Peace operations are among the most important international mechanisms for contemporary conflict management. However, their effectiveness remains the subject of debate in both the policy and academic communities. International organizations that conduct peace operations, like the United Nations, have come under increasing pressure to justify their impact.

Although various initiatives are underway to improve the ability of these organizations to assess their performance, there is a lack of independent, external research about the effectiveness of peace operations.

To address this gap, the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI) together with 40 partners from across the globe have established an international network to undertake research into the effectiveness of peace operations. Of these, 18 are included in the NORGLOBAL EPON project. The overall aim of EPON is to enhance the effectiveness of international peace operations, by enabling and supporting collaborative research. The results of these research studies will be shared at seminars in Oslo, Addis Ababa (African Union), Brussels (European Union) and in New York (United Nations).

Over time, EPON will produce a substantial amount of mission-specific research studies, which will be a rich source for further research, for instance, for identifying common factors that influence the effectiveness of peace operations across a broad range of cases. This data will be made available via a dedicated web-based dataset that will be a publicly available repository of knowledge on this topic. EPON has been developed in close coordination and consultation with the UN Department of Peace Operations and the African Union’s Peace Support Operations Division.

EPON is the first global research network that will use a shared methodology to assess the effectiveness of contemporary peace operations. The data generated will be freely available to the global peace operations community, with the overall aim to enhance the effectiveness of international peace operations.

Related projects:

For frequent project updates, please visit EPON's webpage, where you will find publications from all network partners. By scrolling further down this page, you will find a list of EPON related publications published by NUPI or authored by NUPI researchers from our archive. Key EPON reports are: 

EPON events, news and streams:




Podcasts from EPON:

  • What effect is United Nations peacekeeping having in South Sudan?
  • Effectiveness of Peace Operations: The case of Mali with Jaïr van der Lijn


  • How effective is the African Union mission in Somalia?



  • On 7 November 2018, an EPON panel was organized as part of the Geneva Peace Week, hosted by one of the members of the network: the Geneva Center for Security Policy (GCSP) and one of the network's Board members, Annika Hilding-Norberg. Here, the network shared the initial findings of the first three pilot studies:

Want to know more about NUPI's work on these topics? Check out our pages on peace operations and the UN.

Funding program

This project is funded by the Research Council of Norway (NORGLOBAL) and the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (via UNPO)


EPON Seminar on Examining the Effectiveness of a New Generation of African Peace Operations

November 11, 2022

On 20 October, the Effectiveness of Peace Operations Network, the Training for Peace Programme and the Security Institute for Governance and Leadership hosted a seminar under the title “Examining the Effectiveness of a New Generation of African Peace Operations” at the Stellenbosch Institute for Ad1


Do peace operations work? And can they protect civilians?

December 16, 2019

These were some of the questions raised when researchers from the NUPI-led Effectiveness of Peace Operations Network (EPON) shared their insights in Washington, D.C. and New York.


EPON at Stockholm Forum for Peace and Development 2019

May 31, 2019

On 14-16 May 2019, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) and Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs co-hosted the 2019 Stockholm Forum on Peace and Development titled ‘From crisis response to peacebuilding: Achieving synergies’.

Bildet viser en FN-soldat i Mali

New book: UN Peace Operations in a Changing Global Order

October 23, 2018

In this book launch interview, editors Mateja Peter and Cedric de Coning reflect upon findings from their most recent book, identifying four global transformations and their implications for UN peace operations.

Bildet viser en FN-soldat i Mali

Four global transformations are changing UN peace operations

October 23, 2018

The global order is changing – how will that uncertainty impact UN peace operations?



May 28, 2018

UN peacekeeping faces significant challenges and some question whether it can remain relevant, but most countries agree on the importance of the UN as the centrepiece of global governance, and that peacekeeping is its flagship enterprise.

The image shows peace doves

Can a new approach change the UN?

April 23, 2018

The world is facing enormous challenges in light of protracted crises and conflicts. The United Nations are looking for answers with the new ‘sustaining peace’ approach. What are the chances of the new approach to change the UN and create sustainable peace? Cedric de Coning offers a cur1

The image shows a UN peacekeepier

The UN we need?

October 24, 2017

Is UN Peace Operations adapting fast enough to remain relevant in today’s rapidly changing global landscape?


New book: Rising Powers may fundamentally change peacebuilding

September 13, 2017

What exactly is new and innovative about the peacebuilding approach of the rising powers from the Global South?


Article on UN from NUPI researcher most downloaded

June 20, 2017

Read Senior Research fellow John Karlsrud's opan access article.


NUPI co-hosts UN Peace and Development Advisor Fellowship

June 16, 2017

UN Peace and Development Advisors (PDA) gather at NUPI.



Assessing the Effectiveness of the United Nations Mission in Mali (MINUSMA)

This report assesses the extent to which the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) is achieving its current strategic ...
Publication : ARTIKKEL

The Joint Force of the G5 Sahel: An Appropriate Response to Combat Terrorism?

The Joint Force of the Group of Five of the Sahel reflects the commitment of African states to cooperate to address common security challenges. Yet, little ...
Publication : NUPI Report

Researching the Effectiveness of Peace Operations, Seminar Report, 31 May – 1 June, Oslo

The African Union (AU), European Union (EU), and United Nations (UN) are under increasing pressure to justify the effectiveness of the peace operations ...

Project Manager

Peace operations  Security policy  Conflict  Defence  Development policy  Humanitarian issues  Diplomacy  Foreign policy  International organizations  The EU  NATO  North America  Africa  Europe  Asia  The Middle East and North Africa  South and Central America  AU

John Karlsrud

Research Professor, Head of the Research group on peace, conflict and development


Jenny Nortvedt

Former employee

Eli Stamnes

Former employee


African Center for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD), South Africa
Cairo International Centre for Conflict Resolution, Peacekeeping & Peacebuilding (CCCPA), Egypt
Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS-Jakarta), Indonesia
Folke Bernadotte Academy (FBA), Sweden 
German Peace Operations Centre (ZIF), Germany
International Peace Institute (IPI), USA
Institute for Peace and Security Studies (IPSS), Ethiopia
Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Center (KAIPTC), Ghana
Laurea University of Applied Sciences, Finland
Norwegian Defence International Centre (NODEFIC), Norway
Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI), Norway
Norwegian Defence University College (NDUC/FHS), Norway
Norwegian Police University College (PHS), Norway
Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), Norway
SaferGlobe, Finland
Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), Sweden
UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Norway
United Services Institute – India (USI-India), India

Tue 28 May 2019
Time: 09:30 Europe/Oslo
Location: NUPI

What is the impact of the UN missions in Mali and South Sudan?

On the occasion of the International Day of Peacekeeping, NUPI has the pleasure of inviting you to a seminar with a focus on the effectiveness of the UN missions in Mali and South Sudan.

Sun 25 Nov 2018
Time: 10:00 Europe/Oslo
Location: NUPI

How effective have the peace operations in Somalia, DR Congo and Mali been?

Experts from around the world will take a closer look at how effective UN Peace Operations actually are.

Tue 13 Nov 2018
Time: 12:30 Europe/Oslo
Location: NUPI

UN Peace Operations in a Changing Global Order

Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix will talk about the status of UN Peace Operations.