Peace and Stabilization Operations Program

Learn about how the Peace and Stabilization Operations Program (PSOPs) supports conflict prevention, dialogue, mediation, stabilization, peacebuilding and post-conflict recovery.

PSOPs enables the Government of Canada to take action to prevent and respond to global instances of violent conflict and state fragility.

Known for its past international peacekeeping efforts, the Government of Canada continues to provide international security and stability.

PSOPs leads the development of setting policies and providing guidance on peace operations and stabilization.

PSOPs provides assistance in fragile and conflict-affected states through prevention, stabilization and peacebuilding initiatives.

PSOPs provides quick and flexible funding for peace initiatives, generally through grants and contributions.

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About PSOPs

Global Affairs Canada’s Peace and Stabilization Operations Program (PSOPs) enables the Government of Canada to take rapid and coordinated action to prevent and respond to emerging and ongoing instances of violent conflict and state fragility. PSOPs’ core responsibilities, the rationale behind the program, and its approach to policy and programming are discussed below.

What are PSOPs’ core responsibilities?

PSOPs’ core responsibilities are:

  1. Providing policy leadership on peace and stabilization operations
  2. Delivering conflict prevention, stabilization and peacebuilding initiatives in fragile and conflict-affected states

Why is PSOPs’ work important?

When violent conflict and state fragility are left unchecked, the risk to international peace and security are great since such crises, which begin in one region, can quickly impact people living in another. The causes of violent conflict and state fragility are numerous and interconnected. Preventing and responding to such complex and dynamic issues requires a timely and coordinated effort from multiple Government of Canada departments such as Global Affairs Canada, the Department of National Defence, Public Safety Canada, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

How will PSOPs’ ensure that its policies and programs will have the greatest positive effect?

PSOPs’ policies and programming seeks to engage women and girls, as well as men and boys, as agents of change in peace and security efforts since supporting gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls is the best way to build a more peaceful, inclusive and prosperous world. This gender responsive approach makes PSOPs an important tool in the Government of Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy and its Feminist Foreign Policy. It also makes PSOPs one of the tools through which Canada is implementing its National Action Plan 2017-2022 as part of its commitment to advancing the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda and its strong focus on gender equality as a foundation for peace.

Additionally, Canada has committed to a number of respected international frameworks in order to help local populations forge pathways out of fragility and conflict and towards lasting peace and security. For instance, PSOPs’ efforts contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals, which commits all countries to work toward a peaceful and resilient world through inclusive and shared prosperity and respect for human rights. Specifically, PSOPs contributes to SDG 16 to promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels. Further, PSOPs aligns with The New Deal for Engagement in Fragile States.

History of PSOPs

Canada has a long history as a contributor to international peace, security and stability. In response to the Suez Canal Crisis of 1956, Canada’s then Foreign Minister Lester B. Pearson proposed using soldiers in the service of peace – the UN’s first large-scale armed peacekeeping force. The next year, he received the Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of this enduring idea. Today, Canada continues to build on this legacy.

PSOPs was launched by the Government of Canada on August 26, 2016 to take concrete action to prevent and respond to emerging and on-going situations of violent conflict and state fragility, and in a coordinated, whole-of-government manner. The program was given a budget of $450 million over three years.

PSOPs is the successor to the Stabilization and Reconstruction Task Force (START), replacing both START and the Global Peace and Security Fund (GPSF). PSOPs builds on more than a decade of experience and achievements by START by drawing on lessons learned by Canada and the wider international community on how best to promote peace, security and stability.

How PSOPs works within Global Affairs Canada

PSOPs complements life-saving Humanitarian Assistance by addressing the factors that lead to the initial outbreak of violence and displacement of people. PSOPs’ work further helps to restore peaceful, secure and safe spaces so that displaced people can return to their homes.

PSOPs also lays the groundwork for longer-term poverty alleviation work funded by Canada’s Development Assistance. By working to prevent or resolve conflicts, we also help to safeguard the benefits of development assistance. 

In addition, PSOPs’ work complements that of other cooperative security assistance programs delivered by Global Affairs Canada and its partners, namely, the Counter-Terrorism Capacity Building Program, the Weapons of Mass Destruction Threat Reduction Program, and the Anti-Crime Capacity Building Program.

Further, PSOPs plays an integration function within Global Affairs Canada and the Government of Canada. For instance, PSOPs works to strengthen Global Affairs Canada’s procedures and practices related to the analysis fragile and conflict-affected situations. The objectives of such analyses are better-informed policies and programming. Additionally, PSOPs is the Government of Canada lead on Canada’s National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security.

Providing policy leadership on PSOPs

PSOPs seeks to use Canada’s influence among allies and partners to address violent conflict and state fragility. Central to PSOPs work is a comprehensive understanding of the different roles women and men play in attaining and maintaining peace and security.

Currently, PSOPs is the designated lead on setting policy and providing guidance for peace and security programming within Global Affairs Canada. For instance, PSOPs is the Government of Canada lead on Canada’s National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security and is a key player in leading the Peace and Security action area of Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy.

Additionally, PSOPs works to advance innovative approaches to peace operations. For example, PSOPs:

To promote values that Canada considers important for building and sustaining peace, PSOPs provides policy leadership and advocacy at the United Nations (UN) and other multilateral fora, as well as bilaterally.

Working with domestic and international partners

To strengthen peace and stabilization operations, PSOPs works with a variety of domestic and international partners.

Domestic partners

PSOPs works with numerous domestic partners including the Department of National Defence, Public Safety Canada, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and Government of Canada experts.

For instance, PSOPs plays a key role in deploying Canadian police officers from participating police services across Canada to multilateral peace operations and other stabilization-related missions. This takes place through a partnership between Global Affairs Canada, Public Safety Canada and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police called the Canadian Police Arrangement.

Additionally, to develop and implement training programs designed to enhance the overall effectiveness of UN peace operations, PSOPs will work with closely with the Department of National Defence to establish a Canadian Training and Advisory Team to work with a partner nation before and during its deployments to peace operations, as well as to make contributions to UN centres, schools, and mobile training teams.

Further, PSOPs deploys Government of Canada experts to UN peace operations and other external organizations to provide the key technical skills needed to help advance PSOPs core responsibilities.

Multilateral organizations

PSOPs assists Canada’s efforts within the UN, including at the Security Council and where otherwise appropriate, to strengthen the capacity of UN peace operations, reform collective peacekeeping and peacebuilding practices, and foster a rules-based international order. For example, PSOPs supports Canada’s participation in the Special Committee on Peacekeeping, the UN Peacebuilding Commission, and the Group of Friends of Women, Peace and Security.

PSOPs also fosters working relationships with a host of multilateral organizations including but not limited to: the African Union, the Commonwealth, the European Union, the International Network on Conflict and Fragility, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie, the Organization of American States and the World Bank.

Multilateral fora

Additionally, PSOPs actively supports Canadian leadership in multilateral fora in advancing policies on protection of civilians, atrocity prevention, and issues concerning international compliance with international humanitarian law. PSOPs engages with the Montreux Document Forum, the Groups of Friends on the Responsibility to Protect (R2P), and the Global Network of R2P Focal Points. In April 2017, Canada appointed PSOPs’ Director General as Canada’s national coordinator for the Global Network of R2P Focal Points.

Foreign countries

PSOPs works with a multitude of foreign countries in support of policy and programming objectives. For instance, as a member of the Stabilization Leaders Forum (SLF), which consists of a group of like-minded countries, PSOPs works closely to ensure a cooperative approach to addressing global stabilization challenges. Additionally, PSOPs also provides foreign countries with varying forms of security assistance (e.g. medical and demining equipment, etc.), legal assistance, and other technical assistance.

Assisting fragile and conflict-affected states

Through gender responsive and inclusive policy and programming, PSOPs works to provide visible and concrete assistance in fragile and conflict-affected states. PSOPs supports timely conflict prevention, stabilization and peacebuilding initiatives. In general, stabilization efforts are context-specific and aim to support political solutions to peacefully resolve violent conflict, improve basic security, enhance governance, address conflict drivers, and/or open up a space for political dialog.

PSOPs can bring to bear a whole suite of capabilities, used alone or in combination, to address the immediate drivers of violent conflict. They include:

  • Aiding with programming in the form of grants and contributions
  • Providing training and mentoring through the deployment of experts

Women and girls play vital roles in establishing and maintaining peace. Given their important role, PSOPs supports enhancing women’s active participation in conflict prevention, stabilization and peacebuilding initiatives, in all its policy and programming.

Programming

PSOPs manages the distribution of over $100 million per year in grants and contributions to advance key Canadian thematic and geographic priorities in the area of international peace and security. Projects undertaken by PSOPs should aim to:

  • Prevent conflict
  • Stop conflict once it has begun (including support for mediation and peace processes)
  • Protect civilians in armed conflict
  • Transition to peace
  • Promote pluralism, diversity and inclusion
  • Promote human rights in conflict situations
  • Support security system reform
  • Support peace operations and peacebuilding efforts
  • Funding policy and advocacy leadership initiatives
  • Champion the Women, Peace and Security Agenda

Consult the Project Browser for information on projects previously funded by the Government of Canada.

Police and Civilian Deployments

PSOPs plays a key role in deploying Canadian police officers from participating police services across Canada to multilateral peace operations and other stabilization-related missions. This takes place through a partnership between Global Affairs Canada, Public Safety Canada and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police called the Canadian Police Arrangement (CPA). With $46.9M annually, the CPA is able to deploy up to 150 Canadian police officers each year. The women and men deployed through the CPA are supporting police in places like Haiti, Iraq and Ukraine to professionalize in order to better serve the public. They share knowledge and develop the skills of their policing counterparts on topics such as community policing, sexual and gender-based violence prevention, and the investigation of serious and organized crime.

PSOPs can also deploy Government of Canada experts in law, gender analysis, corrections, management, analysis, and other areas to international organizations. These experts help advance PSOPs core objectives through their work, in organizations such as NATO in Afghanistan and Ukraine, the Special Criminal Court in Central African Republic and Justice Rapid Response in Geneva.

Programming portal for PSOPs

PSOPs supports initiatives that prevent conflict, stabilize and build peace in fragile and conflict-affected states by providing quick and flexible funding, largely in the form of grants and contributions. Potential recipients include, but are not limited to, Canadian international and local non-governmental organizations, multilateral institutions (such as UN agencies), academic institutions and foreign governments.

Applying for funding

Being mindful of the level of effort required to develop project proposals, PSOPs has adopted a streamlined two-step process to reduce the burden on applicants. First, the process involves the submission of an initial concept paper for assessment. Applications may be considered for funding if they are in line with strategic programming priorities (both thematic and geographic, see below), and if the financial resources are available. Second, if the concept paper submitted is reviewed favourably, then the organization will be invited to submit a full proposal.

There are two ways to apply for funding from PSOPs with a concept paper:

  • Applying through a call for concepts
  • Submitting an unsolicited concept

Refer to the resources on this page before you begin to develop your unsolicited concept. Following the instructions below will give you the best chance of obtaining support for your initiative.

What you need to do to submit a concept for funding consideration

  1. Determine whether you meet the eligibility criteria
  2. Determine whether your project idea is in line with PSOPs’ thematic and geographic priorities
  3. Refer to the resources referenced below
  4. Request concept paper template form from PSOPs-application@international.gc.ca
  5. Prepare your concept paper
  6. Submit your concept paper

Eligibility criteria

Global Affairs Canada can only provide funding to legally incorporated entities. For Canadian organizations, your organization must be a legally incorporated entity with a Canada Revenue Agency number.

Alignment with PSOPs priorities

A set of thematic and geographic priorities are established on an annual basis to guide the development of policy and programming initiatives. Funding is provided only to select initiatives that are in line with Global Affairs Canada’s current peace and stabilization priorities since programming needs and requests for support often exceed PSOPs resources.

Thematic priorities:

  • Peace operations, conflict prevention, mediation and peacebuilding
  • Women, Peace and Security
  • Protection of civilians, including transitional justice
  • Inclusion, respect for diversity and human rights

Geographic priorities:

  • Afghanistan
  • Colombia
  • Haiti
  • Mali and the Sahel region
  • Middle East (Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan)
  • Ukraine

Other countries and regions where PSOPs engages:

  • Central America
  • Democratic Republic of Congo and the Great Lakes Region of Africa
  • Myanmar
  • North Africa, especially Libya and Tunisia
  • Philippines
  • South Sudan
  • West Bank and Gaza

These priorities guide PSOPs’ activities until the end of March 2019. They will be reviewed annually to keep pace with international developments and Government of Canada priorities.

Resources

Please consult the following references to help you incorporate best practices into your initiative and application:

Prepare your concept paper

To be considered for funding, your concept paper must be complete, true and accurate.

Please limit your concept paper to a maximum of three (3) pages in length and include the following information:

  • Organization information, including contact person
  • Organizational capacity to deliver the project, including previous experience with Global Affairs Canada and experience in project subject and geographic areas
  • Project title, notional budget, time frame and geographic scope
  • Initiative description, context description, and problem statement
  • Description of the chosen approach to gender issues
  • Potential project risks and mitigation strategies
  • Expected results (including an indication of gender equality results)
  • Brief overview of intended activities

Please also include the following in your application:

  1. A signed Anti-Corruption Declaration
  2. A signed Declaration Regarding Outstanding Debts due to Her Majesty
  3. Proof of legal status
  4. Financial statements (audited preferred) for the past two fiscal years

Your concept paper should avoid duplicating efforts from recent initiatives, and its rationale should be evidence-based. Consult the project browser for information on projects previously funded by the Government of Canada.

Submit your concept paper

Please submit your concept paper to: PSOPs-application@international.gc.ca

Send your documents in either English or French, or a combination of the two.

Submit your documents in any of the following formats: .doc; .docx; and/or .pdf.

Your initiative may not be supported if:

  • Expected results as outlined in the concept paper are not fully aligned with relevant PSOPs priorities or Government of Canada commitments
  • Your organization is ineligible for funding
  • You submitted an incomplete application package that did not allow for a full assessment of the initiative
  • Elements of the proposal are assessed as weak
  • Funding is not available

If your concept paper is accepted, you will receive an invitation to submit a detailed proposal for review by PSOPs. This invitation is not a guarantee of funding.

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