CBDN history dates back to 2002 when international peacebuilding NGO International Alert formed the Economy and Conflict Research Group, who carried out ground-breaking research into the nexus between economy and conflict in the South Caucasus.
In 2004 they published the book ‘From War Economies to Peace Economies’. This publication was innovative in terms of its research and format; adopting a 3+3+1 perspective, the project engaged teams from South Caucasus (Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia, as well as Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Nagorny Karabakh, and Turkey), to collaborate on investigation into the potential of economic incentives to contribute positively towards peace in the region. This was the first in a series of publications focusing on the economy/conflict nexus, which have been utilised both as research and as a policy advocacy tool for regional, national and international government bodies and institutions.
The Caucasus Business and Development Network was officially founded in 2005 as long-term platform for regional collaboration between economic actors. We operate as a network of offices based in Baku, Gyumri, Kars, Kutaisi, Nagorny Karabakh, Sukhum/i, Tbilisi, Tskhinval/i, and Yerevan. All of our offices participate in regional projects on both an individual and collaborative basis, engaging in bilateral, trilateral and cross-regional activities. The scope of their work ranges from outreach events, training, consultations for local entrepreneurs, sponsorship of business initiatives, research and advocacy.
The individuals engaged in our offices come from diverse professional backgrounds, including the business sector, agriculture, civil society, tourism, media and academia. Their collaboration is guided by a shared belief that economic interdependence and mutually beneficial regional cooperation are the cornerstones of stability and peace in the region; in this way, regional cooperation is both a means and an end to CBDN’s work. The effectiveness of the network is thanks to the dedicated and coordinated work of the members of each of our offices, many of whom have been engaged since the programme’s initial implementation.
The initiatives have been funded by the UK Conflict Pool (CP), Instrument for Stability (IFS), Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ), Department for International Development (DFID), and the European Union.