Brian Ganson advises decision-makers on complex conflict dynamics. He helps assess and improve organizational systems and processes for socio-political risk identification, conflict prevention, and dispute resolution.


PRIVATE SECTOR DEVELOPMENT AND PERSISTENCE OF FRAGILITY IN SIERRA LEONE byBrian Ganson and Herbert M’cleod (2019).This study finds that the private sector in Sierra Leone today largely mimics pre-war dynamics, remaining one of the vectors for persistent and growing conflict and fragility. It sets out a novel framework for understanding the relationships between business, conflict and peace that can lead to more robust policy and practice for private sector development. Accessible here.

BUILDING COMMUNITY-CENTRED STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT by Brian Ganson. Communities that intend to keep their own vision and voices at the centre of engagement with companies, governments and others must develop and institutionalise their own capacities for collaborative analysis, political mobilisation, and conflict resolution. Published in Perspectives (No. 1, 2016). Accessiblehere.


  • Provided knowledge partnership and facilitated dialogue to improve understanding between government, civil society and business stakeholders of the inter-relationships between private sector development and the persistence of fragility in Sierra Leone and to increase commitment to action. The project, having been well-received, has been expanded to Liberia with the support of the MANU River Union

  • Advised the International Finance Corporation on conflict risks within its Africa portfolio as well as on approaches to conflict-sensitive project assessment and oversight as it expands its project finance reach in Africa

  • Co-led research and policy recommendation development in a study for the UK Department of International Development to improve international policy and aide programming related to business environment reform in fragile and conflict affected states

  • Advised a multinational agribusiness company on internationalisedand localised risks to their license to operate in various African markets through a stakeholder and issue mapping exercise

  • Advised an international gold mining company on systematic surfacing and assessment of conflict and security risks, formalization of and commitment to appropriately scaled, time bound, and monitored responses in company strategies and plans, and coordination with andmobilisationof community resources for conflict prevention

  • Advised an international developmentorganisationon its global and local strategies for empowering local communities to engage with extractives companies in ways that lead to better development outcomes

  • Developed strategies for building broader-based consensus on a comprehensive extractive industries policy for a Latin American country, conducting a 360 stakeholder analysis across government, industry and civil society stakeholders reporting highly polarized ethnic politics, mistrust, and political deadlock

  • Aided the privatization board of an African national government to diagnose drivers of conflict and develop stakeholder engagement strategies in the context of widespread labour and civil society dissatisfaction with the privatization process

  • Provided conflict analysis and strategic advice to an international bank facing escalating regulatory pressure and threatened nationalization to keep a particularly contentious dispute from further damaging its broader relationship with a Latin American government

  • Advised the international development organization tasked with the revitalization of the agricultural cooperative sector in Kosovo on approaches for managing and ameliorating social conflict as it engaged in infrastructure, agriculture, and business development projects in an environment of on-going inter-communal violence

  • Collaborated with a local NGO in Belfast after the Good Friday Accord to develop tools, frameworks, and approaches to jump-start civic engagement across communal boundaries, allowing citizens to solve local problems without reverting to old patterns of mistrust or division along sectarian lines

  • Advised the President of a major European technology corporation on the contentious breakup of a joint venture with a client with whom the company had an on-going business relationship. Claims and counterclaims amounted to more than € 100 million

  • Advised a consortium of non-governmental organizations in Slovakia on the design of a stakeholder engagement process to address exclusion of, and discrimination towards, Roma populations by public and private institutions

  • Worked with a global pharmaceutical company’s European organization to improve its quality of strategic interaction with government stakeholders, allowing for more collaborative approaches to public health issues of common concern