Phil Vernon
Phil Vernon is Director of Programmes at International Alert, a peacebuilding organization based in London.

Phil joined Alert in September 2004, prior to which he had worked in development, humanitarian and peacebuilding in Africa since 1985, working specifically in Sudan, Rwanda, Lesotho, Mali, Ghana, Benin, Togo and Uganda. Initially a forester by training, his interest in conflict and peacebuilding was stimulated by the experience of living in Rwanda from 1992-94. From 2000-4 he was country director of CARE Uganda, and played an active role in research and advocacy on the Northern Uganda conflict, helping to establish and lead the Civil Society Organisations for Peace in Northern Uganda coalition. He is also a member of the Forum on Corporate Responsibility of mining company BHP Billiton, and a trustee of UK-based development NGO BuildAfrica.

At present, he provides leadership and oversight of Alert’s programmes in Africa, Asia and the Caucasus, and of the Peacebuilding Issues Programme, which deals with cross-cutting issues of importance to peacebuilding, such as the economy, gender, and security, as well as Alert’s core learning and training functions. He also leads Alert’s advocacy on aid effectiveness, and in 2010 was the principal author of Working with the grain to change the grain: Moving beyond the MDGs, which called for a radical overhaul of the international aid system.
Phil blogs on Africa, Peacebuilding and Development issues at

Entries by Phil Vernon

It Is Right to Question Foreign Aid, But We Must Remember the Vital Causes It Serves

(0) Comments | Posted 26 May 2016 | (11:33)

On 13th June, the UK Parliament will debate the proposition that the government's approach to foreign aid is flawed. This is based on a petition initiated by the Mail on Sunday and signed by over 230,000 people, and will no doubt be guided by the latest

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A Taxi Driver's Guide to Peace in the Philippines

(0) Comments | Posted 28 March 2014 | (14:10)

The Philippines government has signed its final peace agreement with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in an impressive ceremony in Manila, after decades of fighting and instability. The deal has been a long time in the making, and was achieved in part due to the political will...

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LGBT Rights and Peace: Why Aren't We Talking About It?

(0) Comments | Posted 6 March 2014 | (17:18)

Uganda's President Museveni has signed the long-heralded Anti-Homosexuality Act into law, reinforcing the existing legal repression of homosexuality there. Uganda thus joins many other countries which seem to be re-emphasising or strengthening the legal and lawful harassment of people because of their sexuality. It is not just an...

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African Union at 50: Has It Been Good for Peace?

(1) Comments | Posted 22 May 2013 | (17:20)

This week, Africa marks 50 years of collective action: first through the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) and more recently the African Union (AU). This is also a critical juncture in African history: the post-colonial period is over and the "African Renaissance" is underway; economic growth has been

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