Sarah Cechvala's primary academic focus seeks to explore the role of the private sector in peace and conflict through systems analysis as a technique to understand their agency and impacts on the context. Specifically, her research will look at small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as agents of peace and conflict in violent urban settings; and will situate SMEs within a conflict system in order to understand the key dynamics that reinforce violent conflict and that undermine critical attempts towards peace.
Her doctoral project is part of the UrbanSME project, which is funded by the Research Council of Norway.
Sarah Cechvala holds a MA in Conflict Resolution from Georgetown University, Washington, DC USA. She has ten years of professional experience as a corporate social responsibility professional and experienced researcher on conflict sensitive business practice, company-community relations, human rights due diligence for companies, and accountability for the aid sector. She has robust experience working with corporate practitioners and communities in fragile and conflict affected states in order to enhance company-community relations and to strengthen corporate social performance management systems.
Since 2011, Sarah has conducted extensive field research and long-term work in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, serving in these positions:
- Managing Director, CDA Collaborative Learning (2013-2021)
- Research Assistant, Harvard Humanitarian Initiative (2012-2013)
Articles and book chapters
- Miller, Ben, and Sarah Cechvala. “Practicing Business and Peace? Conversations Overheard in the Field.” Business, Peacebuilding and Sustainable Development, by Jason Miklian et al., Routledge, 2019.
- Miller, Ben, Brian Ganson, Sarah Cechvala, and Jason Miklian. 2019. "A Seat at the Table: Capacities and Limitations of Private Sector Peacebuilding." (pdf) SSRN Electronic Journal.
- Miller, Ben, Dost Bardouille, and Sarah Cechvala. 2014. "Business and Armed Non-State Actors: Dilemmas, Challenges and a Way Forward". Business, Peace and Sustainable Development. 2014 (4): 7-40.
- Cechvala, Sarah and Ben Miller. 2020. “Memorandum on Stakeholder Engagement in Conflict Contexts and Letter to the United Nations Working Group on Business and Human Rights.” CDA Collaborative Learning, Cambridge, MA USA.
- Cechvala, Sarah. 2020. “All the Evidence We Need.” International Federation of the Red Cross. Geneva, Switzerland.
- Cechvala, Sarah, Robillard, Sabina, and Sharon Reader. 2020. “Closing the Gap: Strategy to Strengthen Community Engagement and Accountability in Africa 2020-2023 for the International Federation of the Red Cross.” IFRC, Geneva, Switzerland.
- Miller, B., Cechvala, Sarah, and Egidius Kamanyi. 2019. “Field Visit Report: Operator: East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline Tanzania.” CDA Collaborative Learning, Cambridge, MA USA.
- CDA Collaborative Learning and International Rescue Committee. 2018. “Feedback to Action: Strategies to improve the use of feedback in programmatic decision-making” with the International Rescue Committee for the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Population Refugees and Migration, Uganda.
- Cechvala, Sarah. 2018. “Mainstreaming Accountability to Communities: An Operational Case Study.” CDA Collaborative Learning and the Kenya Red Cross Society.
- Cechvala, Sarah, Bardouille, D., and Cecilia Milesi. 2015. “Total E&P Austral Argentina Field Visit” CDA Collaborative Learning, Cambridge, MA USA.
- Bardouille, Dost, and Sarah Cechvala. 2015. “Total E&P Myanmar: Seventh Site Visit.” CDA Collaborative Learning Projects: Cambridge, MA.
- Bardouille, Dost, Chloe Berwind-Dart, Sarah Cechvala, and Anita Ernstorfer. 2014. “Business for Peace: Understanding and Assessing Corporate Contributions to Peace.” Discussion Paper. CDA Collaborative Learning Projects, Cambridge, MA.