This is the first of several reports that identify a role for CIFP in providing a risk assessment service to the private sector. In discussing the role of the private sector in preventing violent conflict, this report focuses primarily on multinational corporations (MNCs). Issues related to the risks and responsibilities of MNCs in conflict-prone regions are distinct from those concerning other types of private sector actors. Large companies involved in foreign direct investment in the extractive, infrastructure and heavy industry sectors are of particular interest, due to the heightened potential for their activities to exacerbate conflict. In addition, MNCs are likely more able to implement conflict prevention mainstreaming strategies than smaller domestic enterprises for a variety of reasons. Therefore, the following analysis relates specifically to the risk assessment needs of MNCs. For a definition of important concepts and terms, please refer to the glossary.