IFREI's raison d'être is risk prevention and conflictuality* reduction. IFREI develops and promotes the cindynic methodology, which has the particularity of replacing humans at the heart of danger and prevention issues: beyond the technical aspects, the cindynic approach to prevention is essentially organizational, based on strategic thinking, and seeks operational efficiency.
Initially, IFREI focused on intangible risks, and in particular on those emerging from the development of information and communication technologies, information societies and "cyberspace", which is currently being militarized. Focusing on organizational aspects, the cindynic approach was ideally suited to the field of intangible risks. IFREI therefore had to extend the cindynic models to specifically take into account conflict situations : this led to supplementing the concepts of vulnerability reduction and resilience building with the notions of friction phenomena and conflict reduction.
These developments have led to an extension of Cindynics' field of application beyond the strict domain of risk prevention: rigorous conflicuality modeling enables the cindynic methodology to be used in the field of conflict prevention and conflicuality reduction. Moreover, in practice, the concept of conflictuality covers a continuum, which includes weak conflictualities and divergences that undermine the efficiency of development actions. The cindynic methodology is therefore twice useful for development : on the one hand, because it helps prevent the human or environmental damage all too often associated with development actions, and on the other, because of its ability to reduce friction phenomena and improve operational efficiency.
After an initial phase devoted mainly to the development of methodological tools and modeling activities, IFREI is now involved in promoting and spreading the cindynic methodology, and in prevention capacity building in sub-Saharan Africa, where life expectancy is the lowest in the world.
* conflictuality being defined as the propensity of a situation to spark or fuel conflicts.