Evaluating Peacebuilding Activities in Settings of Conflict and Fragility: Improving Learning for Results
Evaluating Peacebuilding Activities in Settings of Conflict and Fragility was developed by the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC) to help improve program design and management and strengthen the use of evaluation in order to enhance the quality of conflict prevention and peacebuilding work. It seeks to guide policy makers and country partners, field and program officers, evaluators and other stakeholders engaged in settings of conflict and fragility by supporting a better, shared understanding of the role and utility of evaluations, outlining key dimensions of planning for them, setting them up, and carrying them out. The central principles and concepts include conflict sensitivity and the importance of understanding and testing underlying theories about what is being done and why. The report describes the convergence of the concepts of peacebuilding, statebuilding and conflict prevention and addresses the emerging international consensus that such contexts require specific, adapted approaches. It considers the principles for engagement in fragile states as the backdrop to evaluating such engagement and outlines the preconditions for evaluability, which should be handled by those designing and managing such programs. Such conditions include setting clear, measurable objectives for peace-related activities, collecting baselines data and monitoring activities. The report analyzes challenges of evaluating in fragile, conflicted-affected societies, the importance of understanding the conflict context; conflict sensitivity and theories of change; and examples of evaluations at work. The report concludes that actionable recommendations based on the conclusions should be presented as opportunities for learning and commissioning institutions should ensure systematic response to the findings. Such an approach will increase receptivity and the chances that findings will be fed back into program design and decision-making. In these ways, more and better evaluation will contribute to identifying strategies and programs that progress towards “peace writ large”.
Conflict sensitivity, Evaluation, Fragility, Program design
OECD (2012), Evaluating Peacebuilding Activities in Settings of Conflict and Fragility: Improving Learning for Results, DAC Guidelines and References Series, OECD Publishing. http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264106802-en