Design, Monitoring and Evaluation for Peacebuilding

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Analyzing methods used in Children & Youth programming

Author, Copyright Holder: 
Rhea Daniels, Media El Tayara, and Jacob Gaudaur

When working in the field of peacebuilding, it is not hard to come across various types of evaluations - impact, developmental, and outcome evaluations are just a few of the many! In this blog, we will discuss our approach to content analysis in assessing a sample of evaluations. Here, the impacts of the programme were coded according to dimensions mentioned in theReflective Peacebuilding: A planning, monitoring, and learning toolkit. Overall, what we saw was that:

  • 6 out of the 7 evaluation reports used mixed methods to conduct their evaluations (e.g. Focus group discussion sessions, interviews, questionnaires/surveys) while the 7th one did a Child Led Evaluation, therefore it was fully qualitative

  • Individual changes: All projects evaluated contributed to impacting attitudes and behaviours

  • Relational Changes: All projects were committed  to bringing together individuals from diverse backgrounds

  • Structural Changes: All projects created a space for youth or groups not normally included in the dialogue

  • Cultural Changes: These varied between projects. No commonalities between projects were found   

Happy reading!

Of the twelve evaluations, which can be found under DME for Peace’s subject database relating to children and youth, the three of us chose seven of them in which to analyze further. These evaluations were conducted by a variety of organizations including Search for Common Ground, Social Impact, Plan International Institute for Conflict Research, and Mercy Corps.  These evaluations were carried out throughout a range of years dating from 2009 until 2015, while the programs which were being evaluated had been in operation as far back as 2002 until as recently as 2016. While these evaluations were all centered on the theme of Children and Youth, there was a lot of diversity in their focus and context a. These evaluations were carried out to assess the impact of the programmes and initiatives that occurred in their specific contexts.

Children's Voices: Children Associated with Armed Forces and Armed Groups Final Evaluation Report, Search for Common Ground Nepal

Focused on initiatives in Nepal that aided the reintegration of children affected by of armed conflict back into the society.

Child-Led Evaluation of the PPA Programme in Zimbabwe, Plan International UK

The focus of this programme was adolescent girls’ education in the Zimbabwe.

Capacity Building in Youth and Peacebuilding, Search for Common Ground Nepal

The role of peacebuilding in reintegration and rehabilitation programs for verified minors and late recruits in Nepal.

Final Evaluation Report Youth and Non-Violence in Guinea, Search for Common Ground

The promotion of non-violent methods to resolve conflicts between youths in Guinea.

Midterm Performance Evaluation of USAID/Macedonia’s Interethnic Integration in

Education Project, USAID/Macedonia and Social Impact

The implementation of interethnic integration in education to increase understanding on the benefits of integrated education in Macedonia.

Evaluation Report: PeacePlayers International, Northern Ireland, Institute for Conflict Research

Utilizing sport to bring young people together to combat social issues in Northern Irish communities.

Rift Valley Local Empowerment for Peace II (LEAP II) Final Evaluation Report, USAID, MercyCorps

Strengthening the ability of local structures in Kenyan counties to address causes of social conflict and promote sustainable peace and reconciliation.

The coding of this collection of evaluations was directed by the groundwork of Lederach et. al in the peacebuilding manual “Reflective Peacebuilding: A Planning, Monitoring, and Learning Toolkit”. The authors claim that there are four dimensions of conflict transformation, which need to be acknowledged by those seeking to conduct evaluations in settings of conflict. These dimensions include the personal, relational, structural, and cultural levels. The personal level often looks into the attitude and behavioural changes, which occur within specific individuals.  The relational dimension builds on personal level and refers to the face-to-face relationships,which people have in their contexts. The structural level shifts in focus from individuals to “relational patterns that involve and affect whole groups”. While the structural level generally refers to broad patterns in a society, the cultural level delves even deeper as examines the “often less conscious patterns related to conflict and peace”. The combination of these four dimensions guided our coding of seven evaluations surrounding the topic of youth and children and ensured that all aspects of conflict transformation were accounted for.

Get to know us: We got involved with this project through Reina Neufeldt, who is connected to DME for Peace through thePeacebuilding Evaluation Consortium . The purpose of this project is to develop our skills in content analysis. We (Rhea Daniels, Media El Tayara, and Jacob Gaudaur, see picture) are currently Masters students in the Program of Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.


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