Design, Monitoring and Evaluation for Peacebuilding

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What is Co-Design?

Author, Copyright Holder: 
Jack Farrell

As we move toward The Breaking Barriers to Participation & Inclusion in Peacebuilding Evaluation Conference in Cape Town (December 6-9), it’s time to explore the concept of “Co-Design.”


What is Co-Design?


Co-Design, is a participatory, human-centered, and action-oriented process of achieving design thinking. Design thinking is an approach to solving complex problems by identifying the key stakeholders and effectively designing an actionable solution based upon their input. Design thinking was established to move beyond the linear, problem-solution model, and to recognize the multiple variables that often contribute to effective problem solving. In peacebuilding, development, and humanitarian sectors, the problems we deal with are complex. We operate in challenging and ever changing contexts, with a variety of stakeholders, and creating a solution that addresses these areas requires adaptive, participatory, inclusive, all-encompassing, and creative problem solving.


There are 3 phases in the Co-Design process:

  1. Inspiration - Identify the problem and listen to all of the stakeholders to get a well-rounded perspective.

  2. Ideation - Breakdown what you learned in the inspiration phase and begin to prototype solutions.

  3. Implementation - Take your solution into the world and make it happen!


In Cape Town, we will be addressing the barriers to participation and inclusion in peacebuilding evaluation.


What’s happening in Cape Town?


The importance of participation and inclusion is often overlooked across all sectors. One of the goals of design thinking is to make sure that everyone has an opportunity to both share their experiences and contribute to the solution.


That’s why the Peacebuilding Evaluation Consortium, DME for Peace, and Everyday Peace Indicators with support from Search for Common Ground and George Mason University will be assembling local practitioners with global experts, funders, policy makers, multi-sectoral programmers, academics, and evaluators in Cape Town to create a dynamic space for solution-oriented reflection on the challenges faced in achieving inclusion and participation in peacebuilding evaluation and to share the ‘bright spots’ where we’ve been able to achieve participation and inclusion in the field.


On day one, we will identify the barriers to participation and inclusion in peacebuilding evaluation. On days two through four, we will be working on the ideation and implementation phases, as we aim to develop solutions that are actionable in programs, projects and offices!


Ahead of the conference, join us this Thursday, November 10th at 10:00am EST, as Kate Mytty of the D-Lab at MIT will host the Thursday Talk webinar series to lead a discussion on how co-design impacts our everyday practice. Click here to register!

For those of you that can’t be in Cape Town, we will be live tweeting the discussions on DME for Peace and broadcasting some of the sessions on Facebook Live!


Recommended Resources:


A Culture of Collaboration, Learning, and Adaptability: Examples from Lebanon - Rebecca Herrington, Search for Common Ground


An Introduction to Design Thinking Process Guide - Institute of Design at Stanford


Co-creation and the New Landscapes of Design - Elizabeth Sanders & Pieter Jan Stappers


A beneficiary feedback approach to evaluation: Checklist for evaluators - DFID