Design, Monitoring and Evaluation for Peacebuilding

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Theories of Change in Peacebuilding Evaluations

The Peacebuidling Evaluation Consortium (PEC) and the Network for Peacebuilding Evaluation(NPE) were pleased to have hosted the Thursday Talk with Thania Paffenholz, Senior Researcher at the Centre on Conflict, Peacebuilding and Development at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva (IHEID) as she discusses Theories of Change and how to make sense of them in peacebuilding evaluations. 

Thania's talk explored theories of change in peacebuilding and explained both the opportunities and challenges related to working with and evaluating these theories. Theories of change are at the heart of peacebuilding interventions and can determine success or failure. They reflect a policy's , programme's or project's intervention logic. Why do we think that we can achieve the intended goals with this kind of approach? The introduction of theories of change into the peacebuilding field has been seen as a key achievement to make interventions more systematic. However, practise also shows that there is a risk associated with theories of change, if they are not adapted to the intervention's context and designed along ready-made assumptions. This poses fundamental challenges in peacebuilding evaluations. How do we know that a theory of change is relevant and at the same time effectively  implemented? The talk elaborated on these questions and provide suggestions for evaluation approaches and methodologies.

Recording and Transcript: 

Please check back soon for the transcript!


Suggested Reading: 

Assessing the Relevance and Effectiveness of Peacebuilding Initiatives

Suggested reading list

About the Speaker:

Ms. Paffenholz is Senior Researcher at the Centre on Conflict, Peacebuilding and Development at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva (IHEID). She previously held positions such as Director of the Center for Peacebuilding (KOFF) at Swisspeace in Berne, Switzerland (until 2003); served as peacebuilding officer at the European Commission in Kenya working on the peace process in Somalia (1996-2000). From 1992 to 1996 she was research fellow at the Peace Research Institute Frankfurt, Germany. 

Dr  Paffenholz has participated in different UN missions in Africa. She advises the UN, the EU, the OCED/DAC as well as governments and non-governmental organisations and is member of boards and research associations. She has widely published. Her publications are frequently used by scholars and practitioners and include, ‘Peacebuilding: A Field Guide’ Boulder (2000), ‘Aid for Peace’ (2007) and ‘Civil Society and Peacebuilding: A Critical Assessment’ Boulder (2010). 

 

From Harold Randall: 

 

Could you please suggest resources on ToCs useful for this area or other thematic topics?