Impact and evaluation
Conciliation Resources is a peacebuilding NGO that believes a just and sustainable peace results from locally owned solutions to violent conflict, complemented by strategic international support.
Resolving conflict and building peace are complex long-term processes. There are no quick fixes. However many international responses to armed conflict are crisis-driven, elitist and short term. Simply ending violence is not the same as transforming conflict – without addressing the underlying causes of conflict then violence is likely to reoccur.
It is vital to address issues of governance, justice and human rights in order to create a solid foundation on which peace can be sustained.
So, when evaluating peacebuilding activities it is important to look holistically. What separately are small steps – changing attitudes, developing understanding, encouraging discussion and empowering civil society – when combined can have a big impact on resolving conflict and preventing future violence.
There is evidence that Conciliation Resources connects the local to policy levels by its work with practitioners in the field, the opportunities it creates for people to hear about this work – through Accord publications and policy briefs – and through seminars and workshops. In so doing it has an influence in improving understanding, changing thinking and influencing policy.
Comment from DFID-funded Conflict and Humanitarian Fund Project Completion Report, 2011
Some of our achievements…
- The Philippines: As a result of our work linking grassroots Muslim women’s groups with international actors, women have a stronger representation in peacebuilding. For the first time, three women now sit at the negotiating tables in Mindanao and Conciliation Resources has the only woman representative in the International Contact Group.
- Fiji: we have supported our local partners to promote and nurture inter-community and civil-government dialogue and trust, and have therefore contributed to the movement towards a sustainable constitutional democracy.
- Mano River Union: Conciliation Resources’ film Talking Borders, which has been screened in border regions in West Africa has created a dialogue between Sierra Leonean security actors – military, police, immigration, customs, Office of National Security and government ministers – and border communities, identifying solutions to border insecurity and raising the profile of the issue at Ministerial meetings of the sub-regional MRU Secretariat.
- Jammu and Kashmir: As a result of a three-day meeting organised by Conciliation Resources and partners, ten key business organisations from both sides of the LoC signed the first written agreement on non-governmental cooperation, reinvigorating the Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry founded in 2008. This move is a major advance towards enhancing cross-Line of Control (LoC) cooperation in the region.
Accord: Our Accord publication looking at the cross-border dynamics of conflict and peacebuilding approaches has generated new thinking on how to address conflict and has been referred to as ‘ground-breaking’ in UN policy circles.
- Lord's Resistance Army: In northern Uganda Conciliation Resources supported the training of 150 ‘youth monitors’ across the region, meaning communities who have returned to their homes following 20 years of armed conflict are now holding officials to account to ensure they deliver what was promised as part of the Government’s Peace, Development and Recovery Plan.
- South Caucasus: questions around key issues relating to the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict such as return and justice are for the first time being discussed, as a result of our work with displaced people in Georgia.
- Lord's Resistance Army: The creation of the Regional Civil Society Task Force in Central Africa has enabled community leaders in regions affected by the presence of the LRA to share a common understanding of the need to support affected communities and unite in advocating for political dialogue that addresses the underlying causes of the conflict.
- Colombia: Working with partners we have put the framework of a Citizen’s Path to Peace high up in the discussions for new solutions to conflict in Colombia, promoting more participatory paths to peace and de-mystifying the negotiating table as the core peacemaking process.
- Basque country: Along with other actors, Conciliation Resources has played a role in moving the Basque conflict to a peaceful resolution through support for the peace process and an international peacebuilding conference.
We recognise the importance of continually evolving and improving as an organisation, and are committed to monitoring and evaluating our work and effectiveness.
An evaluation of Conciliation Resources – Decennial Review, 2000–10
STHLM Policy Group completed an evaluation of Conciliation Resources’ work over the period 2000–10, looking at the effectiveness of what we do and how we function as an organisation. In addition to acknowledging the strong impact that our work has had on peacebuilding and conflict prevention, the evaluation also highlighted areas for development.
The evaluation, which was commissioned and funded by the Swedish and Swiss governments, found clear evidence that through Conciliation Resources’ approaches to peacebuilding – including our commitment to genuine partnership-centred work and the prioritisation of the participation of marginalised and community groups – we have made significant contributions to preventing and managing violent conflict and building peace.
Conciliation Resources is widely understood as distinctive… Informed observers agree that both Conciliation Resources’ focus and its approach support meaningful steps towards greater human security and development.
STHLM Policy Group, 2010
Among the specific recommendations made, the evaluation explored a number of challenges relevant to the wider peacebuilding community, such as the need to work more closely together on the formation of conflict analysis and conflict transformation response strategies, and the need to develop our monitoring and evaluation tools to better articulate measures and milestones which indicate when transformative peacebuilding change has occurred.
Specific projects and programmes are also regularly evaluated by external consultants. We are happy to share these on request. Please phon [at] c-r [dot] org (subject: Website%20query%3A%20evaluations) (c)phon [at] c-r [dot] org (subject: Website%20query%3A%20evaluation%20of%20work) (ontact us) for more information.