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Common Ground Publishes New Conflict Transformation Evaluation Manual

Susan Partnow just let us know about a new evaluation manual from Search for Common Ground (www.sfcg.org). It’s called “Designing for Results: Integrating Monitoring and Evaluation in Conflict Transformation Programs” and it can be downloaded for free at www.sfcg.org/programmes/ilr/ilt_manualpage.html.

To read more about what’s in the manual, click below.

The authors hope this manual will help peacebuilding practitioners appreciate how design, monitoring, and evaluation (DM&E) can contribute both to their learning and to the success of their programs. The belief that underpins all the concepts within this text is that monitoring and evaluation are the learning disciplines most accessible and most useful for peacebuilding practitioners. Ultimately, excellence in conflict transformation program design and effectiveness is the goal of the authors.

The purpose of the manual is to introduce peacebuilding practitioners to the
concepts, tools, and methods needed to incorporate better design, monitoring, and evaluation practices into peacebuilding programming. As an introductory volume, the target audience is front-line peacebuilding practitioners from around the world with minimal formal training in design, monitoring, and evaluation. It assumes the audience has experience, training, and access to resources on conflict assessments, which are a prerequisite to participating in conflict transformation program design.

A number of factors have contributed to the timing of this manual:

* Myths about the complexity, time, and resources needed to conduct
DM&E inhibit programs from seeking out opportunities and building capacity
in DM&E.
* DM&E has been approached as an end-game, after-the-fact initiative
and, hence, is perceived to be of little value to the practitioner.
* There is a limited pool of seasoned individuals who have a blend of
experience in conflict transformation and evaluation expertise.
* The nature of conflict transformation and peacebuilding is
qualitative and process-focused, which does not lend itself to quantitative
models.
* It is often difficult for peacebuilding practitioners to learn the
various DM&E approaches in the detail needed to improve program quality.

The manual offers general information on learning and change in addition to
chapters dedicated to specific issues such as baselines, indicators, monitoring, and evaluation. It is organized so that readers can easily jump from one chapter to another. However, we strongly urge jumpy readers to start with the chapter on understanding change because it frames the thinking for most of the discussions in the other chapters.

Every effort was made to offer concrete examples with each of the concepts
and methods covered. Many are based upon real programs – predominantly those of Search for Common Ground – while others are fictitious.

Amy Lang
Amy Lang is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions at the University of British Columbia. She wrote her dissertation on British Columbia’s groundbreaking Citizens’ Assembly process, and is currently doing follow-up research on the Ontario Citizens’ Assembly.

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