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Designing for Results: Integrating Monitoring and Evaluation in Conflict Transformation Programs

This manual is the first of its kind to focus on the particular needs of the conflict transformation field. It addresses the many challenges faced by conflict transformation practitioners in their attempts to measure and increase the effectiveness of their work. Includes practical tips and examples from around the world.

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.

Cheyanne Church and Mark Rogers

Search for Common Ground, in partnership with the United States Institute for Peace and the Alliance for Peacebuilding (2006)

Geographic Focus: International

Resource Link: www.sfcg.org/programmes/ilr/ilt_manualpage.html

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