pdf Guidance on Evaluating Conflict Prevention and Peacebuilding Activities

Author: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
Publication Date: 2008
Institution: OECD
Keywords: M&E


This guidance is aimed at establishing best practice in the evaluation of conflict prevention and peacebuilding activities, defined as "preventing conflict or building peace; they are usually (but not always) focussed on a particular conflict zone - an area threatened by, in the midst of, or recovering from serious intergroup violence" - in other words, programmes that seek to address conflict and peace, rather than conflict sensitive programmes. It is intended to benefit different audiences in different ways.  The primary target audience includes policy staff, field and desk officers from donor development agencies, and evaluation managers. Implementers and programme managers may also find the guidance useful however. 

Key Issues:

The guidance does not advocate a blueprint for evaluations, but suggests starting with the purpose and uses of the evaluation.  A number of different approaches will generally need to be combined, including quantitative and qualitative analysis, and covering outcomes, outputs and processes. Cost, budget and time will also need to be taken into consideration.

Conflict sensitivity is critical, since policies and programmes working in or on conflict sometimes do harm without intending to, for instance by aggravating grievances, increasing tensions or vulnerabilities, or perpetuating conflict in some way.  The evaluation itself should also be conflict sensitive.

Planning for an evaluation should consider how to incorporate gender considerations, without falling into stereotypes.  It should also ensure that psycho-social trauma is handled with care, and that the security concerns of evaluation teams and stakeholders are addressed.

The approach advocated is based on establishing baselines (including a conflict analysis), clear and measurable objectives, with an explicit (and testable) theory of change and programme logic.  The guidance recognises some of these may not be available where planning has been conducted with limited time and where programmes are implemented during and after armed conflict.

Guidance on planning and monitoring programmes, including design of logical frameworks and selection of indicators, is provided in an annex.  Further annexes cover conflict analysis, conflict sensitivity and understanding theories of change in more depth.  There is also further information on evaluation approaches and sample Terms of Reference and feedback forms.

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