Publication Date: 2010
Author: United Nations
Institution: United Nations
This handbook aims to provide basic principles, guidelines and resources to enable United Nations field presences to measure progress towards (or regress away from) peace consolidation. The handbook focuses on technical aspects of benchmarking the external environment. It is not intended to be used to assess the efficiency, effectiveness or even attributed impact of the United Nations Presence ('Results Based Benchmarking'). It will therefore complement other sources of guidance on monitoring and evaluation but not substitute for them. It is intended to serve as a technical (non-policy) resource tool primarily for use in the field.
Benchmarking in this context refers to benchmarking of the external environment, to track progress towards or regress away from peace consolidation. It is distinct from 'results based benchmarking', although the two should be linked. The intention is not to show causality between an input and a system wide change; rather, it is to measure and reveal system-wide change without necessarily trying to prove the direct relationship to specific inputs. This approach could still reliably indicate whether a strategy is effective, and would provide vital strategic planning inputs for the changing situation on the ground.
The handbook does not attempt to design a template of ‘ideal’ or ‘preferred’ benchmarks and indicators to be applied to peace consolidation monitoring in all countries. Rather it seeks to provide basic, technical guidelines that can be used to identify sound benchmarks and indicators adapted to different country realities and needs. Common tendencies, such as over-ambition, are noted.
Seven steps are identified: prepare for benchmarking; establish benchmarks; establish a data collection system; attribute indicators to the benchmarks; aggregate and analyse data; establish a reporting system; evaluate the process and make adjustments.