USIP Hosts a Panel Discussion Featuring the Peacebuilding Evaluation Consortium
On Tuesday, March 7, The United States Institute for Peace (USIP) hosted a Conflict Prevention and Resolution Panel discussion, organized by the Alliance for Peacebuilding, entitled, “Building the Programs That Can Better Build the Peace.” The program brought together monitoring and evaluation experts in peacebuilding to discuss the challenges of learning and impact in complex conflict environments, and to explore the newest tools and “bright spots” in addressing these challenges. The panel included Isabella Jean of CDA Collaborative Learning Projects, Leslie Wingender of Mercy Corps, Adrienne Lemon of Search for Common Ground, and Joe Hewitt of USIP, and was moderated by Melanie Greenberg of the Alliance for Peacebuilding.
In exploring challenges to effective peacebuilding monitoring and evaluation, panelists pointed to the importance of good program design, the need to balance learning and accountability (and how to talk about failure), organizational and political considerations, and the lack of standards for Monitoring & Evaluation in the peacebuilding field. Panelists also agreed that we need to improve how we use and share evaluations, so that information can spread beyond narrow institutional boundaries.
Bright spots included the wealth of new Monitoring & Evaluation resources available to peacebuilders, including the DM& E for Peace, the Online Field Guide and related papers, and tools designed to measure subtle shifts public perception of peace, safety and security. Panelists also emphasized an increasing level transparency around learning – both internally within organizations, and externally in the field. Finally, panelists reflected on the positive degree to which evidence has driven major policy decisions, in areas such as the development of Goal 16 of the Sustainable Development Goals.