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Our Impact

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We are committed to measuring and increasing the influence our interventions have in the communities where we work.

Situations of conflict are rarely simple or linear; multiple actors, causes, and possible solutions all play a role.

Identifying the difference that our work makes is therefore a difficult endeavor. The task is made more complex by a lack of reliable tools to measure effectiveness of peacebuilding activities and by physical and social environments that are outside the reach of standard research methodologies. Despite these limitations, we established the Institutional Learning and Research Division in 2003 to measure and enhance our effectiveness, so as to enable us to maximize our impact. Country Program evaluations are conducted at two-year intervals.

Ongoing self-assessment and informal feedback also provide indications of the results of our work. Our impact appears to be manifest in four important spheres:

Supporting and advancing peace processes

In the Middle East anecdotal evidence and continuous follow-up with participants indicate that our activities have helped forge key relationships between influential decision makers in the peace process. In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) our information-dissemination activities are reported to be one of the critical sources of public awareness of the peace process, helping to reduce suspicion and rumors that can lead to violence.

Reducing violence

In Burundi and in Sierra Leone surveys indicate that our radio programming is a trusted and credible source of information about events in the country, including peacemaking efforts. Such information reduces preemptive violence resulting from fear and misinformation.

Shifting attitudes and building foundations for peace

In Sierra Leone our community outreach program is strengthening many people's participation in the democratic process - a key to the maintenance of a fragile peace. External evaluations in Burundi found that the radio programmes produced by Studio Ijambo have changed the way people feel about and relate to other ethnic groups in their society. Similarly, evaluations of the interethnic kindergartens we founded in Macedonia have shown them to have significant positive influence on children's views of other ethnic groups, particularly during periods of increased tension.

Equipping communities to prevent and resolve conflicts

Informal tracking and feedback show that many of the vast numbers of people we have trained - 10,000 internally displaced persons in Angola, for instance - go on to implement their new skills, through either establishing new organisations or personally employing the techniques learned. In Macedonia our evaluations show that the Nashe Maalo television series provides children with valuable skills for preventing or resolving conflict with their peers in diverse ethnic groups. We are committed to sharing fully the results of our evaluation and research in ways that will strengthen the field of conflict resolution.

For more information on our evaluations, click here.