USIP implemented its Initiative to Measure Peace and Conflict (IMPACT) program first in the Central African Republic and later in Colombia, where it worked directly with peacebuilding organizations to gauge their collective impact on fostering reconciliation in the wake of the 2016 peace accord between the government and FARC rebels. Drawing on the challenges encountered and lessons learned, this report provides suggestions for how future iterations of the IMPACT approach can help policymakers, donors, and practitioners achieve greater and more cost-effective results from the peacebuilding projects they support.

People form the word “Peace” in Spanish during a gathering in Bogotá’s Bolivar Square on September 26, 2016. (Jennifer Alarcon/AP)
People form the word “Peace” in Spanish during a gathering in Bogotá’s Bolivar Square on September 26, 2016. (Jennifer Alarcon/AP)

Summary

  • Practitioners, policymakers, and funders want better evidence of the results of peacebuilding programs, especially of the collective outcomes of multiple programs tackling similar issues. But the available metrics seldom provide the right kind of information with which to gauge broad social impact.
  • Tailored measurement frameworks capturing interpersonal-level information across multiple projects can inform the peacebuilding field of changes associated with resilience and social cohesion.
  • Building on its experience in the Central African Republic, USIP’s Initiative to Measure Peace and Conflict (IMPACT) developed a shared measurement framework across five projects and organizations focused on reconciliation in disparate regions in Colombia.
  • IMPACT was successful in establishing a shared monitoring framework that reported on interpersonal levels of trust, taking a step forward in discovering how a group of projects can collectively influence peacebuilding outcomes.
  • Future collaborative impact efforts must strengthen the backbone support role to focus on strengthening communication between participating organizations while decreasing financial incentives that encourage competition and isolation.

About the Report

This report explores an initiative in Colombia that piloted a shared measurement framework across multiple peacebuilding projects. The report explains how the USIP-funded Initiative to Measure Peace and Conflict Outcomes (IMPACT) model was used to ascertain the collective impact of five projects focused on reconciliation in the wake of Colombia’s 2016 peace agreement. The report discusses lessons learned and how the initiative might be adapted to future peacebuilding efforts.

About the Author

Diego Benitez is a program officer on the Learning, Evaluation, and Research team in the Center for Policy, Learning and Strategy at the United States Institute of Peace, where he led the coordination efforts during the IMPACT initiative in Colombia. He currently works across the Institute to strengthen the evidence base of programs in conflict regions through monitoring frameworks, data visualizations, and analysis.

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