IG’s Peace Blog

Peace and its many aspects

A piece of peace analysis

The document linked to below might not be of interest to everybody, but I thought it was important as an example of something that we might call “peace science” (or irenology or maybe conflictology).   Note the multiplication of case studies (of which this is one), which permits–when there are enough case studies–to generalize across cases and find basic principles.  This is how science proceeds.

We really are learning more and more useful things (thank goodness).  Now “all” we have to do is start systematically applying them.

Here is a “blurb” about the article:



From 1999 to 2003, the Reflecting on Peace Practice Project (RPP) engaged over two hundred agencies and hundreds of individuals who work on conflict around the world in a collaborative effort to learn how to improve the effectiveness of peace practice. The agencies included international peace and conflict resolution NGOs as well as local organizations and groups working for peace in their countries. RPP conducted 26 case studies, consulting over 200 agencies and more than 1,000 people, to analyze peacebuilding experiences.

The findings of three years of consultation and analysis are presented in Confronting War: Critical Lessons for Peace Practitioners1

The evidence gathered by RPP suggests that although many people do indeed conduct good programming at all levels, these programs do not automatically “add up” to peace. RPP found that peace programs that were effective in contributing to peace writ large addressed key factors driving the conflict.

Many programs, however, did not relate their objectives to the driving forces of conflict and, consequently, had little impact on effecting sustainable results. Often, programs that had powerful impacts on participants’ attitudes and relationships did not lead to activity or changes that affected a broader constituency of people, and programs working at the elite or grassroots levels were often not linked to systemic change. Programs that did impact the local situation were all too often undermined by national or regional developments.

In addition, experience showed that peace programs were not linked to one another in ways that increased effectiveness. . Confronting War reviews recent peace practice, assesses elements that have or have not been successful, analyzes why, and offers lessons learned about how to improve effectiveness.

To date, RPP’s findings have pointed to many factors that have prevented programs from “adding up” to have an impact on the overall conflict situation, but yielded less evidence on what contributes to the “adding up” (or cumulative) process. Key questions remaining include:

• How can multiple peace efforts make cumulative impacts on a situation?
• What elements and/or processes determine whether there is a positive cumulative impact of multiple programs, so as to reinforce what others are doing as well as responding to changes in circumstances?
• How can we link micro (“peace writ little”) and macro (“peace writ large”) levels in programming decisions in order to improve the impacts of all programs on the broader peace?

This case study on Mozambique is part of a larger effort on behalf of RPP t o address these questions. This new round of case studies—including Haiti, Northern Ireland, Cyprus, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Guatemala, Burundi, Israel/Palestine, and Kosovo— examine contexts in which there has been progress towards peace; in some cases sustained and in others not. These cases examine whether multiple peace efforts have cumulative positive impacts at particular moments, and how activities and successes at multiple levels—from the local to the national—can be linked to provide sustainable changes and momentum toward peace.

This particular study of the cumulative positive impacts focuses primarily on Mozambique’s peacebuilding experiences since the signing of the General Peace Agreement in 1992. Much has been written about the process that led to peace in Mozambique. Less is known about the peacebuilding efforts undertaken to make the peace durable since 1992. This study seeks to fill that gap by identifying patterns and themes across locations, as well as highlighting important findings concerning how practitioners and policy-makers can better ensure the cumulative impacts of their peacebuilding efforts in a post-war environment.”

IGbarb says:   “Peace science is marching on!”


September 4, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , ,

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