IG’s Peace Blog

Peace and its many aspects

A peace measurement problem

I just received the post below from the Peace and Collaborative Development Network.   The issue is important for a number of reasons.  Consider, for instance, if you are an NGO (or even a government for that matter) funding a “reconciliation” project somewhere.  You would certainly want to know how much “return” you are getting on your “investment”. That sounds crass, but such outside actors only have so much to spend and the needs around the world are many and varied.  However, at the same time, one has to wonder if you can really measure this concept/experience.  I have some background in quantitative social science, where measurement of subtle concepts is always an issue, and I can affirm that such an index would be very helpful but also, potentially, problematic.  Why the latter?  Because you would need to be very sure that you were really measuring what you wanted to measure–ie the concept in its “essence”–and not something that might be related, but different; such as say, reductions in hostility between/among the actors involved.  There are all sorts of epistemological (the dreaded “e” word in social science 🙂 ) issues here, and I won’t go into them.  Suffice to say, this is a real challenge, but one that might (might) have a significant payoff.



Measure reconciliation?

Hi everyone,

I was wondering if I can get some feedback and support about an issue I am currently working at my job. I am helping the process of designing a tool or any kind of instrument that can allow us to measure the effectiveness of reconciliation. It started as an idea on building an index, but to be honest this seemed to me crazy and impossible regarding the nature of the process of reconciliation! Anyways, what we and other colleagues found out is that in fact there are some exercises that can give you an idea on how reconciliation has worked, or what people think as reconciliation, sometimes misunderstand with coexistence, peacefully living together, harmony, tolerance…and its has been obtained (this has been done in Colombia) through perception surveys, and though it is more feasible than an index, for me it is still vague and imprecise. Does anyone know of successful experiences, approaches, methodologies, regarding this issue? Respectful of the process and nature of reconciliation, I guess there has to be “something” that can allow us to know if we are somehow “going in the right way”, without meaning a measure of its results or impact.

Any idea, feedback, book reference, etc… will be of great help!



May 10, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , ,

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