Monday, 18 June 2007

Baseline study on conflict transformation

This 2007 study by Irma Specht assesses the strengths and weaknesses of ICCO's work on Conflict Transformation in Africa and the Middle East. It provides a baseline for ICCO and its partners to improve their work on country specific Conflict Transformation and to measure its impact at local, provincial, national and international levels.

The purpose of this baseline study, as formulated in the TOR is to:
  1. Provide a systematic and critical overview of ICCO's current efforts and results in the field of Conflict Transformation in Africa and the Middle East. This overview should pay special attention to the efforts and results of faith based organizations.
  2. To make an inventory of the indicators used by ICCO and its partners and to suggest improved indicators for monitoring our future efforts in the field of Conflict Transformation in the period 2007-2010.
The study is based on ICCO country files from Burundi, DRCongo, Uganda, Liberia, Sudan and the Middle East. Two locations, Israel/Palestine and Karamoja in Northeast Uganda were visited for in-depth field research.

Interesting features of the study

Chapter 2 gives an overview of literature on conflict transformation. Chapter 3 gives a list of possible indicators for conflict transformation (output and outcome/impact level). The author has found that impact indicators are often missing in ICCO funded conflict transformation projects.

In Chapter 4 (assessment of ICCO's partners and ICCO-funded activities) the author found that the conflict analyses were often too short and not detailed enough. She recommended that the capacities of ICCO partners to look further and deeper by built up, even if they are addressing a local conflict solving direct causes. Also she recommended that the conflict analyses are more based on a consultative process with partners in the South.

The author states that in some ICCO funded projects there is too much stress on seminars and conferences. Section 4.3 provides a list of possible conflict transformation activities.

The author evaluated the partners she visited in Uganda and Israel/Palestine regarding their work on three levels main leves of Conflict transformation:
  • Behaviour (e.g. violence, destruction, versus peaceful coexistence, dialogue)
  • Attitudes/perceptions (e.g. hatred, mistrust, suspicion versus faith, trust)
  • Structural causes (e.g. inequality, marginalization, corruption versus development, justice and equality for all citizens)
According to the author, ICCO and its partners especially need to reinforce their work on the structural causes. She considered one of the strengths of current approaches to be ICCO's ability to work across religious barriers and to play a role in reconciling people from different religious backgrounds.

The concluding chapter elaborates on the role of religion, gender and youth in conflict transformation. The report ends with recommendations for conflict transformation strategy of ICCO and for organisational restructuring.

Read the report.

The synopsis was prepared by Justine Anschütz to help make ICCO sponsored 'research' more accessible

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