Evaluation and Assessment of Poverty and Conflict Interventions: Uganda Case Study
This case study is part of a USAID-funded research grant that looks at the relationship between economic development and stability. In many parts of the world, Mercy Corps implements programs that combine economic development and peacebuilding approaches. The Evaluation and Assessment of Poverty and Conflict Interventions project – implemented between July 2009 and December 2010 – had three main objectives: 1) to develop indicators and data collection tools that measure the impact of programs at the intersection of peacebuilding and economic development; 2) to field test these indicators and tools in three countries; and 3) to begin to assess several theories of change that inform Mercy Corps’ programs. This report presents preliminary findings from the Uganda case study, where Mercy Corps implements the Building Bridges to Peace program in the northeastern Karamoja region. Findings include several strong correlations between economic variables and stability measures, including: 1) positive correlations between market interaction, resource sharing, and freedom of movement; and 2) positive correlations between resource sharing and reduction in violent incidents.
Results from the Uganda case study show several statistically significant correlations between different measures of economic interaction and stability. It is important to stress that these are correlations, not causal claims, and it is not yet clear if the correlations mean that economic interaction leads to greater stability or the reverse. However, what these findings do show is that it is possible to measure shifts in economic variables and stability indicators and that in some cases, these factors are correlated. This represents a significant step forward in terms of developing more robust tools for examining the relationship between economic interventions and conflict.