GAIN Peacebuilding Indicators
CRS began the Globally-Accepted Indicators (GAIN) Initiative in June 2008 to strengthen indicator practice across sectors. Globally-Accepted Indicators are those that CrS and the global development community generally consider to be appropriate and effective for project monitoring and evaluation. GAIN has two main objectives: to improve the quality of indicator selection and use and to contribute to a more efficient M&E design process. GAIN is comprised of a series of indicator templates and a library of indicator resources with information to assist project teams in M&E system design, tool development, and in analysis and interpretation of data.
Under GAIN, M&E and sectoral teams work together to create indicator resources tailored to the sector’s specific indicator needs and priorities. Each sector determines which indicators should be included in the resources and how these indicators should be used in M&E practice. For example, sectors may choose to promote the use of selected key indicators while other sectors may choose to include a wide menu of illustrative indicators in GAIN without particular emphasis on any of the indicators. As an initiative, GAIN does not include core or mandatory indicators; however, sectors may choose to do so independently.
For peacebuilding, GAIN resources include templates for 18 illustrative indicators which were developed in March 2010. These indicators are illustrative in that the templates provide good examples of Peacebuilding indicator practice, but there is little emphasis on the use of the indicator outside of specific project or program contexts. The 18 selected indicators are organized according to CrS’ three strategic objectives and key sub-sectors of work, and encompass increased equity, social cohesion, church action, civic engagement, extractives, sexual and gender-based violence, interfaith dialogue and cooperation, and youth. Each indicator is also linked to a possible “theory of change.” Note that the indicators selected are in no way representative of the full spectrum of Peacebuilding programming implemented by CRS and its partner organizations.
The indicator templates present many of the necessary components and considerations for holistic M&E for Peacebuilding. The templates identify the terms and concepts in the indicators which need to be locally-defined and provide suggestions on how to monitor the project context and reflect upon the underlying theory of change. In addition, each template includes suggested qualitative and quantitative data collection questions, calculations for analysis, and tips for interpreting the results against the project’s broader objectives.
We have found the development and use of GAIN resources to be an important advancement in our M&E work for Peacebuilding, and they have elicited considerable interest among donors and other international NGOs. We hope these resources will be useful in your future practice for peace.