M&E Thursday Talk: Befriending the Enemy: The Lasting Impacts of Youth Programs for Peace – 10.2.14

The Peacebuilding Evaluation Consortium (PEC) and the Network for Peacebuilding Evaluation (NPE) were pleased to have hosted the Thursday Talk on “Befriending the Enemy: The Lasting Impacts of Youth Programs for Peace” with Eva G. Armour, Director of Global Strategy and Programs at Seeds of Peace, and Juliana Schroeder, Ph.D. candidate at the University of Chicago on October 2, 2014

Every year at Seeds of Peace, one of the largest Middle East coexistence programs, Israeli and Palestinian teenagers are brought together for a 3-week camp in the United States. For 3 years, the study presented in this Thursday Talk longitudinally tracked how this intervention affected Israelis’ and Palestinians’ relationships with, and attitudes toward, each other. 

Specifically, the researchers measured participants’ outgroup attitudes immediately before and after camp, and, for 2 years, 9 months following “reentry” to their home countries. In all 3 years, participants’ attitudes toward the outgroup improved from precamp to postcamp. Participants who formed an outgroup friendship during camp developed more positive feelings toward outgroup campers, which generalized to an increase in positivity toward all outgroup members. Although the positivity faded upon campers’ reentry, there was significant residual positivity after reentry compared to precamp. Finally, positivity toward the outgroup after reentry was also predicted by outgroup friendships. Future contact interventions may profit from encouraging individuals to make and maintain outgroup friendships.

Find the accompanying talk notes here

Recording and Transcript: 

To review the accompanying PowerPoint, please click here (link is external)

To read a transcript of the conversation, please clicke here (link is external)

About the Speakers:

Eva G. Armour first joined Seeds of Peace as a counselor at the International Camp in 2000. In 2001, she joined the full-time staff as part of the development team. From 2006 to 2007, Eva worked out of the Seeds of Peace Tel Aviv and Ramallah offices as the Director of Multinational Programs, orchestrating programs that brought together Seeds in the Middle East. After two years directing program development for Empower Peace, a nonprofit dedicated to bridging cultural and communication divides between youth worldwide, Eva returned to Seeds of Peace in 2009  and currently works out of Boston, overseeing the organization’s global programming and strategy.

She is a graduate of Tufts University, where she majored in Child Development and Communications, and Columbia University, where she received an MA in International Educational Development with a focus on International Humanitarian Issues in the Middle East and Africa.

Juliana Schroeder is a Ph.D. candidate in Psychology and Business at the University of Chicago. She received her B.A. from the University of Virginia in Economics and Psychology. Juliana also has an M.A. from the University of Chicago in Psychology and Statistics, and an M.B.A. from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business. 

Juliana’s research explores how people navigate their social worlds. Juliana’s research has been published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology, Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, and the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. It has been featured by the New York Times, Newsweek, NBC, and the Today Show, and has been funded by the National Science Foundation. Juliana has also won the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching at the University of Chicago eight times. 

Suggested Reading: 

Befriending the Enemy: Outgroup  friendship longitudinally predicts  intergroup attitudes in a coexistence  program for Israelis and Palestinians (link is external)

Evaluating Peace Education in the Oslo-Intifada Generation: a long-term impact study of Seeds of Peace 1993-2010” 2011 dissertaion by Ned Lazarus (link is external).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *