DME for Peace and the Peacebuilding Evaluation Consortium were pleased to host a talk with Kenneth Bush and Colleen Duggan who discussed the new book, Evaluation in the Extreme (link is external).
Over the past two decades there has been an increase in funding of research and evaluation in and on violently divided societies. How do we know whether research and evaluation make any difference to these societies? Is the impact constructive or destructive? This book is the first to systematically explore this question through a series of case studies written by those on the front lines – researchers, evaluators, donors, and practitioners. It brings together and harnesses the political, technical, and methodological sensitivities and capacities of these groups into an exploration of the positive and negative role that research and evaluation might have in settings affected by armed conflict, political unrest and social violence. Cases include: Sri Lanka, Darfur, Pakistan. Northern Ireland, South Africa and India. Evaluation in the Extreme uses the field of programme and policy evaluation as a critical lens to interrogate the interactions between research, power, and politics. This offers a novel and fruitful approach to bridge theory and practice; and ideas and impact. The talk is of interest to researchers, students of peace and conflict and international studies, aid practitioners, evaluators, donors and other actors international and local, with a stake in peacebuilding and development.
Recording and Powerpoint:
View the Powerpoint here (link is external).
About the Speakers:
Dr. Kenneth Bush is the Senior Lecturer in Post-war Reconstruction, at the School of Government & International Affairs at Durham University. He received his PhD in International Relations and Comparative Politics from Cornell University, and holds Masters degrees in Government (Cornell) and International Affairs (Carleton).
Throughout his career, Dr. Bush has worked within and between academia and conflict zones. His pioneering work on Peace and Conflict Impact Assessment (PCIA), and on-going work on evaluation in conflict zones, seek to bridge the gap between Peace and Conflict Studies and Evaluation research and practice. In addition to teaching graduate courses on evaluation in conflict zones, he conducts workshops with mid-level professionals on the logistical, political, methodological, and ethical challenges of researching and evaluating in conflict zones (broadly defined).
Dr. Bush has worked with a broad spectrum of humanitarian, development, and peacebuilding organizations in the Global North and South — from community-based groups through to bilateral and multilateral agencies.
Colleen Duggan brings her expertise in human rights and the rule of law in divided societies to IDRC’s Corporate Strategy and Evaluation Division.
Duggan has published works on early warning and conflict prevention, gender and transitional justice, and the evaluation of peacebuilding initiatives. Between 2001 and 2005, she developedIDRC’s programming in Latin America on peace and conflict and women’s rights. Before joining IDRC, she worked for more than a decade with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and for the United Nations Development Programme in Colombia, Guatemala, El Salvador, and New York. Issues she focused on with the UN included humanitarian response, security sector reform, transitional justice, human rights, and peacebuilding.
Duggan holds a master’s in law (international human rights and humanitarian law) from the University of Essex (UK) and a graduate degree in international development and economic cooperation from the University of Ottawa.