On May 21, 2015, the Network for Peacebuilding Evaluation was pleased to host Dr. Ned Lazarus of George Washington University who discussed “Intractable Peacebuilding: Evaluating a Generation of Work Across the Israeli-Palestinian Divide.”
Since the 1990s, thousands of Israelis and Palestinians have participated in cross-conflict peacebuilding initiatives. During the same span, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has proved thoroughly intractable, lurching between episodes of failed negotiation and violent escalation. Can grassroots and civil society peacebuilding succeed if there is no parallel progress at the political level? How can we assess the contributions of Track II and III work when there is no prospect of peace on Track I?
In the past three years, Ned has conducted evaluations encompassing more than 50 Israeli-Palestinian peacebuilding initiatives, on behalf of USAID’s Department of Conflict Management and Mitigation, The U.S. Institute of Peace, and the European Union Partnership for Peace Programme. In previous research, Ned studied the long-term impacts of peace education participation for more than 800 Israeli and Palestinian graduates of the Seeds of Peace program, tracing their engagement in peacebuilding activity from adolescence into adulthood. In this Thursday talk, Ned presented key findings from these studies, which find evidence of meaningful micro- and meso-level impacts, and provide foundations for an empirically rigorous, contextually grounded assessment of the Israeli-Palestinian peacebuilding field.
Too often, the outcomes of grassroots and civil society peacebuilding are conflated with the success or failure of an official peace process, a perspective that elides the complexity, diversity, and long-term perspective of conflict transformation work on the ground. In such a situation, evaluations can do more than provide insight on any particular program. Taken together, evaluative studies provide foundations for an empirical record of the field – enabling an evidence-based conversation about the contributions and limitations of peacebuilding in a context of unresolved conflict.
Summary: Check back soon for the summary.
Presentation Powerpoint: Ned’s Powerpoint is available here (link is external).
About the Speaker:
- Noam Shuster – Peace is the Most Unpopulat Word (link is external)
- Bringing Peace with more reporting: Mahmoud Jabari at TEDxTeen (link is external)