M&E Thursday Talks – Adding Up to Peace

This is the M&E Thursday Talk from Thursday, November 21st, when Peter Woodrow and Diana Chigas, former Co-Directors of the Reflecting on Peace Practice Project at CDA Collaborative Learning, led a discussion on “Adding Up to Peace: The Cumulative Impacts of Peace Programming.”

Diana and Peter discussed their recent research on the cumulative impacts of peace initiatives, as presented in their book, Adding Up to Peace. The book draws on information from case studies of sixteen conflict zones around the world. The case studies examine progress towards peace and applied systems thinking tools, to understanding what it takes to achieve durable peace. They explored these topics and discussed the implications of their findings for the monitoring and evaluation of peacebuilding.

In addition to a very informative Q&A session, Diana and Peter shared their important tool – Peace Progress Factor Tree. Listen to the webinar for how best to use this tool and how it can impact your programs and evaluations.

Click here to read more on this project and the case studies involved.

Click here to access their book,  Adding Up to Peace

We didn’t have time to answer every question during the Q&A session, so Peter and Diana answered the remaining participant questions below: 


Did you include citizens in the interviews? Note: I mean regular people and not only decision-makers or peacebuilders.

Case writers were instructed to talk with a wide range of people representing all perspectives. The basic Terms of Reference for case writers are included as Appendix B in the book (Adding Up to Peace). General categories included: peacebuilding experts, civil society more broadly, government officials, political leaders, civil servants, business leaders, media/journalists, representatives of academia/education, and international observers.  The main criterion for selecting interviewees was whether the individual was in a position to be an informed observer of the processes of conflict and peace.

How robust were the monitoring frameworks you encountered for peacebuilding programs? What were the key challenges that programstaff faced in developing indicators and monitoring progress? 

For the cumulative impact case studies, we actually tried to avoid examining individual peacebuilding programmes/projects. Rather, we wanted to understand the cumulative impacts of multiple efforts at a whole-of-context level. In most situations there were a large number of quite varied peace initiatives at all levels (grassroots, provincial/state, and national or international)—in some cases a truly dizzying array. Obtaining a detailed understanding of individual programmes was impossible. Therefore, this particular effort did not attempt to assess M&E frameworks directly.

That said, CDA Collaborative Learning was involved in developing resources for M&E of peacebuilding through other initiatives, including the Peacebuilding Evaluation Consortium, in collaboration with Alliance for Peacebuilding, Search for Common Ground, and Mercy Corps. The results of the PEC—and other CDA publications—are all posted to DM&E for Peace.  You can also find other CDA resources on the M&E of peacebuilding on

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