Violence Reduction Subsector Review & Evidence Evaluation (2019)
Jessica Baumgardner-Zuzik & Emily Myers, Alliance for Peacebuilding
Analysis, Evaluation Reports
With levels of global violent conflict at a 25-year peak, the need for effective and impactful peacebuilding programming could not be more pressing. The peacebuilding field has shown immense commitment to understanding, preventing, and mitigating the impact of violent conflict, but has struggled to aggregate evidence across efforts to analyze, understand, and advocate for what works to reduce violence. If the peacebuilding field identifies where its programming has directly correlated to reduced levels of violence, then it will be better able to ground program design, monitoring, and evaluation (DM&E) in evidence, and leverage evidence to advocate for the necessity and utility of the field – making the case for peace. This evidence evaluation and subsector review analyzes data from twenty-two cases. Six macro-level violence reduction Theories of Change (ToC) were developed across three approaches from an analysis of the peacebuilding cases and the strength of evidence for each was assessed.
Approach #1: Increasing Community Capacity to Resist and Mitigate Violence
Approach #2: Improving the Community-Government Relationship
Approach #3: Fostering Social Cohesion
While aspects of Approach #1 and #2’s ToC are grounded in robust evidence, there is still a mixed and weak evidence base on direct causal linkages between specific peacebuilding programmatic activities and violence reduction. Approach #3 is relatively unsupported by significant evidence and remains highly anecdotal. Overall, greater research needs to be conducted within each of the approaches to provide a more solid evidence base for peacebuilding violence reduction programming.