Evaluation practices in peace and conflict managemet education
The first phase, coordinated and financed by the Flemish Peace Institute, was concluded at the end of 2013 and resulted in an extensive report on the state of current research on the effectiveness of peace education, methodologically as well as in regard to research results.
The main conclusions refer to the complexity of effectiveness research. The researchers found that most research has focused on user experience rather than effectiveness. To facilitate evaluation of the effectiveness of interventions, they stress that practitioners must prepare their projects for evaluation. In addition, they claim that effectiveness research should be conducted by specialists.
In general, the research reveals the gap between the highly ambitious goals of peace education as formulated in the theoretic literature and the actual projects on the ground that have been evaluated so far and that focus mainly on improving interpersonal relations and preventing violence.
In the second phase and building on the first report, the EF targets to develop new material (publication/website/…) in close consultation with practitioners and aimed at both learning from and strengthening their evaluation practices. By involving the practitioners in the development, we hope to create a productive community of practice.