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Balancing research and practice in an international NGO

REL Practice Paper 1 Ten Years of Change is a collaborative, long-term practitioner research initiative designed to take place in three countries – Colombia, Kenya and the UK. It is implemented by the Research, Evidence and Learning team at Christian Aid. The research began with the overarching question how are community members and supporters being influenced by, and influencing, processes of social change? Each country team adapted the question to make it relevant to their socio-political context, and designed research at several different levels, from local to national. This paper tells the story of the first three years of Ten Years of Change. It narrates our ideas and ambitions and how we clarified them; how we identified where, by whom and how the study would be implemented; and how we worked with colleagues in other countries to begin to translate our idea into practice. It then discusses the forces that shaped the parallel but distinct evolution of each of the three streams of the study, before reflecting on the challenges of trade-offs and power. It concludes by returning to some of our assumptions about practitioner research, reflecting on how they played out in practice, finally turning to considerations for the next stage of the study.  

Keeping hope alive: IOPT case study

Without an explicit focus on peace, there can be no sustainable development. This case study about Christian Aid's work on peace in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory, alongside the accompanying reports, shares some of our story of taking peace seriously. Throughout our work in providing humanitarian assistance and long-term development support, it has become clear that we cannot ignore the reality of violence. Peace and justice matter to us as a faith-based organisation and we seek to respond to real challenges of building peace with integrity, respect, courage and hope. From Violence to Peace lays down our hopeful vision that a more peaceful reality free from poverty, violence and injustice is possible. This Study shares key examples of impact and some things we’ve learnt along the way. From conflict to peace in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory Palestinian civilians living in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory (IoPt) face discrimination and systematic denial of human rights. Ongoing occupation by Israel results in chronic insecurity that routinely manifests in violence.   In the West Bank (including East Jerusalem), forced displacement, home demolitions, Israeli settler violence and excessive use of force are commonplace. In Gaza, blockades by Israel and Egypt and the internal Palestinian split (ongoing since 2007) drive violence, and young people and women are particularly vulnerable. In Israel, Palestinian citizens make up 20% of the population and are discriminated against, resulting in deprivation and even forcible displacement. In Israel, 49% of Palestinians live in poverty; the West Bank economy is dependent on Israel’s and is propped up by international aid; and the World Bank describes Gaza’s economy as in ‘free fall’, noting that it is ‘an alarming situation with every second person living in poverty and the unemployment rate for its overwhelmingly young population at over 70%.’   Our work Christian Aid has worked in the Middle East since the 1950s. The IoPt programme currently has three areas of focus: promoting resilience, protecting human rights and transforming power to build peace. All three areas work towards a just and secure future for all people in IoPt.   Download the case study above or view the full report here

Keeping hope alive: Christian Aid's work on peace - Impact study 2019

Without an explicit focus on peace, there can be no sustainable development. This Impact Study, and accompanying case studies, share some of our story of taking peace seriously. Throughout our work in providing humanitarian assistance and long-term development support, it has become clear that we cannot ignore the reality of violence. Peace and justice matter to us as a faith-based organisation and we seek to respond to real challenges of building peace with integrity, respect, courage and hope. From Violence to Peace lays down our hopeful vision that a more peaceful reality free from poverty, violence and injustice is possible. This study shares key examples of impact and some things we’ve learnt along the way. Key facts In 2016, more countries experienced violent conflict than at any time in nearly 30 years. If current trends persist, by 2030 – the horizon set by the Sustainable Development Goals – more than half of the world’s poor will be living in countries affected by high levels of violence. (OECD). Violent conflict has spiked since 2010, with two billion people now living in countries where development outcomes are affected by fragility, conflict, and violence (World Bank, 2018). Much of this violence is due to recurring violence and protracted conflicts. It is estimated that 135 different countries have experienced conflict recurrence – a pattern that is deepening. We stand in solidarity with our local partners – households, community organisations and local leadership who live through conflict and violence first hand. We want governments, faith institutions and communities to want and work for peace in their societies and to keep hope alive. Peace is not something fluffy and aspirational. Peacebuilding can and does work.

PACS programme summary film

A final wrap up film of the Poorest Areas Civil Society programme in India, showing achievements and learnings.

Picture Power: community perceptions of power in the occupied Palestinian territory

This assessment is part of a wider corporate impact study at Christian Aid that includes five country studies, using different evaluative approaches to understand and document a range of different governance programmes.

Central America governance programming – video methods

This note summarises the approach used to make two short videos contrasting the work of Christian Aid funded governance programmes, one in Guatemala and the other in El Salvador. It sets out the challenges, learning and insights from the process from the perspective of the producers of the videos – and makes recommendations for how to approach similar projects in the future. Related resources Video: Guatemala Video: El Salvador

Lifelines (2007)

Case studies and campaign ideas to mark the start of the 40-year occupation of the West Bank and Gaza strip in 1967.