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Understanding change and peacebuilding in a Colombian human rights NGO

REL Practice Paper 2 This paper looks at the Theory of Change of the Inter-Church Justice and Peace Commission (CIJP), a human rights NGO and long-term partner of Christian Aid Colombia. It offers a window into understanding how an organisation set up to respond to a violent conflict perceives change in its own role as the conflict itself changes.  The paper traces shifts in CIJP’s relationship with the state, with communities, with its allies in civil society and with the private sector, and the strategies and interventions it now uses to work towards mobilised communities, an operational rule of law, and a democracy based on justice and peace. As well as documenting its current ToC, the paper proposes to Christian Aid and CIJP an approach that could be used to track future shifts to build up a detailed, long-term picture of the strategic evolution of a CSO in a shifting political context.   Author: Rosemary McGee

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.  

Migraciones climáticas en el Corredor Seco Centroamericano

This is the orignial Spanish version of a study that examines the relationship between three factors – migration, gender and climate change – in the Central American Dry Corridor (Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua). Although there is a vast body of literature that addreses each of these factors individually, other studies have not looked at the links between the three. This report is divided into four sections. The first provides the background and context of the Dry Corridor in order to explain why the variables analysed were chosen. The second includes the main testimonies gathered in each of the countries during the fieldwork. The third sets out the main conclusions, and the final section includes a series of recommendations for the inclusion of a gender equality perspective in public policies on climate change.

Climate migration in the Dry Corridor of Central America

This study examines the relationship between three factors – migration, gender and climate change – in the Central American Dry Corridor (Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua). Although there is a vast body of literature that addreses each of these factors individually, other studies have not looked at the links between the three. This report is divided into four sections. The first provides the background and context of the Dry Corridor in order to explain why the variables analysed were chosen. The second includes the main testimonies gathered in each of the countries during the fieldwork. The third sets out the main conclusions, and the final section includes a series of recommendations for the inclusion of a gender equality perspective in public policies on climate change.

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.

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

LPRR: action learning research

In order for productive learning to occur within the context of this project, monitoring practices must be robust and go beyond collecting data against indicators. This is especially important within a resilience context, as the pre-emptive baseline measurement that is usually used for measuring progress/success is not desirable here. Instead, an ‘outcome harvesting’ approach is more practical, as it does not measure progress towards predetermined outcomes or objectives, but rather collects evidence of what has been achieved, and works backward to determine whether and how the project or intervention contributed to the change. Within the LPRR project there is a need for rigorous evaluation, which balances accountability and learning. Given the ever-evolving evidence base of ‘what works under what conditions’ coupled with the need to demonstrate quality, impactful programming in both upwards and downwards accountability, these types of robust evaluations are essential. In order to ensure learning and accountability are achieved through evaluations, they must be well-planned and budgeted for. This is where the role of the learning strand comes in; by recognising that learning is essential at the outset, it enables it to be included within the design of the project.