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Simmons and Simmons

Simmons and Simmons partnering for a fairer and more just world

Evidence Report: Project Maria Caicedo

Development of inclusive markets to build peace in Colombia. The case of the Peasant Reserve Zones of the Cimitarra River Valley, Catatumbo and Tulua.

Informe de evidencia: Proyecto María Caicedo

Desarrollo de mercados inclusivos para construir paz en Colombia. El caso de las Zonas de Reserva Campesina del Valle del Río Cimitarra, Catatumbo y Tuluá

Desarollo de mercados inclusivos para construir paz en Colombia

Colombia es el mayor productor de hoja de coca del mundo. Desde el 2000, Estados Unidos ha asignado 10.000 millones de dólares en un intento por detener su producción, y se han fumigado más de 1,6 millones de hectáreas en un intento por erradicar las plantaciones de coca. Sin embargo, la superficie cultivada en el país ha aumentado en un promedio de 45% por año - con 177.000 hectáreas en 2017 que se utilizan para el cultivo de coca. Como es evidente, la lucha contra las drogas ha fracasado. Trabajando en las Zonas de Reserva Campesina del Valle del Río Cimitarra, Catatumbo y Tuluá, el Proyecto María Caicedo trabaja para la transformación de las economías de guerra en economías de paz. El proyecto se diseñó para captar la voz de los que quedaron atrás (a través de los años de conflicto en Colombia, y por los esfuerzos subsiguientes para traer la paz) y se involucraron en las economías ilegales en la Colombia rural. Esta investigación proporcionó elementos clave para contribuir a la construcción de paz en Colombia a través de la transformación de las economías de guerra en economías de paz en las Zonas de Reserva Campesina (ZRC). Adoptamos un enfoque sistémico, que involucra los sistemas políticos y económicos a nivel local y nacional, buscando dar a las personas más marginadas una voz y, en última instancia, poder para salir de la pobreza. Estos informes, tanto en inglés como en español, muestran los resultados de nuestra investigación y cómo Colombia puede avanzar hacia economías de paz. Este reporte muestra un resumen de los resultados del Proyecto. Para leer el reporte completo, haga clic aquí. 

Development of Inclusive Markets to Build Peace in Colombia

Colombia is the largest producer of coca leaf in the world. Since 2000, United States has allocated USD 10 billion in an attempt to stop its production, with more than 1.6 million hectares being sprayed in an attempt to eradicate coca plantations. But the cultivated area in the country has increased by an average of 45% per year – with 177,000 hectares in 2017 being used for growing coca. As is evident, the fight against drugs has failed. Working in the Peasant Reserve Zones of the Cimitarra River Valley, Catatumbo and Tuluá, Project Maria Caicedo works towards the transformation of war economies into peace economies. The project was designed to capture the voice of those left behind (through the years of conflict in Colombia, and by the subsequent efforts to bring peace) and involved in illegal economies in the rural Colombia. This research provided key building blocks in the foundation of peace in Colombia through the transformation of war economies to peace economies in Peasant Reserve Areas (ZRC, by its acronym in Spanish). We  took a systemic approach, which involved the political and economic systems at the local and national levels, seeking to give the most marginalised people a voice and ultimately power to emerge from poverty. This report gives a summary of the project's findings. For the full report, click here.

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.  

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

Illicit drugs and tough trade-offs in war-to-peace transitions

Millions of marginalised people rely on illicit drug economies - often deeply intertwined with armed conflicts - for their survival. But Agenda 2030, particularly Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16, makes no mention of illicit drug economies. It is clear that the war on drugs has not worked, and it is increasingly recognised that a new, development-based approach to tackling illicit economies is needed. But at present, the evidence base to inform such policies is weak. This report presents evidence on why illicit drugs are a development issue and why they matter for peacebuilding, before discussing the problem with current approaches, and the implications for drugs, peacebuilding and development policy. Report authors: Ross Eventon and Eric Gutierrez

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.

Keeping hope alive: Colombia 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 Colombia, 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. Download the case study above or view the full report here

Peace, illicit drugs and the SDGs - a development gap

The SDGs barely reach the places where peacebuilding is most urgent. Here, the illicit drug economy plays a complex, overlooked role in survival. 

Engaging in the peace process in Colombia

Christian Aid and our partners have worked to tackle violence and build peace for more than 20 years in Colombia, demanding an end to violence and calling for justice on issues of impunity and human rights violations committed in the course of the conflict. This paper, on the second anniversary of the signing of the Colombian Final Peace Agreement, gives a brief overview of this work and shares the key programmatic learnings, reflections and insights from this experience of peacebuilding by our partners. 

Christian Aid Ireland’s adaptive programme management

Governance, gender, peace building and human rights Tackling the problems of poverty, vulnerability and exclusion that persist in parts of the world that continue to be affected by violence or political insecurity is difficult for several reasons. For one, because of the complexity of the prevailing social, economic and political systems, solutions to chronic problems are far from obvious. One response to this aspect of the challenge is adaptive programme design and management. This paper, 'Learning to make a difference: Christian Aid Ireland’s adaptive programme management in governance, gender, peace building and human rights', is the product of a multi-year collaboration between ODI and the core team of Christian Aid Ireland to assess the relevance of adaptive or trial-and-error approaches to the field of governance, peace building and human rights. It explains the basis on which Christian Aid Ireland’s current five-year programme funded by Irish Aid has become committed to an adaptive approach. It then describes and seeks to draw lessons from the programme’s first year of experience, considering the possible implications for implementation over the coming years.

LPRR final evaluation report

The Linking Preparedness, Response and Resilience (LPRR) project, which is part of the DFID funded Disasters Emergencies Preparedness Programme (DEPP), was carried out from 2015 to the end of March 2018. The project was delivered by a consortium led by Christian Aid, which included Action Aid, Concern, Help Age, King’s College London, Muslim Aid, Oxfam, Safer World, and World Vision. The LPRR project brings together the expertise of response and resilience professionals (and frameworks) in order to support communities affected by emergencies and at the risk of violence. The consortium was present through a research component in eight countries, namely Bangladesh, Democratic Republic of Congo, Philippines, Colombia, Indonesia, with pilot projects in Kenya, Pakistan and Myanmar. The project was delivered through three distinct strands: conflict prevention, humanitarian response, and learning.

LPRR knowledge co-development paper

Co-production is a process through which partners draw upon their own learning to feed into a collective knowledge creation process. It fits well within international development, humanitarian and resilience-building processes, where the multi-partner nature of many current projects ensures there is a multiplicity of perspectives that can be drawn upon. It can also be democratic – where all forms of knowledge are valued – and so create ownership; work to find a balance between theory and practice and strengthen (and build) technical capacity and process Co-production was explicitly employed in the Linking Preparedness, Resilience and Response (LPRR) project, part of the DFID funded Disasters and Emergencies, Preparedness Programme (DEPP). It explored how humanitarian response can be strengthened to enable (and not undermine) long term community resilience building. Christian Aid (CA) led the project with seven consortium partners – World Vision, Action Aid, Help Age International, Concern, Oxfam and Muslim Aid. The project collaborated with King's College London (KCL) who led the research function. The purpose of this practice paper is three-fold: To explore the learning environment amongst consortium partners i.e. group learning and the tools and processes employed to facilitate this To detail the challenges and enablers of an implementing NGOs, Christian Aid and other consortium partners, co-producing knowledge with an academic institute, KCL; and To assess how the project helped to build capacity amongst relevant agencies – including in-country partners.

LPRR: Empowering communities to lead humanitarian response

The DFID DEPP funded LPRR consortium is led by Christian Aid and includes Action Aid, Concern Worldwide, Help Age, King’s College London, Muslim Aid, Oxfam, Saferworld and World Vision. It aims to increase preparedness and resilience capacity in conflict and response settings. As part of the project, King’s College London University designed and implemented a study in Bangladesh, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Indonesia, Kenya, Pakistan and the Philippines. It was one of the rare approaches which specifically asked 327 crises survivors and first responders from past humanitarian emergencies to draw upon their own experience and expertise to guide improved humanitarian response programming for long term resilience.

Out of the Frying Pan, Into the Fire (Part 2)

A debilitating drought may bring riots and social unrest in one country, but in a neighbouring country, the same problem may be dealt with by citizen mobilisation towards collective action solutions. To a large extent, governance capacity and community resilience explains the nature and structure of the response. In this report, three case studies – from Angola, Mali, and Honduras – of actual responses to climate change and conflict are presented.

Challenges in the Sahel: Implications for peace and development

A ‘perfect storm’ - an extraordinary combination of poverty, violent conflict, corruption, criminality, and climate change - is blowing over Mali and across the Sahel. Within this storm, some unusual actors have emerged. Politicians are known to be corrupt but still get elected and smugglers are criminalised by authorities but are also the only providers of employment in disintegrating local economies. This report is part of a series that Christian Aid is producing to understand what ought to be done differently in tackling violence and building peace.