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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

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. 

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.