Evaluating Peace Mediation

TitelEvaluating Peace Mediation
Typ der PublikationBook
Untertitel / SerientitelProposal of a General Framework for Evaluating International Mediation Activities
AutorInnenLanz, D, Wählisch, M, Kirchhoff, L, Siegfried, M
Anzahl Seiten22 pp.
VerlagInitiative for Peacebuilding (IfP); the paper was written by swisspeace in cooperation with the Center for Peace Mediation of the European University Viadrina

Contemporary peace mediation is a crowded and increasingly competitive field currently lacking established accountability mechanisms. The present paper proposes a general framework for evaluating international mediation activities. Its main purpose is to provide a tool for observers, donors and desk officers to achieve better quality control of mediation processes, while also facilitating critical reflection and lessons learnt among mediators.Peace mediation takes place in extremely complex contexts and its contributions are multi-faceted and difficult to grasp. The first section of the paper discusses a range of dilemmas associated with the evaluation of peace mediation. For example, it is impossible to pin down the quantifiable results of mediation activities, particularly given their vastly differing objectives and scope. Furthermore, evaluation can be problematic insofar as it may restrain the flexibility of mediators and call into question the confidentiality of mediation processes.Therefore, the evaluation framework proposed in this paper is different from standard evaluation methodologies. It does not assess gaps between what "ought to be" and what "is". Instead, the framework proposes a series of open and non-suggestive evaluation questions that allow for a systematic but flexible assessment of different aspects of peace mediation. These questions differentiate between the power-based, interest-based and transformative focus of mediation, and they are structured according to the evaluation criteria put forward in a recent Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) report on evaluating peacebuilding and conflict prevention projects (2008):- Relevance. How did the mediation process relate to the broader conflict context?- Effectiveness and impact. What were the direct and indirect, intended and unintended, positive and negative effects of mediation processes?- Sustainability. To what extent did the benefits of mediation processes continue after their termination?- Efficiency. How did the costs of mediation processes relate to their benefits?- Coherence and coordination and linkages. What were the links between a mediation process and other conflict management activities within a conflict setting?- Coverage. How did a mediation process include (or exclude) the most relevant stakeholders, issues and regions?- Consistency with values. Was the mediation process consistent with the values of mediators and the international community, for example with respect to confidentiality, human rights or the impartiality of mediators?The paper concludes by emphasising the role of the EU in peace mediation and in promoting the accountability and quality control of mediators. In this regard, the paper formulates a series of recommendations:- The EU should contribute to refining a framework for evaluating peace mediation within the OECD or other collaborative fora.- The EU should envisage carrying out a small number of pilot evaluations of past mediation activities based on the framework proposed in this paper.- The EU should consider convening seminars with a wide variety of mediation actors to discuss challenges and lessons learnt pertaining to the evaluation of mediation activities. The paper can be downloaded from IfP's website (see link below).

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