Key Themes From Evidence-based Practice Digital Workshop

peacebuilding requires learning, communication, standards, and transparency

Findings from the recent global study and report from One Earth Future and the Alliance for Peacebuilding was at the center of a digital workshop event on May 14th that was hosted in partnership with the Better Evidence Project at George Mason University.

More than 400 people registered for a review of the key findings of the OEF/AfP report on the evidence base in peacebuilding, and an in-depth discussion of the implications and next steps for the field in promoting evidence-based practice. 

See below for some of the main takeaways and conclusions of the discussion.

Breakout Group 1:

Women, Peace and Security and Evidence: How to Encourage Attention to the Evidence-based Role of Women in Peacebuilding

  • Move beyond only gathering evidence and towards practice. The key is to get the broader public to engage with what the evidence tells us through unified messaging and integration into practice.
  • Create a unified strategic communications effort across stakeholders, including integrating the voices of local women. 

Breakout Group 2:

Developing a Foundation of Evidence-based Approaches: How to Collate and Communicate the Findings Where the Field Sees Evidence

  • Need a standard set of methods. The field should create a standard set of methods that can be replicated across many different contexts.
  • Focus on identifying underlying issues. Analysis should focus on unusual or outlying patterns within data to define the reasons for conflict. Categorizing why--or why not--an event has occurred is essential.
  • Emphasis on improving translation and accessiblity of data through ADA compliance. Make sure all materials (evidence, data, texts, videos, etc.) are accessible in an online format.
  • Using a system-based approach. Our work is a process, and not a prescription.

Breakout Group 3:

Promoting Evidence-based Approaches in the US Government: How to Better Engage Government Policy and Practice in the Discussion

  • USG must increase its demand for evidence-based programming. Organizations should incorporate evidence at the strategy/design phase and donors must provide funding to strengthen implementers' MEL capacities.
  • Policymakers have a role to play in supporting internal restructuring and reorientating of their institutions to support evidence-based practice.
  • More access points are needed to enable peacebuilders outside of government to communicate evidence (of what works and what does not) and its value to USG actors.

Breakout Group 4:

Rigor, Not Methods: How to Discuss Rigor in Evidence Without Devolving to a Methods Debate

  • Quality over rigor. We need to determine the preferred way to express the concept of 'rigor."
  • Exploring options for standardized checklists or frameworks for assessment of qualitative evidence. In the interest of comparing research, checklists can strenthen assessment and build bridges across organizations.
  • Maximally transparent documentation of research is essential. A key goal should be recording difficulties, challenges, and failures of methods to inform future efforts.

Breakout Group 5:

Next Steps for Peacemaking Evidence: How to Improve Evidence in Peacemaking

  • Learning from failure + reflective practice. It is hard to accept that a project may not have had the results we wanted, but if we acknowledge the failure, reflect on it, and share that learning, we improve our evidence base.
  • Collective impact. We need a way to look at evidence of collective impact in peacemaking. No single initiative is likely to have a great impact in isolation, but collectively many efforts build overall peace. Deep case studies would contribute to building evidence of the shared impact of collective efforts.

Click Here to Download the Key Takeaways as a PDF

Watch the Full Digital Workshop:

Download the Report:

Some Credible Evidence: Perceptions About the Evidence Base in the Peacebuilding Field.

  • Getting to Peace Using Open Source Data

    The world is complex enough when everyone is operating with the same set of underlying facts on any given topic. When those facts are hidden or manipulated, overcoming intractable conflict becomes nearly impossible. Sharing open source data among adversarial governments, within governments, and between “Third Siders” and conflict parties gives us a greater chance than ever before to manage complexity and get to peace. Read More
  • ONN Director Laura Rockwood at European Parliament's Korea Delegation Meeting

    On 1 July 2021, Open Nuclear Network (ONN) Director Laura Rockwood participated in a meeting organised by the Delegation for Relations with the Korean Peninsula (DKOR) of the European Parliament. The discussions focused on prospects for denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula and recent relevant developments. Read More
  • networked coordination an effective approach to peacebuilding

    Using Coordination as a Key to Peacebuilding

    The challenges of peacebuilding involve maximizing the contribution of multiple technical experts in an often quickly changing environment, and one where participants may not always trust all other participants or where they may be concerned about maintaining their individual authority to make decisions. OEF's Conor Seyle shares how a coordinated approach to peacebuilding can be most effective in these conditions. Read More
  • Chadian president Idriss Deby killed

    Risk of Instability on the Rise for Chad and the Sahel Region

    Following the announcement by the Chadian government on April 20 that president Adriss Deby had died after 30 years in power, OEF analyst Matthew Frank breaks down the poltical situation in Chad and discusses what OEF's CoupCast data shows about the risk for further instability in the country and throughout the greater Sahel region. Read More
  • the important of using evidence to make decisions in peacebuilding

    How Do We Get to an Earth Without War?

    OEF's Executive Director and Chief Operating Office, Jon Bellish talks about OEF's commitment to Relentless Empiricism as core to its belief in and support of iterative problem-solving and careful, analytical design. He discusses how OEF relies on evidence to cut through complexities in order to solve concrete problems at the root of armed conflict, and bring new, collaborative forms of governance into being in its place. Read More
  • Stable Seas program leaving One Earth Future

    Farewell to Stable Seas | A Tribute: Five Years of Sustained Impact To Date

    OEF’s Stable Seas program will close at the end of April. In line with our approach to incubation, it will spin off to become an independent foundation, maintaining its focus on maritime security and continuing to work with stakeholders in the maritime sector around the world. Over its five years at One Earth Future, Stable Seas has constantly iterated and grown its impact on issues relating to maritime security, collective approaches to sustainable peace, and evidence-based practice in peacebuilding. Read More