The gender approach: work for peace and the fight against discrimination
September 30, 2017
Peacebuilding & Conflict Transformation: Games & Methods for Facilitating Training Courses
October 2, 2017

Building Peace: Our Work for Change

Introduction

Impact or outcome orientation, impact monitoring has more or less become an obligation for partner organizations that are funded by development systems in Africa and elsewhere. On the one hand, we can only rejoice that we are emerging from a logic in which the description of activities and the enumeration of quantized data dominates a report often devoid of any meaning. A priori all actors should want to know if their work is useful and contributes to changes and, where necessary, to reorient their efforts. On the other hand, the fact that the initiative came from donors and not local actors that are part of the social transformation is deplorable. However, it is more difficult than expected to set up monitoring systems in which the effects and changes that can be made are identified. It is important to avoid that these systems become so heavy that they consume much of the energy of those who work in the field. In the field of peace work and societal change in general it is even more complex than in projects and programs focused on technology. The first publication of this series “Building Peace”, which we had named “Demystifying Impact”, is exhausted in paper form because it has found many readers in the various African networks. Instead of reprinting it, we decided to come together with our colleagues from Eirene and AGEH to share experiences from each other, local partners, support professionals, consultants and managers in the parent companies have with this important and thorny task of the orientation towards the impact. We are all of the opinion that we can only advance if all the actors involved appropriate the approaches and techniques and adapt them to their concrete situations. It is also important to remember that in principle we all work together for common goals, that everyone plays his part and plays his part. In everyday life, it is easy to lose sight of the content of what we want to succeed and to lose ourselves in mechanisms, tools and techniques, or worse, to reduce everything to the demands of the funding systems to which we are all indebted one way or another. So it seems to us essential to approach orientation to impacts or results as a learning process where we are all learners who strive for a more useful and effective cooperation for those whom it should concern and touch in the first place: the populations in the countries and zones where we are active. We have put together a number of perspectives on outcome orientation (including products, effects and impacts, also referred to as impact orientation): Stefan Willmutz, Günter Schönegg, Hedwig Schlags, Flaubert Djateng and Christiane Kayser ask the questions and deliver the experiments within the different organizations and networks of Bread for the World, AGEH and Eirene. We have taken up field perspectives from organizations in Burundi and Kenya published by the journal “Impulse” of FriEnt. Experiences from partner organizations of the DRCongo (CRAFOD and SADRI), the Sahel, and Cameroon enrich the debate. In the case of the Zenü Network of Cameroon we have come across the point of view of a consultant accompanying the work from an outside perspective with that of the head of the organization. In the appendix we present an article on the links between education, change and peacebuilding by Professor Lynn Davies, who discusses the basic concepts of change. Many of the fundamental questions that challenge our practices raise an in-depth re- sponse that should help us create new ways of doing things. This article appears for the first time in french.

We hope that this publication will help to ensure that the various actors, in particular the practitioners, find effective and pragmatic solutions to better appreciate their work and to identify the changes to which they are contributing and thus better direct their work towards constructive change in the the field of peace.

 

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Flaubert Djateng et Christiane Kayser, noyau d’accompagnement SCP pour l’Afrique de Pain pour le Monde –Service protestant de Développement Günter Schönegg, consultant SCP Eirene Stefan Willmutz, conseiller SCP AGEH

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