Many approaches and tools for Peace and Conflict Impact Assessment (PCIA) have since been developed by different organisations. While the objectives have remained largely the same, the approaches differ and are not necessarily based on the original concept. The ‘Aid for Peace’ approach comprises a set of unified and inclusive methodologies and a sequence of steps that are flexible and can be used by a broad range of actors for varying peacebuilding and development interventions at different levels (project, programme and policy).
There are four key steps to the approach (Paffenholz, 2005):
- Analysis of the peacebuilding needs of a given country or area
- Defining/Assessing/Evaluating the peacebuilding relevance of an intervention
- Assessing the conflict risks for an interventions (effects of the conflict on the intervention)
- Anticipating/Assessing/Evaluating the conflict and peacebuilding effects of an intervention (elaborating or assessing result-chains and indicators)
The basic model differs from the PCIA of Bush (1998) by focusing on the peacebuilding needs in a specific context and tailoring planned or existing policy, programme or project objectives to those needs. The model builds on PCIA in terms of developing conflict and peace result-chains and indicators for impact assessment of a particular intervention on conflict and peace environments (Paffenholz, 2005).
Benefits of Aid for Peace include: examining the needs of the local context as a starting point; a two-way assessment (similar to PCIA) of how conflict affects an intervention and how an intervention impacts on the environment; and flexibility.
Potential barriers to the successful implementation of Aid for Peace include issues with local resonance. Ahmed (2011) argues that the PCIA and Aid for Peace approaches propose procedures that cater more to the needs of international development agencies, without explicit mention of developing peace and conflict sensitive implementation plans in consultation with local partner organisations.
Paffenholz, T. (2005). Third-generation PCIA: introducing the Aid for Peace approach. Berlin: Berghof Research Centre for Constructive Conflict Management.
The Aid for Peace approach is a multi-purpose and multi-level process that facilitates the planning, assessment and evaluation of peace as well as aid interventions in conflict situations. By breaking down the either/or decisions that dominated previous phases of the PCIA debate, the approach is useful to interventions with different purposes and on different levels.
See full text
Paffenholz, T. & Reychler, L. (2007). Planning and evaluating development and humanitarian interventions in conflict zones, Part 3 in Aid for Peace: A Guide to Planning and Evaluation for Conflict Zones (pp 71-127). Baden-Baden, Germany: Nomos.
This study provides a guide to planning development and humanitarian interventions in conflict zones. It suggests that while peace and conflict sensitivity has been mainstreamed as a topic of discussion, the international community has not yet arrived at an automatic, systematic peace and conflict sensitive aid policy and operational implementation. There needs to be a systematic link between the analysis of the conflict and peacebuilding environment and the implementation of interventions. The theory of conflict transformation should combine with professional operational requirements for programme planning.
See document summary
- Ahmed, Z. S. (2011). Peace and conflict impact assessment (PCIA): Lessons from Pakistan. Peace and Conflict Review, 5(2), 12-27. See document online
- Bush, K. (1998). A Measure of peace: peace and conflict impact assessment (PCIA) of development projects in conflict zones (Working Paper 1). Ottawa: International Development Research Centre. See document online