Wicked Problems: Peacebuilding Evaluation Ethics, Determining What is Good and Right

August 2016 | Reina C. Neufeldt

Citation and Acknowledgments

Neufeldt, Reina C. “Wicked Problems: Peacebuilding Evaluation Ethics, Determining What is Good and Right.” The Peacebuilding Evaluation Consortium, 2016.

Author’s Note: Thank you to Diana Chigas and Colleen Duggan for insightful comments, careful reading and thoughtful engagement in our discussions of ethics in peacebuilding evaluation; thanks also to the larger PEC advisory board for actively wrestling with questions of what constitutes good in peacebuilding in an ongoing way. Finally, thanks to Brian Adienge and Sarah McLaughlin at the Alliance for Peacebuilding for their editing work and to Jasmine Walovitch at CDA Collaborative Learning Projects for the final layout of the document.

M&E Thursday Talk - You Did What??? Exploring Peacebuilding Evaluation Ethics

Join DME for Peace on Thursday, March 9th at 10:00am EST as Reina Neufeldt and Mark Rogers host the M&E Thursday Talks to lead a discussion on “You Did What??? Exploring Peacebuilding Evaluation Ethics” (link is external)

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER NOW (link is external)

This Thursday Talk will feature Reina Neufeldt and Mark Rogers exploring questions of ethics in peacebuilding evaluation. The format will combine a presentation on how to think about ethics and peacebuilding evaluation with stories about challenging ethical moments during evaluations in order to draw out some of the moral challenges that arise and possible responses. Neufeldt and Rogers will explore what is considered good and right peacebuilding at the outset of an evaluation, as well as who decides what’s good and right, and elements related to the process of conducting an evaluation. The presentation will draw on a new brief Neufeldt produced for the Peacebuilding Evaluation Consortium Wicked Problems series, titled “Peacebuilding Evaluation Ethics: Determining What is Good and Right.”

We hope that you will join us for a riveting discussion!

The Peacebuilding Evaluation Consortium

The Peacebuilding Evaluation Consortium (PEC) is a project of Alliance for Peacebuilding (AfP) in partnership with CDA Collaborative Learning Projects, Mercy Corps and Search for Common Ground (SFCG). The project is funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York (CCNY) and is field-wide effort to address the unique challenges to measuring and learning from peacebuilding programs. The PEC convenes donors, scholars, policymakers, local and international practitioners, and evaluation experts in an unprecedented open dialogue, exchange, and joint learning. It seeks to address the root causes of weak evaluation practices and disincentives for better learning by fostering field-wide change through three strategic and reinforcing initiatives:

  1. Developing Methodological Rigor;
  2. Improving the Culture of Evaluation and Shared Learning; and
  3. Fostering the Use of Evidence to Inform Peacebuilding Policy.
About the Author

Dr. Reina Neufeldt is an Assistant Professor in the Peace and Conflict Studies Program at Conrad Grebel University College, University of Waterloo. She has engaged in program design, monitoring, evaluation and learning in peacebuilding and conflict resolution for over fifteen years. Her publications in monitoring and evaluation include “Frameworkers” and “Circlers” – Exploring Assumptions in Impact Assessment’ (Advancing Conflict Transformation: The Berghof Handbook II , 2011), “Interfaith dialogue: assessing theories of change” (Peace and Change , 36, 2011), as well as the co-authored Reflective Peacebuilding: A Planning, Monitoring and Learning Toolkit  (CRS and the Kroc Institute, 2007) and “Building blocks for peacebuilding impact evaluation” (Journal of Peacebuilding and Development , 2, 2005). Her recent book Ethics for Peacebuilders: A Practical Guide  (Rowman & Littlefield, 2016) provides a more careful exploration of ethics and peacebuilding for practitioners.

Reina has an MA in Social Psychology (York University) and a PhD in International Relations (American University); she is trained in both qualitative and quantitative research methods. Reina’s current research focuses on field learning and explores the role of reflective practice in improved peacebuilding. She is also a member of the PEC Advisory Board.

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