Evaluating Peacebuilding Activities in Settings of Conflict and Fragility

This guide from the OECD is aimed at improving program design, management and evaluation in areas of conflict and fragility. Evaluations conducted in this area have demonstrated weaknesses in terms of program design, effectiveness and management which this guide seeks to address.  Furthermore, due to the lack of, or weakness in evaluations conducted in conflict and fragile environments, there has been a lack of learning and accountability making it difficult to describe understandings that can be applied to other contexts.


"This guidance aims to help improve programme design and management and strengthen the use of evaluation in order to enhance the quality of conflict prevention and peacebuilding work. It seeks to guide policy makers and country partners, field and programme officers, evaluators and other stakeholders engaged in settings of conflict and fragility by supporting a better, shared understanding of the role and utility of evaluations, outlining key dimensions of planning for them, setting them up, and carrying them out.

This guidance is to be used for assessing activities (policies, programmes, strategies or projects) in settings of violent conflict or state fragility, such as peacebuilding and conflict prevention work and development and humanitarian activities that may or may not have specific peace-related objectives. This encompasses the work of local, national, regional and non-governmental actors, in addition to development co-operation activities. The central principles and concepts in this guidance, including conflict sensitivity and the importance of understanding and testing underlying theories about what is being done and why, are applicable to a range of actors." (OECD, 2012)


  • Chapter 1. Conceptual background and the need for improved approaches in situations of conflict and fragility 21
  • Chapter 2. Addressing challenges of evaluation in situations of conflict and fragility 31
  • Chapter 3. Preparing an evaluation in situations of conflict and fragility 39
  • Chapter 4. Conducting an evaluation in situations of conflict and fragility 57
  • Annex A. Conflict analysis and its use in evaluation 77
  • Annex B. Understanding and evaluating theories of change 80
  • Annex C. Sample terms of reference for a conflict evaluation 87


OECD (2012), Evaluating Peacebuilding Activities in Settings of Conflict and Fragility: Improving Learning for Results, DAC Guidelines and References Series, OECD Publishing. Retrieved from: http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264106802-en

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