Evaluating Impacts of Peacebuilding Interventions

This guide, written by Diana Chigas, Madeline Church and Vanessa Corlazzoli for the UK Department for International Development (DFID) is aimed at supporting staff: understand the challenges and opportunities that may be faced when evaluating the impact of programs designed to build peace in conflict settings; to ensure evaluations are designed in a conflict sensitive and robust manner.


"DfID’s 2009 Peacebuilding and Statebuilding Framework outlined an integrated approach with statebuilding and peacebuilding at the centre of its work in fragile and conflict--‐affected countries (FCAS). The framework centres on addressing the causes and effects of conflict and fragility, and building conflict resolution mechanisms, along with supporting inclusive political settlements and processes, developing core state functions and responding to public expectations. In 2012 DfID reaffirmed this strategy, noting the ‘wide recognition that poverty reduction can only be achieved if we address conflict and fragility through a peacebuilding and statebuilding approach’ and calling for all interventions in FCAS to contribute to tackling conflict and fragility.

In this context, it is critical to understand whether, how and why interventions in FCAS have contributed to addressing drivers of conflict and fragility. Yet as the same How To Note on Results in Fragile and Conflict--‐Affected States and Situations underlines, there is relatively little evidence of the peacebuilding impacts of DfID’s engagement in these situations, and there are serious challenges to evaluating them. Evidence of what has worked, what has not worked, and why is needed to improve country strategies, intervention design and implementation and to fulfil responsibilities of accountability to participants in programmes, host governments and UK taxpayers." (Chigas, Church and Corlazzoli, 2014)


  • Understanding Impact Evaluation in Peacebuilding Contexts 2
  • Key Design Considerations for Evaluating Impact of Peacebuilding Interventions 7
  • Identifying causes and assessing attribution and contribution: Choosing an appropriate evaluation approach 20
  • Experimental and quasi-experimental designs: variable-based approaches 23
  • Theory-based and case-based designs: Mechanism-based approaches 31
  • Participatory Approaches 38
  • Annexes 45


Chigas, D. Church, M. and Corlazzoli, V. (2014). Evaluating Impacts of Peacebuilding Interventions, DFID. Retrieved from: http://www.saferworld.org.uk/resources/view-resource/819-evaluating-impacts-of-peacebuilding-interventions