External review of the peace, conflict and development (PCD) program

This report, written by Reychler, Scharbatke-Church and Thomas with support by Clegg and Heilman for the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), evaluates the effectiveness of the Peace, Conflict and Development (PCD) program.

Using the PCD team's self evaluation, the external review team were able to question, critically reflect on, and ultimately judge the program’s performance.


"Throughout the process the Panel found itself reflecting on the strengths and weaknesses of the new approach. The addition of a self-evaluation component was a notable improvement to previous evaluation process, though there is room for improvement in the implementation. The PCD team considered it a valuable and motivating experience. The panel agrees that the involvement of the team in critical reflection is a key component to learning as it shifts the evaluation process to one that is done with the team, rather than ‘to’ the team. The ‘cross-check’ of this self-reflection by an external panel also supports learning, such as questioning assumptions, and accountability where information is checked by independent sources and thus is a key component to the process. The panel feels that there would be value in further reflection by the Evaluation Unit on the amount of time a panel would need to achieve a stronger balance between independently judging the program’s performance and verifying the content of the program’s final report for evidence and reasonableness." (Reychler, Scharbatke-Church and Thomas, 2010)


  • Introduction  1
    • Approach and Methodology 2
    • Limitations2
  • Quality of Research Publications 3
  • Outcomes 4
    • Security and Insecurity; Violence, Trauma Justice and Reconciliation; Addressing Gender 5
    • Addressing Gender Gaps: Claim #3 7
    • Building Local Ownership 7
    • Capacity Building 8
  • Appropriateness of Prospectus Implementation 10
    • Review of PCD’s Strategic Lessons 11
  • Key Issues for IDRC’s Board of Governors 13
  • Conclusion 14
  • Annex 1: Description of Methodology16
  • Annex 2: Definitions of key terms 19
  • Annex 3: List of Projects Reviewed 22
  • Annex 4: Documents Reviewed 24
  • Annex 5: Key Informants 29
  • Annex 6: Interview Protocols for Key Informants 33
  • Annex 7: Survey Design and Distribution 38
  • Annex 8: Research Quality Detail: Merit & Significance 41
  • Annex 9: Citation Research43
  • Annex 10: Panel Biographies 46


Reychler, L. Scharbatke-Church, C. and Thomas, P. (2010). External Review of the Peace, Conflict and  Development (PCD) Program. International Development Research Centre’s (IDRC). Retrieved from: https://idl-bnc-idrc.dspacedirect.org/handle/10625/44776