Rethinking rigour to embrace complexity in peacebuilding evaluation

This 2024 open-access journal article presents the inclusive rigour framework and applies it to three cases of peace-building evaluation.

The field of peacebuilding evaluation has evolved over time in response to the complex nature of peace efforts. However, it still predominantly relies on evaluation models that aim to measure discrete peace outcomes adhering to rigid notions of rigour. The inclusive rigour framework presented in this article responds to this challenge, adding to complexity-aware and epistemologically plural approaches to build credible causal explanations in conditions of uncertainty. It identifies three interconnected domains of evaluation design and practice: effective methodological bricolage, meaningful participation and inclusion, utilisation and impact. Rigour here is not defined by methodological choice alone, but rather, relies on an active view of evolving methodological choices throughout an iterative process as maximum use value and meaningful participation are sought. Using three cases, we highlight the critical role of partnership arrangements and associated evaluation cultures and mindsets underpinned by power dynamics that enable or hinder the practice of inclusive rigour.


Apgar, M., Bradburn, H., Rohrbach, L., Wingender, L., Cubillos Rodriguez, E., Baez-Silva Arias, A., Dioma, A., Fairey, T., Gray, S., Alak, A.C.D. & Deprez, S. (2024). Rethinking rigour to embrace complexity in peacebuilding evaluation. Evaluation, 0(0).

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