Ecorys evaluates MISEREOR’s international Peacebuilding and Civil Conflict Management activities

Client: MISEREOR | Sectors: Security and Justice

MISEREOR, the German Catholic Bishops’ Organisation for Development Cooperation, is an aid organisation dedicated to fighting poverty and upholding human rights across the globe. MISEREOR has entrusted Ecorys with the evaluation of their funding activities of projects related to Peacebuilding and Civil Conflict Management. This particular funding area spans 198 projects with a financial scope of 55 Million Euros. The projects in question are implemented in 54 countries, predominantly in Africa and the Middle East (83), as well as Latin America (71). Another 44 projects are implemented in Asia. 

For these projects to yield the largest possible results, MISEREOR cooperates with different partner organisations in 54 countries. These partners range from secular to faith-based and church-related organisations to civil society organisations. MISEREOR-funded interventions most commonly included the strengthening of social cohesion in communities, information- and awareness campaigns, peacebuilding and the prevention of violence in targeted areas. 
 
The evaluation intended to acquire insights into the area of peacebuilding retrospectively and simultaneously guide future projects. For future endeavours, the evaluation produced lessons learned and formulated best practice examples from the 198 projects. 
 
The evaluation followed a theory-based approach, which meant that the evaluation team reconstructed a Theory of Change based on two key characteristics of MISEREOR’s funding scheme for peacebuilding projects. The first characteristic relates to ten types of intervention approaches included in the projects – ranging from trauma healing to conflict mediation. The second characteristic relates to the level at which interventions are implemented, spanning from the individual or local level to the international level. The Theory of Change was used to assess the relevance, effectiveness, impact, efficiency and sustainability of the interventions supported by MISEREOR.
 
The evaluation team found support for an impressive number and large variety of outputs related to various types of interventions implemented at different levels. The MISEREOR-funded peacebuilding interventions address important needs of people confronted with violence and living in fragile and conflict-affected situations. Most projects were successful in the sense that most outputs were achieved while the evaluation team also found many indications that the projects supported by MISEREOR contributed to planned outcomes. 

Especially on individual and community levels, strengthened communities, successful conflict mediation, and improved social cohesion could be attributed to interventions supported by MISEREOR. However, results on a subnational and national level were difficult to capture since these results often go beyond the scope of individual projects funded by MISEREOR. Based on the findings from the evaluation, the evaluation team formulated six recommendations to further enhance the impact of the interventions held. These include, among others, the creation of more holistic partnerships with regional cooperation partners ideally spanning more than one project and the joint formulation of strategies with the partner organisations on the ground to build a shared vision of the project and future developments.

Key Experts

Alexandra Rimpler-Schmid Senior Consultant Thijs Viertelhauzen Senior Consultant