Evaluation of Child and Youth Participation in Peacebuilding

Michael McGill, Claire O’Kane, Bibhuti Bista, Nicolas Meslaoui and Sarah Zingg
Global Partnership for Children and Youth in Peacebuilding
Publication Year:
April 28, 2020
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Executive Summary

The Global Partnership for Children and Youth in Peacebuilding, launched in 2012, seeks to improve child and youth peacebuilding (CYP) practices, and to impact and strengthen the evidence base supporting CYP and related best practices. In July 2014, the Global Partnership initiated a multi-agency, multicountry, multi-donor (3M) evaluation in Colombia, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Nepal to 1) Map who is doing what and where to support CYP, 2) Nurture durable partnerships increasing CYP quantity, quality, and impact 3) With children and youth, assess the quality and impact of child and youth participation in peacebuilding and variables influencing CYP impact; 4) Build the capacity of children and youth to meaningfully participate in CYP evaluations; and 5) Present key findings and recommendations to stakeholders to help increase the quantity, quality and impact of CYP work. The 3M evaluation was overseen by a Global Steering Team consisting of representatives from World Vision International, Save the Children Norway, United Network of Young Peacebuilders (UNOY Peacebuilders), Search for Common Ground (SFCG) and Peace Action Training and Research Institute of Romania (PATRIR). Two Global Evaluators worked with the Global Steering Team to design the evaluation methodology and to encourage the formation of Country Partnerships. The evaluation methodology supported a participatory evaluation process involving children, youth, and adults as evaluators in Local Evaluation Teams (LETs). The evaluation was primarily qualitative. A multi-method approach was applied, including focus group discussions (FGDs), using participatory evaluation tools with different age groups, online mapping, interviews, drawing, stories, and analysis of available secondary data. In particular, visual participatory evaluation tools including a Timeline, a before and after Body Map, and other tools were applied. In Colombia, DRC and Nepal Country Partnerships for Children and Youth in Peacebuilding were established involving: 5 agencies in Colombia; 3 agencies in the DRC; and 6 agencies in Nepal. In each country a Country Evaluator was recruited, and 3-4 LETs were formed in key locations. Global Evaluators 10 Evaluation of Child and Youth Participation in Peacebuilding supported a National Capacity Building Workshop for LET members and the Country Evaluator in each country to enhance their knowledge, values, and skills to undertake the participatory evaluation. Ethical guidelines were introduced and their application was encouraged through ongoing communication among concerned stakeholders. The Country Evaluators mentored the LET members to support meaningful participation of children and youth as evaluators, advisers, respondents, documenters, and analysts. Lessons learned concerning factors that enabled or hindered meaningful participation have been documented to inform future practice.




During the evaluation, the definition of peacebuilding used was, peacebuilding is work to prevent, stop, or heal the occurrence of any form of violence. Peacebuilding includes reconciliation, non-violence, or conflicttransformation efforts preventing or limiting violence. The definition recognised the different types of violence: direct, cultural, and structural violence described by Galtung (1969), which are inter-related. In Colombia, 10 CYP initiatives were evaluated which pro-actively engaged children and youth as peacebuilders. In the DRC, 18 organisations were evaluated which involved children and youth in peacebuilding activities. Some of these organizations had not planned to involve children and/or youth in peacebuilding, thus, young people were included incidentally rather than intentionally. In Nepal, peacebuilding activities undertaken by 17 child clubs and 17 youth clubs were evaluated.


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