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Self Assessment

Chapter 3 in "Conflict Assessment and Peacebuilding Planning"
by

Lisa Schirch

on 15 May 2014

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Transcript of Self Assessment

Chapter 3 in "Conflict Assessment & Peacebuilding Planning"
Self Assessment
Reflective Peacebuilding
Self Assessment
Good intent does not always lead to good impacts.
Pointing Fingers
Some groups carrying out conflict assessments examine the problems and capacities of others without looking inward at their own contributions to the conflict or their own lack of capacity
To determine what we can or cannot do given our identity and our resources
To understand our bias and tendency to group think
To assess how others view us and our interests
To identify what can we do differently that might influence our own role in the conflict?"
in addition to asking "What can we do to change them?"
It is an ongoing process, before research begins on conflict assessment, again before planning peacebuilding efforts, and then again during monitoring and evaluation.

Helps identify and prioritize the best match of your resources, capacities and networks to local context.

Creates an opportunity for you to reflect on whether you may cause more harm than good, despite your best intentions.
INTENT
IMPACT
Methods
Questionnaires
Focus groups
Interviews with community
Desk review of reports
WHERE
What is your access to the area?
How much do you know about the context in terms of language, culture, religion, etc?
Do you know what you don't know?
Where will you begin your research? Where will you locate your office and buy supplies? How will others perceive your choices?
WHO
Who do you already have relationships with in the context?
Who will you talk to first?
Who will conduct the interviews?
How will others perceive your identity?
Who might benefit or feel threatened by your research?
WHAT
What are your resources and sources of power, such as language capacity, technical expertise, deep understanding of local context, wide social network, or financial resources?
How is your organization different and unique from others?
What partnerships does your organization have with other peacebuilding efforts in the region?
WHY
What are your motives?
What do other people perceive as your motives?
What have you done to communicate your motives to others?
WHEN
What are the time restrictions on your research?
What is your organization's capacity for crisis response or to adapt your plans to windows of opportunity?
What is the timeframe for your intervention?
SWOT Analysis
What are your organizations:
Strengths
Weaknesses
Opportunities
Threats
Insiders and Outsiders
Insiders
Every insider is also an outsider to other local groups.

Insiders can be biased and are not perfect.

Some insiders act as gatekeepers to their own contexts to decide who they let in. This can be positive or negative.

Insiders are already conducting conflict assessments
Outsiders
Always consider there may be no role for outsiders.

Map lack of capacity in terms of culture, language, religion.

Many come from countries that practiced colonialism and may subtly or not so subtly reveal these attitudes toward insiders
Imposing Western values
Being insensitive to local cultures
Showing arrogance and "we know it all" or "we know what is good for you"
Humiliating or denigrating the capacities of insiders
Patronising insiders with false consultation when decisions have already been made
Blindness to seeing the role of their own countries in driving local conflict
Focusing on quick-fix solutions rather than historical roots of conflict
Lacking accountability to local people and just leaving if a crisis emerges
Insiders report that in partnerships with outsiders, insiders feel that outsiders are:
Insider-Outsider Partnerships
Capacity mapping of all partners to find complementary skills and resources

Set up grievance resolution forums

Work together from assessment to planning to monitoring & evaluation

Understand perceptions of partnership

Educate others about the purpose and nature of the partnership
Sometimes peacebuilding efforts don't work at all, or are counterproductive. A lack of self-assessment is often part of the problem.
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