Peacebuilding programming and policy is based on assumptions about how development interventions can contribute to peace, but little research has been done to rigorously test these theories of change. From October 22-26, IPA and J-PAL staff participated in and presented at the Alliance for Peacebuilding's Annual Conference and Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) Solutions Forum in Washington, DC in order to engage practitioners and policymakers in thinking about how to produce and use evidence for peace.
On October 22, IPA Peace & Recovery Program Director Sebastian Chaskel participated in a panel on impact evaluations and randomized controlled trials (RCTs). His presentation, titled "Seriously?: RCTs' Role in Peacebuilding," explored how randomized evaluations can help M&E practitioners measure the impact of their programs.
On October 26, Sebastian Chaskel, J-PAL Senior Policy Associate Aprille Knox, IPA Senior Program Associate Nessa Kenny, and Mercy Corps' Director of Evidence and Influence Rebecca Wolfe presented a session titled "Impact Evaluations in Peacebuilding: The What, Why, and How." The session explored how impact evaluations can be used by program implementers and policymakers to better understand what kinds of interventions contribute—and how they contribute—to sustainable peace. To do this, the presenters outlined how impact evaluations build the evidence base for programming; highlighted how program implementing organizations can produce and use evidence in their work; and walked participants through the process of designing, running, and learning from an impact evaluation.