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Peace and Conflict Impact Assessment (PCIA)

Peacebuild is a member-based network of Canadian non-governmental organizations and individuals actively involved in peacebuilding practice and policy development. Peacebuild has obtained a small grant from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) for the project. ‘Assessing Impacts of Peace and Conflict Impact Assessment (PCIA): A North-South Participatory Research Project’ is a collaborative initiative spearheaded by Peacebuild: The Canadian Peacebuilding Network and Peacemedia-paixmédia, in association with York University’s Institute for Research and Innovation in Sustainability (IRIS) and the Journal of Peacebuilding and Development (JPD).

PCIA has had 15 years of use and adaptation. ‘Assessing Impacts’ is convening a North-South dialogue of academic-practitioners highlighting eight (8) cases from the Global South where PCIA was used in different countries, contexts and domains, and will reflexively assess lessons learned from these cases. Participants will share and then publish their experiences in a special issue of the Journal of Peacebuilding and Development, building on both virtual and in-person dialogue and conference processes.

The project will involve video presentations and online discussions of the experiences of eight Southern practitioners and several international experts; eight papers by the Southern practitioners and a bibliographic review of 15 years of PCIA literature to constitute a special edition of the Journal of Peacebuilding and Development; and a conference at York University in Toronto in May 2013. The process will contribute to the development of a PCIA community of practice committed to the critical development of PCIA theory and practice. It will also enable the crafting of effective tools of conflict-sensitive development.

Conference

On May 22-24th, 2013, IRIS at York University hosted the conference for ‘Assessing the Impact’ in the interest of furthering Global South-North experience-sharing on the significance, power and both conflictual and peaceable effect of Peace and Conflict Impact Assessments . The conference was an opportunity for a cohort of eight scholar-practitioners from the Global South, as well as colleagues from the North, to share innovative papers at the cusp of PCIA discourse and practice. Building on, and then moving beyond the academic conference format, the gathering leveraged workshop and dialogue methodologies for meaningful and critical experience-sharing.

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The term "peacebuilding" has come to be understood and used as an umbrella concept reflecting a more comprehensive and long-term approach to peace and security including early warning. Conflict prevention, civilian and military peacekeeping, military intervention, humanitarian assistance, ceasfire agreements, the establishment of peace zones, reconciliation, reconstruction, institution building, and political as well as socio-economic transformation.

The goal of Peacebuild is to engender greater coherence and effectiveness in building peace through fostering collaboration and coordination among diverse stakeholders in Canada and with partners internationally. For Peacebuild, peacebuilding identifies and supports relationships, governance modes, structures and systems, and provides capacities and resources to strengthen and consolidate the prospects for internal peace in order to avoid a resort to, an intensification of, or a relapse into destructive conflict. Peacebuilding also seeks to mitigate sources of tension that increase the probability or intensity of armed violence. As such, it involves a range of approaches and transformative processes - for specific contexts or on a larger systemic level - that identify and address both the root causes and effects of violent conflict.

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