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Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC)

Country:

Netherlands, Europe and Central Asia  Show on interactive map

Active from:

Jan 2006 to Dec 2009

Implementing organisation(s):

GPPAC

Contact persons:

Goele Scheers, Paul Kosterink, Jenny Aulin

Summary:

The Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC) is a world-wide network of civil society organisations working in the field of conflict prevention.The European Centre for Conflict Prevention (ECCP) is the secretariat of this global network. Faced with many challenges in PM&E in such a complex setting, we decided in 2006 to use Outcome Mapping as the main approach for our PM&E system.

Objectives of the intervention:

GPPAC’s work is coordinated by a Global Secretariat, based in the Netherlands, and by fifteen core member organisations in different regions around the world designated as Regional Secretariats. In addition, the network has several (global, regional) governance and programmatic bodies involving the membership in the planning and implementation of its work. GPPAC is supported with core funding from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with additional grants from other government donors and some foundations.

GPPAC is often asked to demonstrate that its work results in significant and lasting change in terms of preventing violent conflict and consolidating peace building efforts ‘on the ground’. This is not an easy task. The paths and processes that can contribute to peace are many, diverse, and often unpredictable or opportunistic; this makes for an uneasy fit with planned timeframes. Adding to that the complex nature of a global network, GPPAC was required to look for other approaches to measure its progress.

Why was OM chosen?

Outcome Mapping was relevant for GPPAC first and foremost because of its non-linear approach. Within a network, linearity is problematic. Global networks like GPPAC are complex, fluid systems that “are constantly changing and adapting to their environment”. Procedures for planning , monitoring and evaluation therefore need to be able to adapt to these changes and to take unexpected results into account. Due to the complexity of the GPPAC network and the environment within which it works, the cause-effect relationships
between activities, outputs and outcomes are often unknown beforehand, and can sometimes be difficult to grasp even after the outcomes have been achieved. This makes it difficult, if not impossible, to predefine specific results. The change brought about through the different elements of a network often becomes more evident in retrospect.

How was OM used?

Coinciding with the network’s first Global Work Plan, GPPAC started using the Outcome Mapping approach in 2006, and has since gradually been adapting and adjusting its PMEL system. As an initial step, network members from across the world participated in developing intentional designs with progress markers for the network’s five programme areas. For each programme, up to three outcome challenges were formulated, focussing
on key boundary partners, such as the UN, Regional Intergovernmental Organisations and governments. The intentional designs were drafted largely following the OM Manual. Key OM principles and terminology were shared in written guidelines and in internal workshops with staff and network members.

Next, a monitoring system was set up, to allow GPPAC to track the changes it influenced (or not) in its boundary partners. As the OM manual didn’t provide what the network needed to establish the monitoring system, GPPAC developed its own guidelines based on the OM ideas. Network members from the fifteen regions have since been reporting on an annual basis on outputs and outcomes (defined as changes in behaviour). These
outcomes are discussed during ‘monitoring meetings’ to reflect on the progress that GPPAC is making and to learn from it for GPPAC’s future work (see box opposite).
The results of the monitoring system are used to make programmatic changes.

In 2009, the first evaluation using Outcome Mapping was done, in collaboration with an external evaluator. Each outcome was presented in an outcome description,
along with its significance, GPPAC’s contribution and its sources.

What was the experience of using OM?

‘Outcome Mapping has enabled GPPAC to show results that are closer to reality, as well as to stimulate a learning environment within the network. By focussing on outcomes and changes in behaviour, it encouraged members and staff to reflect more broadly on plans and results as part of the bigger picture beyond the ‘project box’.’

In addition, thinking about ‘contribution not attribution’ is of great value to GPPAC. In a global network, where a multitude of actors interact to achieve change, it is usually impossible to attribute this change to an intervention by a single actor. Much of the added value of the network also lies in how it contributes to the work that members are already doing, which increases the attribution problem further. It is therefore more useful to consider the specific contribution of GPPAC and its members towards the outcomes.

Finally, by focussing on boundary partners and changes in their behaviour, the OM approach helps to find ways of measuring progress towards the long-term goals in
conflict prevention. The tracking of changes in behaviour of key actors (in GPPAC’s case, key institutions) make this progress more visible. It can help address the common challenge of our field, which is to ‘prove you contributed to something [i.e. conflicts] not happening’. This in turn helped GPPAC to respond to donor requirements.

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