measurementimageSuccess and Failure: Measuring Inclusive Outcomes

This third strand of cross-cutting research ambitiously attempts to understand and develop a conceptual framework and methodology for defining and understanding what a successful outcome of a peace process might look like.

In it we aim to contribute to how we understand success and failure of peace processes, and how we might ‘measure’ them.  Our research here considers how might we understand ‘success and failure’ of peace agreements: in terms of whether the parties implemented their commitments, in terms of whether violent conflict ended, or in terms of more ‘positive peace’ outcomes such as improvement in development statistics?  We also consider how we might understand and measure whether a peace agreement sets out an ‘inclusive’ framework or not – in terms of what groups and issues are included?  In this experimental stream we explore different ways of understanding the goals of peace processes and peace agreements, and ways of measuring and evaluating them.

This is an experimental strand of work comprising three different components:

  • Conceptualising different ways of understanding and measuring success and failure
  • Correlating peace agreement commitments, and in particular those relating to ‘inclusion’, with outcomes such as ‘deaths in conflict’ (Uppsala and Correlates of War), and other development data, using the Peace Agreement Database project (PA-X), the University of Denver International Futures (IF) data, and the expertise in Africa of consortium partner ISS.
  • Considering through the case studies how people living through peace processes understand and experience ‘success and failure’ crosscutting research approach explores methodological pathways to explore the relationship between peace negotiations and political settlements, based on both quantitative and qualitative comparative work.

  • What are the different ways we can define and measure peace agreement ‘success’ or ‘failure’?
  • How could we measure the commitments made in peace agreements with outcomes across a range negative and positive peace indicators?
  • Can we factor in some assessment of what role different forms of inclusion played?
  • To what extent do different ways of defining and measuring ‘success’ tell tell even or uneven stories as to whether a process has been successful?
  • What do measuring attempts tell us about the ‘variable geometry’ of how governance, conflict, political bargaining, and development goals interact with each other?
  • In what ways are quantitative indicators themselves and attempts to measure success a global governance tool which risks supplanting local undertandings of what success would look like?