Integrity’s Giselle Lopez Joins Two Panels at PeaceCon 2019 in Washington, DC
In early October, Integrity’s Senior Data and Knowledge Manager, Giselle Lopez, spoke at two panels at PeaceCon about Integrity’s work using data as an essential element of research and M&E work in conflict-affected settings to measure, understand, and address social problems. PeaceCon is an annual conference hosted by the Alliance for Peacebuilding (AfP) in partnership with the United Institute of Peace (USIP) to address the most pressing issues, evolving practices, and innovative approaches in the peacebuilding field. The annual three-day event brings together a wide range of representatives from foundations, the policymaking community, donors, international development organisations, NGOs, and the private sector.
On the second day of PeaceCon, Giselle spoke on a panel titled “Gender and Technology: New Frontiers in Peacebuilding” with four impressive co-panelists:
The panel explored how technology, data, and new media are being used to address sexual violence and other social issues. Each of the panelists shared practical examples from different parts of the world where technology has been used to engage civic action, mitigate violence, and promote peace. In addition to Integrity’s work, Giselle spoke about her own background working at the intersection of peacebuilding and technology. In the panel and discussion with the audience, it was discussed how data plays a role in each of our efforts, and what should be done to enhance our use of and access to data to support this work.
In the afternoon, Giselle spoke in a second panel titled “Understanding Community Impact in Complex Environments: How to Measure the Effectiveness of Peacebuilding and P/CVE Programming” with three other panelists who shared about their work with religious leaders to build peace in Nigeria:
This session examined different approaches used to prove program effectiveness and impact at the community level for projects which prevent and counter violent extremism and build peace in complex environments. The panelists from the various organisations shared their experience working with religious and community actors using innovative methodologies to measure the outcomes and impacts of their programs. This included lessons learned in Nigeria, where both the Tony Blair Institute and Mercy Corps designed, implemented, and measured programming leveraging religious leaders’ potential by building local capacities to play a more significant role in conflict mitigation and resolution. Giselle provided a different perspective by sharing insights from our experience conducting monitoring, evaluation, and learning of peacebuilding programming in fragile contexts, including in South Sudan. Each panelist shared practical advice for other organisations working to measure impact in complex environments.
The theme of PeaceCon 2019 was “Seizing the Moment for Peace in a Disrupted World”, and emphasised the importance of improving frameworks, opening space for dialogue, and promoting practical approaches to addressing conflict dynamics. The conference offered participants the opportunity to hear from and engage leading actors in the field of peacebuilding on a range of relevant topics, including orienting international aid toward more strategic approaches in conflict-affected states, the power of nonviolent civil resistance, the role of foreign actors in peace processes, technology-enabled approaches in peacebuilding, locally led conflict transformation, and diversity and inclusion in the peacebuilding field. Relevant to Integrity’s work supporting more evidence-driven programming in conflict-affected environments, the organisers of this year’s event also sought to emphasise the importance of proving impact in peacebuilding efforts.