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First RPP Newsletter! Unconventional Learning, Master Training, the State Department and more.
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Welcome to the first RPP newsletter!


We are glad to respond to your requests for detailed updates from CDA’s Reflecting on Peace Practice Program (RPP). We will use this space to share information about RPP events, initiatives, feature stories, and personal experiences from people and organizations we work with around the globe. We look forward to sharing lessons from all of these engagements, as RPP continues its efforts to improve the effectiveness of peacebuilding practice.

In this issue we discuss working with the American Friends Service Committee and Rotary International, expanding RPP’s community of practice through strategic trainings (including an upcoming training!), piloting new approaches to monitoring and evaluation of peacebuilding programs, collaborating with the State Department, and exploring systems approaches to peacebuilding.

Meanwhile, we look forward to hearing your feedback, stories and views and help you announce your events, trainings and new publications. Use this opportunity and write us!

With best regards,

Diana Chigas and Anita Ernstorfer
RPP Co-Directors 
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New RPP staff. CDA welcomed Hannah Vaughan-Lee in October. Hannah joined RPP as Program Manager of the Central Africa Accountable Service Delivery project. With a Ph.D. in Development Studies and a decade of field experience in in sub-Saharan Africa, especially Somalia, Hannah brings great new expertise and energy to our team.
In this Issue
Directors' Note

Unconventional Learning at the AFSC

Peace Practice and Do No Harm

First RPP Master Course is Capstone to Year of Strategic Trainings

Piloting Evaluability Assessments and Program Quality Assessments

Collaborating with the U.S. State Department's Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL)

Dynamical Systems Theory, Peace and Conflict
Send requests & comments on CDA's tools & frameworks to:
feedback@cdacollaborative.org
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Unconventional Learning at the AFSC


By Aarati Kasturirangan, of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC)

It can be a struggle to intake powerpoint-driven training – even for grassroots change-makers skilled at popular education, non-violent action, and creative campaign development. Both the AFSC and CDA have been wrestling with this challenge following the AFSC’s first in-house cross-organizational RPP training in June 2013. So, after we learned unconventional approaches to RPP lessons from my colleague, Raffi Feghali (Live Lactic Culture, Beirut, Lebanon) at the RPP Master Training - we used them, immediately!

In September 2013, sixteen AFSC program staff from around the globe participated in our second RPP training. We incorporated movement, objects and teaching modalities that broke through the power-point blahs.

It became exciting to discuss theories of change. We entered the discussion by asking participants to create living tableaus in small groups. At first, I was met with many skeptical faces. However, soon the groups entered a quiet space of physical experimentation. Each group created three scenes: one from before the program intervention, one from their vision for Peace Writ Large, and one from in-between the two.

The exercise gave participants the opportunity to bring their thinking down from the intellectual into the body, the people, the land, the space, the ‘action’ of the problem, and a new way of entering the contexts they hoped to change.

We look forward to trying these techniques and more in our 2014 RPP trainings.

Participants embodying visions of Peace Writ Large, at the AFSC RPP training. Photos: Aarati Kasturirangan, the AFSC. Click to enlarge.

Peace Practice and Do No Harm


Rotary Peace Fellows at RPP/DNH workshop. Photo: Susan Carroll, Duke-UNC Rotary Center for International Studies


RPP has been working closely with CDA’s Do No Harm program (DNH) to integrate RPP and DNH further.  In the spring of 2013, RPP Program Manager Chloe Berwind-Dart co-facilitated a joint RPP/DNH training with DNH Director Marshall Wallace and Associate Director Nicole Goddard in Myanmar/Burma. The training was developed with support from USAID's Conflict Management and Mitigation Office and piloted in collaboration with USAID’s Office of Transition Initiatives in Myanmar/Burma. The manual written for this training is currently being revised.

In October and November 2013, RPP Co-Director Anita Ernstorfer tested parts of the RPP/DNH training with a new audience of 25 Rotary Peace Fellows at a two-day introductory workshop. The workshop was organized by the Rotary Center for International Studies in Peace and Conflict Resolution of Duke University, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill with support from the United States Institute of Peace (USIP).  Read more about the design and implementation of the RPP/DNH workshop here. CDA and Duke/UNC are already planning another two-part workshop in early 2014, incorporating CDA’s Listening and Corporate Engagement Programs. 

First RPP Master Course is Capstone to Year of Strategic Trainings


This fiscal year, we used new training tactics to support current RPP practitioners and introduce RPP to the next generation of colleagues.
 
In July 2012 RPP worked towards increasing regional expertise in Southeast Asia by holding its first advanced training in the Philippines.
 
RPP further increased its global footprint with two trainings in March and October 2013, in collaboration with the Barcelona International Peace Resource Center (BIPRC). The Level 1 workshop in March included an introduction to systems thinking in conflict analysis and peacebuilding strategy and program design and a more general introduction to RPP approaches and tools, while the advanced training in October focused on systems thinking tools for peacebuilding.
 
We also continued to support colleagues in using RPP within their organizations. For example, in June 2013 RPP co-conducted an introductory training with the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) staff at their headquarters in Philadelphia.
 
Finally, RPP invited an experienced group of RPP practitioners to join us for our inaugural Master Training. This course, held in July 2013, helped participants achieve mastery in using RPP tools to facilitate conflict analysis, program design, and monitoring and evaluation of peacebuilding programs. A highlight of the training for participants was designing and facilitating program reflection and planning sessions with peacebuilding organizations in Boston, who gained valuable insights and provided feedback to the master trainers. We hope these new Masters will provide the much-needed, advanced local support that regional practitioners have sought!

Jean-Paul Chami (Independent Consultant), Raffi Feghali (Live Lactic Culture) and Anita Ernstorfer (CDA) at RPP Master Training. Photo: CDA.


Participants of RPP Master Training. Photo: CDA. Click to enlarge.


Upcoming: RPP will facilitate an RPP I training in Cambridge, MA in April 2014.
 

Piloting Evaluability Assessments and Program Quality Assessments

 
A 2011 review of the uses of RPP in peacebuilding evaluations noted that RPP tools could help strengthen peacebuilding program quality and support a program’s efforts to prepare for evaluation. Consequently, RPP produced two working papers on RPP-informed Evaluability Assessments (EA) and Program Quality Assessments (PQA). The papers provide guidance on how RPP tools and concepts can be used to apply EA and PQA processes for peacebuilding initiatives. CDA is piloting the EA and PQA in collaboration with International Alert in the Causasus, Norwegian Church Aid in Afghanistan, World Vision in Sri Lanka and Interpeace in Mali.

Most recently CDA’s Director of Evaluation and Learning, Isabella Jean, facilitated a PQA of International Alert’s South Caucasus Business and Conflict program in conjunction with their coming together for the Tea and Honey Festival they organized in Tbilisi, Georgia.
 

Oskari Pentikainen (International Alert Senior Program Manager), Eva-Maria Troya-Blanco (Delegation of the EU to Georgia) and Ihsan Karayazi (Caucasus Business and Development Network partner) at the Tea and Honey Festival. Photo: Gulru Nabieva, International Alert.


Upcoming: In February 2014 RPP will bring partners, facilitators and other experts together in a consultation to facilitate a learning process on the EA and PQA pilots and to develop further approaches and guidance.
 

Collaborating with the U.S. State Department's Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL)

 
As part of INL's collaborative project, CDA and a small team of consultants have been undertaking an assessment of Guinea's criminal justice sector. The field mission concluded on December 2. CDA will host a workshop in Washington DC on December 10-12, 2013 brining together the assessment team, INL staff and additional experts to focus on developing a change-based program design. 
 
CDA is also working with INL on a larger collaborative Central Africa Accountable Service Delivery (CAASDI) project, which focuses on corruption in the criminal justice sector.

Dynamical Systems Theory, Peace and Conflict


In July 2013, RPP Co-Director Diana Chigas and CDA Executive Director Peter Woodrow shared their work and synthesized concepts at the first Innovation Lab on Dynamical Systems Theory, Peace and Conflict. Thirty-one additional colleagues joined Chigas and Woodrow for the event, which Chigas also helped plan and facilitate. The group spent five days furthering systems work:  identifying areas of convergence and divergence between the various approaches and exploring applications with local community leaders in Sheboygan, WI. The group addressed diverse topics such as developing and sharing practical systems tools for conflict analysis, program planning and evaluation and mathematical modeling and systemic programming in Myanmar/Burma.

RPP integrates systems thinking and causal loop diagramming into its work in order to address gaps in conflict analysis and to support practitioners in linking analysis to programming decisions. Read our insights on Applying Complexity Science to Peacebuilding and Conflict Analysis.

Products from the Innovation Lab, and a great collection of systems thinking resources, can be found on the Innovation Lab's website.

As this map of complexity sciences shows, systems approaches are anything but linear. Image: Glenda Eoyang, Human Systems Dynamics Institute. Click to enlarge.

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