CSO contracted the evaluation firm Social Impact to conduct an independent evaluation of its engagement in Kenya to prevent electoral violence (February 2012-April 2013). The final report provides credible independent determination that CSO made valuable contributions to early warning and early response networks, peace messaging, political reporting and interagency and international coordination. It provides some evidence of direct violence prevention during the election through improved early warning and response, as well as continued post-election use of some of the early warning networks, and positive lasting effects on civic cooperation with police in the coast region. It also makes some useful critical observations about how CSO could do more in future engagements to connect to longer term conflict prevention/mitigation and development, reduce misunderstandings of CSO’s role, and improve its interaction with local partners. This was CSO’s first external evaluation. CSO intends to conduct evaluations on all its major engagements.
CSO’s evaluation of its engagement in Belize was the first formal evaluation conducted by CSO, and was conducted as an independent internal evaluation by CSO's Office of Learning and Training. The Belize engagement was a small innovative program to reduce gang activity and violence in Southside Belize City by developing mediation and community dialogue capacity. The evaluation found that mediation was very effective and showed promise for expansion, while community dialogue was resonating but making slower progress and institutional issues hampered sustainability. Recommendations of the evaluation inspired a second wave of programming to plug gaps in community dialogue training, train mediators more grounded in gang neighborhoods, and improve program management capacity of the local partner, as well as a grant from the U.S. Embassy to the local partner allowing it to hire dedicated staff. Community dialogues consequently grew eight-fold and mediators and trainers doubled. The Prime Minister praised the program for establishing "a sustainable, Belizean community-based approach to reduce violence." While other programs and factors likely contributed, the homicide rate in Belize City decreased by roughly 50% in 2013, though increasing in several other locations.
Belize Engagement Evaluation Report [1119 Kb]