Since the end of the Cold War, the international community has been confronted with a number of ongoing conflict situations. From the beginning of the 1990s to the end of 1999, there were 118 armed conflicts worldwide, resulting in the death of approximately six million people. Most of these conflicts take place in the partner countries participating in developmental cooperation. The civilian population, the primary target group for developmental interventions, is increasingly involved in, and affected by, conflict dynamics.
Peace and Conflict Impact Assessment (PCIA) is a method to anticipate, observe or evaluate the impact of planned, ongoing or completed interventions in the structures and processes that decrease the likelihood of violent conflict and improve the chances for peaceful co-existence.
The objectives of applying a Peace and Conflict Impact Assessment in a development policy context are:
- To assess the risk of programmes exacerbating conflicts.
- To assess opportunities to improve the effectiveness of development interventions in contributing to crisis prevention and conflict reduction.
Peace and Conflict Impact Assessment (PCIA) is an overarching term that can be used, prior to the programming of aid (Macro level) and project planning (Micro level), for the ongoing impact monitoring during the implementation of interventions, or for post programme and project evaluation.
At the country level, the national implications of the conflict and attempts to develop long-term political strategies of conflict management are examined. Information about possible and necessary country portfolio adjustments is gathered.
At the project and individual intervention level, the primary focus is on defining the local dimensions of the main factors causing, triggering or aggravating tensions, and to devise strategies for interventions that enable them to respond sensitively to conflict. These guidelines concentrate on conflict impact assessment on the project intervention level.