Implementation modalities are the common instruments, methods, resources and strategies needed to implement the Institute’s work. These modalities complement LPI’s guiding principles in describing how LPI’s work is carried out. The list below is not exhaustive but describes the most common modalities.
As a professional organisation, LPI works systematically with a results-based tool for PME&L, specifically developed and tailor-made for its work in conflict transformation and capacity building.
While the development sector has for a long time relied on, for example, the logical framework approach for designing relevant and efficient interventions as well as measuring outcomes and impacts, the peacebuilding sector is still widely lacking such tools for PME&L. This is related to the nature of the work in the peacebuilding field. Conflicts are dynamic and demand flexible approaches; peacebuilding processes are long-term and involve many actors on different levels, making it difficult to attribute changes in the context to one specific actor or factor.
Nevertheless, the necessity and added value of developing planning, monitoring and evaluation practices has been acknowledged and tools and methodologies have started to be developed. One of the most hands-on tools to date was developed by Cheyenne Church and Mark Rogers at Search for Common Ground. While this provides a good basis it does not, however, capture the research or the capacity building aspects of our work in a concrete manner. Inspired by existing methods such as the logical framework approach, LPI has developed its own tool for PME&L.
Since 2007, LPI has been engaged in a process of developing methodologies and tools for ensuring the relevance, efficiency and effectiveness of its work. This has included a research project on impact assessment in peacebuilding, which in turn has informed the development of a more practical and hands-on tool for PME&L to be used in LPI’s conflict transformation programmes. This process has been encouraged and supported by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency.
The PME&L toolkit consists of a matrix (inspired by the Log Frame Approach, but extended) and is accompanied by a series of concept papers dealing with the major steps of the PME&L process: LPI’s approach to conflict transformation, conflict analysis, theories of change, the results chain, the development of indicators, the baseline study, monitoring as learning and evaluation as learning. This tool was tested by the field programmes during 2008 and has, since mid 2009, started to be applied in all of LPI’s programmes.
LPI sees the application of the tool as a learning process that in itself will include further refinement and adaptation of the tool to the various and changing contexts in which we work.
PME&L is important for our work on two levels:
- On the level of LPI: PME&L is an integrative part of all activities as it enables learning during project implementation, the monitoring of results achievement, evaluation, as well as the formulation of lessons learned that can be shared with stakeholders.
- On the level of partner organisations: LPI is accompanying its partners in their PME&L processes. This entails training staff using LPI’s PME&L toolkit as a basis, but adapting it to the needs of the partner organisations. Training takes the form of workshops and joint working sessions.
As a result of our work with PME&L, LPI is convinced that doing structured PME&L within peacebuilding/conflict transformation is possible and rewarding, even if it is hard and challenging at the same time. Throughout all stages of programme implementation the tool enables reflection and learning, as well as tracking changes and evaluating the programme’s work. The outcomes of the PME&L process also feed into the next planning phase of the programme.
LPI will continue to apply, but also to further develop and refine, our PME&L tool. In connection to PME&L, an effort will also be made to systematically improve organisational learning within LPI.
PAR is a participatory approach to conflict transformation that involves the conflicts’ stakeholders and combines traditional field research and the regular feedback of research results to relevant stakeholders and interested parties, preparing the ground for subsequent conflict transformation actions. The objectives of PAR are twofold: 1) to better understand local conflict dynamics in order to develop clear action plans that take into account the various dimensions of the conflict, and 2) to identify areas for change. Our experience has shown that such analyses are equally valued by local and international actors, as these analyses have led to debates on wider issues. Through the PAR methodology, the problems are directly addressed by all of the actors within a given conflict. Solutions to the problems or conflicts will be drafted by all of the actors after the final round table sessions.
LPI operates in very dynamic and often rapidly shifting environments and deals with this through a number of different methods and tools, one of them being scenario planning. Scenario planning helps LPI to prepare for the future as well as to think strategically around various actual and potential risk factors in its surrounding environment, making sure that the Institute’s planned programmes allow for the needed flexibility. LPI does systematic scenario planning using both inductive and deductive approaches in each of its programmes as well as at the head office level.
Scenario planning is done in relation to the development of implementation plans, annual plans, conflict analyses, and for specific issues of relevance. Monitoring contexts and following up on these plans and their strategic implications in relation to unfolding scenarios are an important part of the continued work done in each programme. Scenario planning is also an important and useful tool for the Institute’s partners in the field. For this reason LPI will help to build the partners’ capacity in scenario planning when suitable and desired by the partner.
LPI has previously analysed the different scenarios that can unfold in relation to its programmes and the contexts in which it has been working. While this has helped us to be prepared for different potential futures, a lot more can be gained by a systematic usage of scenario planning within the whole organisation. Therefore, LPI wants to continuously improve the capacity within the organisation to also take the strategic implications of different scenarios into account in a more systematic and continuous manner.
One of LPI’s main modes of operation is through engagement with, and support of, civil society groups. LPI’s capacity-building work is placed within a conflict transformation framework with the aim of building an in-house expertise within the partners’ institutional set-up and programming.
At the beginning of the engagement with partners, the selected partners will go through a process of organisational analysis and strategic positioning that will clarify their engagement in conflict transformation, priorities, resources for conflict transformation, as well as strengths and weaknesses.
This is done through a series of workshops and conversations that, besides clarifying the issues mentioned above, will familiarise the partners’ staff with LPI and its work, as well as conflict transformation theory and practice. The workshops will also serve to accompany the partners in a strategic reflection on their vision, mission, field of intervention, services, target groups, areas of engagement and principles.
The objectives of the exercise will be on the one hand to offer training to the partner on the theory and practice of conflict transformation, and on the other to enable them to clarify grey zones or incoherencies in some of the strategic decisions they might have made in the past or the way they position themselves today. These workshops will result in LPI and its partners arriving at a common vision for the work to be done and agreeing on the identity of the organisation, which will serve as a basis for defining the modalities of their collaboration for the coming years. LPI also supports the institutional and organisational development of its partners.
Following the process above and depending on the current expertise available, specific and tailor-made plans will be developed to determine the step-by-step accompaniment of partners necessary to enhance the partners’ conflict transformation capacity. With the capacity-building plan as a basis, each partner will be accompanied by LPI staff during each step of the plan. To ensure a close accompaniment of partners, LPI strives, whenever possible, to have a presence in the programme countries.
Accompaniment of partners in conflict analyses and research is at the core of LPI’s work. LPI’s conflict transformation approach is based on research both as a precondition for understanding the context of engagement, as well as a methodology for conflict transformation. LPI will support its partners in carrying out conflict/context analysis, monitoring and evaluation and thematic analysis. Capacity-building will involve a close accompaniment of partners’ technical teams in action-research methodology and systemic analysis and formulation, including writing and presentation skills. Particular emphasis will be given to PAR (see next section).
Capacity-building will also be carried out through formal training and workshops. Training of selected staff within the partner organisations will occur throughout the duration of the programme. Formal training will focus, inter alia, on conflict analysis, methods and tools in social science research, scenario planning, monitoring, evaluation, conflict transformation intervention skills, and processes of learning and change in conflict, as well as on PAR, PME&L and gender sensitisation.
LPI’s approach to capacity-building will be one of training through action, which means that emphasis will be put on offering the possibility to partners to apply their knowledge directly to concrete activities in the field. It will be necessary therefore to fine-tune partners’ actions to their immediate capacities and to their acquiring of new skills. LPI’s role will be to help the partner determine what is feasible in the short-term and what will be feasible at a later stage. This will require a refined capacity-building process. Plans will not only be tailor-made to the particular needs of each partner, but will also be flexible to allow for readjustments according to learning capacities.
LPI’s capacity building work will, most often, involve financial support for partners’ projects on the ground. The partners will be able to present proposals for conflict transformation interventions, within the operational framework of a previously agreed Memorandum of Understanding. Though the objective will be to ultimately disengage after a capacity-building phase and to ensure that partners are able to mobilise funds autonomously in the long run, given the difficulty for (unknown or weaker) local actors to mobilise these funds in the areas of engagement, it will be necessary for LPI to provide, in the first years, sufficient means to its partners to apply what they have learned in concrete initiatives.
LPI recognises that a range of different types of resources are needed in the whole cycle of planning, implementing, evaluating and reporting. For LPI resource mobilisation is therefore a matter of securing financial, human and institutional resources to support the Institute’s work according to the strategic priorities.
LPI was established without an endowment fund, which means that each project and programme as well as core costs for support to the work in the field programmes need to be fully covered by grants and donations. LPI occasionally takes on assignments commissioned by other NGOs, faith-based organisations or governmental agencies when these fall within the three strategic priorities of the Institute, but that will constitute a minor part of the total activities to be implemented in the coming three years.
The financial resources for LPI’s conflict transformation work are generated from state and private sources. Sida is the main donor, however, substantial resources are expected from other governmental agencies directly or indirectly and through framework organisations, both within Sweden and abroad, partnering with LPI. Among governments that have earlier shown interest and provided substantial support throughout the years are the United Kingdom, Belgium, Finland, the Netherlands, Denmark and Norway.
The Church of Sweden and Swedish ecumenical networks have maintained a special relationship, and funding commitment, to LPI since the inception of the Institute. This includes both grants and a national collection day in the Church of Sweden. Other Nordic agencies such as Norwegian Church Aid, DanChurchAid and Finn Church Aid, and churches, particularly the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland and a number of other European and United States agencies and foundations have also been encouraging and supportive of LPI throughout the years.
LPI believes that resource mobilisation goes hand in hand with building relationships, demonstrating the value and outcome of its work to donors.
One tool for this is the Institute’s PME&L tool. LPI also wishes to further develop and secure its financial system in order to become more transparent to partners and donors.
LPI’s peacebuilding and conflict transformation work is based on eight principles which call for the highest possible ethical and moral standard. Our work is people-centred and the principles underline context, local capacities, sensitivity, trust, respect, accountability and commitment to long-term peacebuilding. Find out more about them in the menu to the left.