Evaluation in the Extreme: Research, Impact and Politics in Violently Divided Societies

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Kenneth Bush, Colleen Duggan
SAGE Publications, Oct 26, 2015 - Social Science - 348 pages
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An exploration of the ways in which research, power and politics interact in violently divided societies

Over the past two decades, there has been an increase in the funding of research in and on violently divided societies. But how do we know whether research makes any difference to these societies—is the impact constructive or destructive? This book is the first
to systematically explore this question through a series of case studies written by those on the front lines of applied research. It offers clear and logical ways to understand the positive or negative role that research, or any other aid intervention, might have in developing societies affected by armed conflict, political unrest and/or social violence.

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About the author (2015)

Kenneth Bush is Executive Director and Altajir Lecturer in Post-war Recovery Studies at the Post-war Reconstruction and Development Unit of the University of York, UK. He received his PhD in International Relations and Comparative Politics from Cornell University, New York. Throughout his career, Dr Bush has worked within and between the worlds of research, policy and practice, inside and outside conflict zones. His work seeks to bridge the gap between peace studies and evaluation— in particular, his work focuses on peace and conflict impact assessment (PCIA) and on the ethical, political, logistical and methodological challenges confronting evaluators in conflict zones. Dr Bush was a founding professor of the Conflict Studies Programme at St Paul University in Ottawa, Canada. He has published and taught courses on evaluation, methodology for peace and conflict studies, social justice, ethnicised conflict, peacebuilding, post-cold war security, international relations theory, conflict management, forced displacement, war-affected kids, foreign policy and indigenous governance. Dr Bush has worked with a broad spectrum of policy, development and humanitarian organisations in the Global North and South.

Colleen Duggan is Senior Programme Specialist in the Policy and Evaluation Division of the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), a research funder located in Ottawa, Canada. Colleen brings her expertise in human rights and the rule of law in violence-affected settings to her work as a researcher and evaluator. Between 2001 and 2005, Colleen developed IDRC’s programming in Latin America on peace and conflict and women’s rights. She worked for more than a decade in a programming and policy capacity with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and with the United Nations Development Programme in Colombia, Guatemala, El Salvador and New York. Issues she focused on with the UN included humanitarian response, security sector reform, transitional justice, gender violence, human rights and peacebuilding. Colleen has taught evaluation internationally on four continents and has published on issues of evaluation ethics, public policy evaluation, peacebuilding, gender and transitional justice, and conflict prevention. She holds a master’s degree in International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law from the University of Essex, UK, and a graduate degree in international development and economic cooperation from the University of Ottawa, Canada.

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