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Cyprus: A new tool for measuring reconciliation

April 8, 2013
Est. Reading: 2 minutes
Photo credit: cips Marcos Gittis for SeeD

In an effort to monitor the ongoing reconciliation process within Cyprus' divided society, the Center for Sustainable Peace and Democratic Development (SeeD), is developing the innovative Social Cohesion and Reconciliation (SCORE) Index. The SCORE Index aims to encourage effective decision-making among local policy-makers, peace activists, and international donors through measuring the impact of peacebuilding activities in Cyprus.

SeeD - Center for Sustainable Peace and Democratic Development
The SCORE Index is a joint project of UNDP-Action for Cooperation & Trust in Cyprus (UNDP-ACT) and SeeD. SeeD is a peacebuilding think tank, with regional scope, which grew out of the UNDP-ACT and Interpeace joint project named 'Cyprus 2015'. The 'Cyprus 2015' project was funded by UNDP-ACT and ran from May 2009 until December 2012. Its intention was to bridge public opinion and the policy level of the Cyprus peace process. Interpeace and SeeD have been working as strategic partners and have established a framework for collaboration at an international level.

Engaging the public

Since 1974, Cyprus has remained divided between the Greek-Cypriot community in the South and the Turkish-Cypriot community in the North. Several rounds of peace talks over the course of the past decades aiming to reconcile the two communities have failed. 2012 was yet another year marked by a deadlock in the negotiation process.

The discovery of natural gas just off the coast of the island in the Mediterranean could be an incentive for a solution to the conflict, as the economic opportunities of a unified Cyprus clearly surpass those of a divided island. However, key to achieving sustainable reconciliation is the engagement of the public in the negotiation processes.

Through its novel 'Participatory Polling' methodology, and now the SCORE Index, SeeD has been providing unique tools to develop effective and sustainable policy recommendations. SeeD uses the data it gathers to inform the policy debate and at the same time ensures that citizens have the opportunity to participate in the peace process and take ownership of peace initiatives.

As a tool that can capture the influence of underlying social factors on the peace process, the SCORE Index has three primary objectives: first, it will help the general public, policy-makers and practitioners understand how social factors influence the process of social cohesion and reconciliation. Second, it will serve as an early warning tool in identifying possible challenges that may arise from mutual mistrust between the two communities. Finally, it will assist decision-makers in adapting strategies and mobilizing their resources more effectively as they seek to promote social cohesion and reconciliation.

A model for others

The SCORE Index is a systematic tool to assess and measure the state of reconciliation. It therefore provides a model that can be used by other post-conflict situations around the world. SeeD is currently collaborating with practitioners in Kenya, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Palestine, where the SCORE concept has already gained significant traction.

Find out more (PDF).