Frameworks for Assessing Resilience (FAR)
What makes people, communities and societies resilient and able to respond creatively and non-violently to conflict and crisis? What constitutes progress on the path to greater resilience for both states and societies, in ways that build lasting peace? And how do people themselves in these conflict-affected societies, understand, define and build resilience? In 2014, Interpeace launched Frameworks for Assessing Resilience (FAR), a programme aimed at finding answers to these questions.
Frameworks for Assessing Resilience (FAR) was a two-year programme designed to better understand, address and assess the key sources of fragility and resilience within conflict- or violence-prone countries. Interpeace believes that in order to transform conflict, it is necessary not only to identify its causes, but also to better understand existing sources of resilience for peacebuilding in societies so that they can be strengthened.
Based on Interpeace’s belief that the local context and ownership must be the starting point for analysis and intervention, the FAR programme aimed to complement ongoing international efforts to measure progress in peacebuilding and statebuilding such as the International Dialogue on Peacebuilding and Statebuilding. In a policy environment that focuses on fragility, the FAR programme deliberately concentrated on resilience. It explored the resources that already exist in society and how they can be leveraged to address and prevent violent conflict.
The FAR programme combined multi-stakeholder participatory research in the three pilot countries – Timor-Leste, Guatemala and Liberia – with an expert-practitioner dialogue at the global level. The programme sought to foster exchanges in which the field-based practitioner experience was informed by state of the art scholarship, and where local practice and experience in turn shape the thinking and entry points in global policy debates on resilience, and on its relevance in assessing progress in the peacebuilding field. FAR compared the resilience factors identified in the three pilot countries in order to explore where they are unique to particular country contexts, and where they may also offer more generic experiences and analyses
The FAR programme was launched in 2014 in Timor-Leste, Guatemala and Liberia. FAR analyzed and compared how local actors understand resilience and assess its relevance in measuring progress towards greater peace. The programme encouraged dialogue between national practitioners and international scholars, expert-practitioners and policy specialists.
The FAR programme used a research approach that combines Interpeace’s qualitative research process with national surveys (based on random sampling). Interpeace partnered with the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative (HHI), based at Harvard University in the USA, to design and implement these national surveys.
The FAR programme intentionally selected three countries with different post-conflict contexts and sources of fragility. Each one of the three countries is located on a different continent and the time that has passed since violent conflict has ended varies. Liberia and Timor-Leste are both struggling with the relationship between statebuilding and peacebuilding. Guatemala has one of the highest homicide rates in the world and offers a completely distinct set of challenges. The programme was implemented by Interpeace’s Regional Office for Latin America in Guatemala, and by Interpeace’s partner organizations the Platform for Dialogue and Peace (P4DP) in Liberia, and the Centre of Studies for Peace and Development (CEPAD) in Timor-Leste.
The experience of assessing resilience for peace in three pilot countries, combined with an expert-practitioner dialogue on resilience as well as an extensive literature and practice review fed into the development of a framework and guidance note on assessing resilience for peace. This Guidance Note enables practitioners and policy makers working in the peacebuilding and related fields to integrate a resilience approach and indeed resilience assessments into their work.
Read a short brief that captures what the FAR experience has taught us about the specificities of resilience in relation to conflict and the added value of using a resilience approach to peacebuilding.
Read a briefing note on the relevance of Resilience for Peace to the pursuit of the Agenda 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.
Read more about the specific case studies:
Read the Liberia Report
Read the Timor-Leste Report
Read the Guatemala Report