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) is a two-year programme that is 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 aims 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 concentrates on resilience. It explores the resources that already exist in society and how they can be leveraged to address and prevent violent conflict.

The FAR programme  combines 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 seeks to foster exchanges in which the field-based practitioner experience is 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 compares 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 analyzes and compares how local actors understand resilience and assess its relevance in measuring progress towards greater peace. The programme encourages dialogue between national practitioners and international scholars, expert-practitioners and policy specialists.

The FAR programme uses a research approach that combines Interpeace’s qualitative research process with national surveys (based on random sampling). Interpeace is partnering 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 is 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.

  • Frameworks for Assessing Resilience (FAR)

    Photo credit: P4DP

  • Frameworks for Assessing Resilience (FAR)

    Photo credit: CEPAD

  • Frameworks for Assessing Resilience (FAR)

    Photo credit: Interpeace