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Case Study: Croatia Evaluating an Initiative through the Eyes of an Insider Presented by: Steve van de Hoef Karen Vanscoy Michelle Vibert Janani Vijayaraghavan.

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Presentation on theme: "Case Study: Croatia Evaluating an Initiative through the Eyes of an Insider Presented by: Steve van de Hoef Karen Vanscoy Michelle Vibert Janani Vijayaraghavan."— Presentation transcript:

1 Case Study: Croatia Evaluating an Initiative through the Eyes of an Insider Presented by: Steve van de Hoef Karen Vanscoy Michelle Vibert Janani Vijayaraghavan Joanna Weiss Emily Wilson Kate Wood Rachel Wortzman

2 Conflict Background Why is there a need for peace-work in Croatia?

3 1991 – declaration of an independent Croatia 1992 – massacres; peacekeeping troops 1993 – warfare continues 1994 – initiation of peace treaties 1995 – peace pacts; the Bosnian Peace Treaty; the Dayton Treaty But… Overview of Major Events

4 1.Why is there a need for Peace Work in Croatia? 2.What was the Peace Work? 3.What evaluation was done? 4.Do your own evaluation

5 Peace Goals To promote: 1.Trauma healing 2.Non-violent conflict resolution 3.Peaceful living 4.Human rights 5.Reduction of ethnic bias 6.Foster reconciliation 7.Heal psychological wounds

6 Foundations Health initiative = trauma healing Peace initiative = non-violence and reduction of ethnic bias “…psychological healing and social healing were interdependent and mutually reinforcing.”

7 Peace Initiative (Intervention) Students –10-14 yrs., 3 cities, 6 schools; all war-affected Peace Workers –Curriculum: Opening the door to non-violence; a peace education manual for primary schools in Croatia, grades 4, 5, and 6. –Trained and supported teachers Teachers –Learned and presented curriculum

8 Peace Initiative – Curriculum Progression Start with “normalizing and validating” children’s experiences and reactions  Explore similarities and differences between ethnicities, celebrate differences  Communication and non-violent conflict resolution skills  Peaceful living and human rights

9 Evaluation Series of tests –Measured ‘peace quotient,’ trauma, self- esteem, ethnic bias Comparison of scores = assessment of curriculum effectiveness

10 Conclusions Benefits Increased self-esteem, affinity for non-violence Help deal with trauma Reduced ethnic bias Anecdotal evidence –Deeper relationships –Increased openness Room for Improvement Incorporate parents Should social healing start in the classroom? Low analytical importance of empirical measures

11 Themes Defined, measurable parameters for evaluating program effectiveness Anecdotal evidence Extrapolation of results and considering future programs asp?submit=search&country=CRO

12 Discuss the strengths and limitations of this peace through health intervention from 3 different perspectives Gain a deeper understanding of the case study Practice evaluation techniques Appreciate importance of evaluating PtH initiatives from different perspectives Class Activity Objectives

13 Students

14 Teachers

15 Peace Workers

16 1.cause participants/communities to develop their own peace initiatives? 2.help create political institutions to handle injustices that fuel the conflict? 3.prompt people to increasingly resist violence? 4.increase people’s security? 4 Criteria for Assessing Effectiveness Did the effort…

17 Students’ Perspective

18 There was no indication of development of other programs for peace While children were asked about specific aspects of the intervention, they were not sought out for ideas regarding their own peace initiatives “I learned I don’t need to fight every time when I am not happy about something”. Does the effort cause participants and the community to develop their own initiatives for peace?

19 Students were not directly involved in reform but based on the program, there was reform to the educational system The introduction of training manuals and programs specifically for children who suffer from post war trauma were a reform in themselves Students and teachers were the primary beneficiaries of these reform creations Does the effort result in the creation or reform of political institutions to handle grievances that fuel the conflict?

20 Does the effort prompt people to increasingly resist violence? Enjoyed the symbolic release of anger, the non-violent conflict resolution, and the guided imagery of peaceful situations Made new deeper friends and maintained old friendships, improved relationships with a decrease in conflict Significant positive change in attitude toward the Serbs in the intervention group Significant increase in acceptance of non-violent conflict resolution Girls had consistently higher scores on all measures of attitudes and behaviour The intervention applied to children in order to reach the greater public Issues previously unspoken are now shared and discussed openly

21 Better acceptance of the ‘other’ Children seemed to show some decrease in ethnic anger and hatred Increased willingness of the children to confide in the teachers Children felt safer, but as a population whole, this can not be assumed for all members *ethnic mistrust continued, which impeded security* Did the effort result in an increase in security?

22 Children rarely did assigned homework as they felt it to be a burden Children looked forward to the training sessions, and opened up their feelings in a new way, and talked about issues that were previously unspoken Recalling traumatic events was not viewed as very effective The war was not over yet and the political situation did not foster an environment for reconciliation at that time Parental response or attitudes were not incorporated Important Notes

23 Parent’s Influence on Children While children are taught peace building and anti-racism at school, the vulnerability of this intervention to be spoiled by parents once children return home is high Without continual teaching of these aspects, one questions the sustainability of this intervention

24 The future… If students can be taught conflict resolution through out their schooling, there is a good possibility that much of the ethnocentrism and conflict can eventually be combated by educated adults

25 Teachers’ Perspective

26 The effort causes participants and communities to develop their own initiatives for peace Strengths Collaboration with local groups in development, delivery and evaluation Extended in to 35 schools with 65 teachers trained Provided a enhanced support system for teachers Teachers advocated its extension to older students Enhanced the relevance of social and personal issues Limitations Political atmosphere was not supportive of reconciliation Impossible to talk about ethnic conflict even within the context of trauma healing

27 Strengths Reform of the education system: By promoting the importance of human rights, respect, and non-violent conflict resolution, the education system can be a vehicle for reducing injustice and inequality Increased motivation by teachers to promote non-violent conflict resolution could impact on other political institutions Significant change in the relationship between teachers and students Limitations Did not directly deal with ethnic prejudice, or specific inequalities and injustices The effort results in the creation or reform of political institution to handle grievances that fuel the conflict

28 Strengths Teachers felt that the curriculum on conflict resolution was the most useful to students Curriculum focused on dialogue, and communication skills Increased acceptance of non-violent conflict resolutions Ethnic bias reduction with a significant positive change in attitudes toward Serbians Enhanced psychosocial climate in the classroom Limitations Do students apply learning outside of school-are these new values and strategies reinforced at home? Some teachers had to soften the ethnic bias model due to continuing hostilities, and some modules had to be simplified The effort prompts people to resist violence

29 Strengths Significant positive change in the attitude towards Serbs Teacher noted that students were better able to make new friends, maintain old ones, and have deeper friendships Teachers noticed an improvement in conflict reduction Increased willingness to confide in teachers Positive and lasting effect on post-traumatic symptoms Limitations Ethnic identity viewed as a source of security Ethnic hatred and mistrust The effort results in increased security

30 Peace Workers’ Perspective

31 Strengths Program was administered by local workers; effective method Focusing on children is a good choice. It has proven to be effective in other peace initiatives Limitations Political or other community leaders were not involved –without this support, the probability of making any long lasting changes is minimal How does initiative affect the broader scope of the conflict? –Have they conducted a PCIA, and identified all stakeholders How effective are the assessment tools used? –Did they make choices that will gather substantial and important results?

32 In addition to the points previously discussed, what aspects are important to remember when creating a program evaluation? Think of all perspectives and how everyone contributes to and is affected by conflict (as we did today) That not only health, but also peace is being achieved and maintained – Did you INCREASE THE PEACE? Did you incorporate ideas and support from the community/country you are working in?

33 Thank you for your ideas!


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