At International Alert, every year we gather data on our activities and results from around the world during the previous year. We then share these findings, called the ‘Results Framework’, with our donors and supporters.
Our results for 2014, which we will be publishing in full in the coming months, show that last year we supported 174,932 people in 42 countries. 122,000 participants were engaged in dialogue, almost 33,000 in training and over 19,000 in advocacy. We conducted 11,809 dialogue sessions, 671 training sessions and 210 public advocacy meetings. We also accompanied 1,144 local and international partners, including over 200 community groups and over 190 local non-governmental organisations (NGOs).
These are really impressive statistics. But what do they say about us as an organisation and how we choose to build peace? Here, we highlight a few key numbers and show how they illustrate essential aspects of our approach.
Brought 122,000 participants together through dialogue
Participants included mostly local community members, as well as youth and women’s groups and local NGOs. The frequent use of dialogue in our work highlights our belief that peacebuilding is created through the transformation of relationships, by individuals who can show empathy and inspire problem solving. It allows them to engage with those from other communities and countries in a non-confrontational manner, to ‘humanise’ the interaction and explore ways of preventing, managing and resolving conflict.
In Pakistan, for example, we created study circles that brought men and women together to talk about issues such as forced marriage, legal protection and community safety. As a result, facilitators reported a positive shift in participant’s attitudes and behaviour, and cases where communities successfully stopped or boycotted early age exchange and forced marriages.
Published 127 research papers and reports
Our emphasis on research shows that we understand that the impact of our work depends on a deep understanding of the specific contexts in which we operate. We often publish our research with the aim of supporting others to understand how they can contribute to peace and they are a key resource for many practitioners in the countries where we work and within the international aid community. Research is also a key tool in our advocacy approach and our dialogue work, as it provides an informed evidence base to stimulate the re-framing of issues and re-thinking of policies, mindsets and opinions.
Accompanied 1,144 entities
‘Accompaniment’ involves offering guidance and advice to people, organisations and companies as they build peace or operate in high-risk places. The largest group of people we supported in this way in 2014 were members of parliaments and political parties (235 in total, the majority in Uganda and the Philippines), 203 local communities (the majority in the Democratic Republic of Congo) and 192 local NGOs (mostly in Nigeria).
Accompaniment is a subtle approach, which takes a great deal of patience, tact, political astuteness, diplomacy and ability to communicate frankly. It reflects both the personal characteristics that are common among Alert’s staff, but also the desire to ensure ownership of sustained change processes over time. In 2014, as in previous years, accompaniment worked within different forms of partnerships. The graph below shows the diversity of actors who we work with using accompaniment.
These are just some of the highlights of our work last year. We will be publishing our Results Framework 2014 in full in the coming months on our website and will update you when it is available. In the meantime, you can find out more about who we are and how we work here on our website.