Building Bridges to Peace Final Evaluation Report
From 2009 to 2011, Mercy Corps implemented the USAID/CMM-funded Building Bridges to Peace program in northeast Uganda’s Karamoja region, an area that has been plagued by conflict and poverty for decades. The program sought to promote reconciliation and address causes of conflict by engaging agro-pastoralist communities in a range of economic and peacebuilding activities. Its main objectives were to strengthen local mechanisms for conflict mitigation, support reconciliation through dialogues and trust-building measures, and build cooperation and address key causes of violence through joint livelihoods projects.
• Security improved across the sub-region over the life of the program. For example, at endline 26% fewer respondents than at midterm reported at least one violent incident in their village in the previous three months.
• Significant gains were made in the quality of relationships between communities, particularly in terms of trust levels and perceptions of relationships between the conflicting communities. For example, 7.2 % of respondents at endline reported “Never” trusting the conflicting community compared with 42.7% at midterm.
• Analysis using a comparison group demonstrates that communities where BBP was implemented experienced improved access to resources, increased perceptions of security, increased trust between adversarial communities, and strengthened inter-communal ties (e.g., intermarriage) compared with communities where BBP was not implemented.
• There are some strong correlations between economic variables and stability measures, including: 1) positive correlations between market interaction, resource sharing, and freedom of movement; and 2) positive correlations between resource sharing and reduction in violent incidents.