Publication date: 
May 1 2015
United States

Practice and research of peace education has grown in the recent years as shown by a steadily increasing number of publications, programs, events, and funding mechanisms. The oft-cited point of departure for the peace education community is the belief in education as a valuable tool for decreasing the use of violence in conflict and for building cultures of positive peace hallmarked by just and equitable structures. Educators and organizations implementing peace education activities and programming, however, often lack the tools and capacities for evaluation and thus pay scant regard to this step in program management. Reasons for this inattention are related to the perceived urgency to prioritize new and more action in the context of scarce financial and human resources, notwithstanding violence or conflict; the lack of skills and time to indulge in a thorough evaluative strategy; and the absence of institutional incentives and support. Evaluation is often demand-driven by donors who emphasize accounting given the current context of international development assistance and budget cuts. Program evaluation is considered an added burden to already over-tasked programmers who are unaware of the incentives and of assessment techniques. Peace education practitioners are typically faced with forcing evaluation frameworks, techniques, and norms standardized for traditional education programs and venues. Together, these conditions create an unfavorable environment in which evaluation becomes under-valued, de-prioritized, and mythologized for its laboriousness.