Statement of Germany at the Launch of the Peacebuilding Impact Hub, 8 December 2023

08.12.2023 - Speech

The statement was delivered by Ambassador Thomas Zahneisen.

Dear colleagues, thank you for your attention so far, we’re very encouraged by the great interest in the Impact Hub!

The Peacebuilding Impact Hub could still use more support, including of the financial kind, and will only unfold all its potential through the active participation of member states, IFIs and civil society experts.

The idea of the Impact Hub was born out of the following realization: There has been an increasing demand for peacebuilding activities over the past years. At the same time, despite the broad consensus over its centrality, there are still only limited resources available for peacebuilding and sustaining peace worldwide.

As a strong supporter of UN Peacebuilding and the PBF’s largest donor, we have tried to support PBSO in increasing the PBF’s donor base and are currently working together closely to identify and leverage new and innovative partners and sources of funding.

The rising demand can, however, currently not be met and is further increased by new challenges to peace and peacebuilding, stemming from the impact of climate change and new technologies. This is why we are convinced that the resources that are already available need to be used in the most effective way possible.

Becoming more effective is not an easy endeavor. It is about learning and generating a deeper understanding of the peacebuilding toolbox as well as the specific, local conflict dynamics the different tools try to address.

We need to be honest with ourselves: not every project will turn out to be a success. But every project can help us learn to become better at helping to build peace.

This is why in 2020 we initiated a project called PeaceFIELD together with PBSO, two research teams, and later on Canada. The PeaceFIELD project is still ongoing and finishing up on a number of rigorous scientific impact assessments on individual PBF projects in Sudan, Guatemala, Niger, Guinea and Sierra Leone.

Let me give you an example: In Niger PeaceFIELD assessed a PBF project on peace radio broadcasting in active conflict areas. Quantitative data indicates that radio broadcasting might have had a positive impact on the local level of violence. However, the qualitative assessment also showed that the project’s original theory of change did not sufficiently include the full range of risks, namely that individual radio broadcasts could themselves become targets in the ongoing conflict.

We appreciate that PBSO is now institutionalizing the idea of impact assessments and joint learning through the creation of the Impact Hub. We see this as an important opportunity to continue measuring the impact of peacebuilding activities and hence strengthening the effectiveness and precision of the peacebuilding toolbox.

The impact hub will help to tell the PBF’s success stories. It will also help improve project designs and adjust ongoing projects if they are not achieving the intended outcome. It will enable joint learning, bring member states, scientists and implementing agencies together to share and discuss their insights and, hopefully, establish a community of practice.

We would like to encourage all member states to use this opportunity not only to advance peacebuilding but to also learn from and with the PBF both on the multilateral and bilateral level.

Together with PBSO, today’s co-hosts and other partners, we will strive to meet regularly to help advance the work of the Impact Hub. Here are some of the possible next steps that PBSO is elaborating and we would like to advance with all of you:

o an annual global overview report by the Impact Hub – which could make a valuable contribution to the 2025 Peacebuilding Architecture Review;

o the establishment of a virtual discussion platform to facilitate knowledge sharing;

o the establishment of an expert reference group and sub-working groups, including on communications;

o in-depth, collective evaluation studies – like those of the PeaceFIELD initiative; and, finally

o a dedicated web presence with a database of impact measurement tools and good practices.

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