After emerging from a 10-year armed conflict, Nepal has already made significant steps towards achieving social cohesion, reconciliation, and a lasting political settlement. However, the peace-building and constitution-building processes are still ongoing, while several inter-ethnic, inter-regional and political tensions remain to be addressed.
In this context, SeeD has now been invited by a local non-profit organization called Pro-Public to implement the Social Cohesion and Reconciliation SCORE Index in Nepal. Pro-Public is currently working to introduce an “Infrastructures for Peace” perspective in Nepal which is being commissioned and funded by German International Cooperation Agency (GIZ). The findings of the SCORE Index will be used to identify peace needs and produce evidence-based policy recommendations for consideration by Nepal's Ministry of Peace and Reconstruction. This will be the first nation-wide research to understand what the peace needs of Nepal.
Within the scope of this research, SeeD Research Director Alexandros Lordos went for a 10-day extended mission in Nepal to facilitate the calibration of SCORE Index and to provide training for the Pro Public team regarding fieldwork implementation. Data collection and fieldwork for the SCORE research will be conducted within 12 districts of Nepal with a sample size of 1200 people (with gender balance). The research is expected to be completed by early summer 2015.
So, what is the SCORE Index?
The Social Cohesion and Reconciliation (SCORE) Index aims to measure the impact of peace-building efforts while assessing and understanding the impact of underlying social factors that can influence the outcome of peace processes. This tool can potentially help policy makers and practitioners target their interventions; donors to target their funding; and authorities to target their policies more strategically in terms of peace-building. From this vantage point, the most exciting aspect of the SCORE Index is to utilize it as a tool for predicting the impact of specific policy actions and programme interventions. Furthermore, the SCORE Index is the first and only existing tool that is not exclusive to a particular reconciliation context. Experts in the field have already identified the potential for the SCORE methodology to be applied in multiple country contexts. This capacity to use a standard SCORE methodology in multiple countries provides a capacity to draw international comparisons between different conflict and post-conflict scenarios, through the lens of comparative learning and the management of complex peace and development situations. Given that SCORE Index is being implemented in Cyprus, Bosnia and Nepal, the prospect of expanding SCORE to multiple contexts is promising.
The SCORE Index is a UNDP-supported project and was developed through a partnership between the Center for Sustainable Peace and Democractic Development (SeeD), a peacebuilding think tank and the UNDP – Action for Cooperation and Trust programme in Cyprus.