During the period of March – April 2014, a member from mediatEUr and another member from the Initiatives for International Dialogue (IID) conducted a study on the effectiveness of NP’s work within the Civilian Protection Component (CPC) of the International Monitoring Team (IMT) in the Philippines. The IID is a reputable and recognized organization based in the Philippines with strong connections with people within the community. The report focuses on NPs CPC work through several evaluation lenses including:
- Intended results and outcomes of program as articulated in project proposals to Norway and the EU during 2012-2013
- The reflecting of Peace Practice Criteria of Effectiveness in Peacebuilding
- Conflict- sensitivity
- A gender lens- to asses the extent the program applies a gender sensitive approach
- The OECDs criteria for evaluating conflict prevention and Peacebuilding programs
The main findings of the evaluation field mission are categorized into topics including; relevance, effectiveness, impact and sustainability. NPs work founded on unarmed civilian peacekeeping has been recognized as a relevant strategy to address grassroots-level security concerns at higher levels of decision making. Furthermore, community representatives confirmed that they felt safer as a result of NPs presence and role as part of the CPC and through passing on information to NP, we acted as a higher decision making power. Armed actors on both sides also confirmed that our presence as a third party observer served to temper their behavior. The impact of NP has further been recognized by maintaining ‘0 incidents’ since early 2012 that has preserved the political momentum for the peace process and built confidence between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). Another important impact, less widely understood, is the innovation in international third party peace process support that the IMT-CPC represents and to which NP has significantly contributed.
External stakeholders that were interviewed in this study expressed their appreciation for the work of NP. Specifically, NP is able to influence the actions of the GPH and the MILF armed actors. This includes the capability to cause armed actions to cease and desist through direct access and monitoring. Firefights and incursions have been suppressed after information was forwarded to NP counterparts in nearby locations. Mere minutes pass before the cessation of armed action and the reporting of information to NP. NPs presence, mostly viewed as international, is seen as a sign of seriousness of the situation, improving safety in the community, a sign of honor, and a sign of human concern for the violent situation in the Philippines.
Closing the report, the two observers made recommendations for NPs work in Mindanao as well as for the global development of NP. Particularly, the new and evolving concept of unarmed civilian peacekeeping needs greater international recognition as a tried and tested alternative to peace building.