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At the request of the UK Department for International Development (DFID), the Vera Institute of Justice, as part of a network of eight expert organizations, has been providing technical assistance since 2011 to DFID offices in conflict and post-conflict countries as part of DFID’s Conflict, Crime and Violence (CCV) Results Initiative project, also known as the Helpdesk Project. This assistance aims to address the absence of systematic expert support for measuring the impact of conflict, security, and justice programs in developing countries and countries emerging from conflict, as well as a lack of coherent outreach across DFID. The goals of this standardization are better impact measurement and information gathering.

This assistance aims to address the absence of systematic expert support for measuring the impact of conflict, security, and justice programs in developing countries and countries emerging from conflict, as well as a lack of coherent outreach across DFID. The goals of this standardization are better impact measurement and information gathering.

Vera offers the following services to DFID country offices:

  • Helpdesk DFID country offices can post queries to helpdesk experts and get a quick response advising them on program development and evaluation. Vera’s contribution to the helpdesk includes responses to queries related to identifying valid indicators and suitable data to populate logframes and operational plans; testing the reliability of existing data and advising on methodologies to gather new data; triangulating data from perception surveys and official records, and peer reviewing methodologies and surveys already in use; and building partnerships with local organizations and strengthening national capacities
  • Publications Development of toolkits and guidelines tailored to the needs of DFID and its main partners. Guidance products produced by Vera aim to complement helpdesk responses and respond to identified gaps in DFID’s knowledge and approaches. Such tools help build understanding of what has worked and why and support DFID’s own advocacy work with external organizations.

Vera and its CCV partner organizations combine substantive knowledge of conflict, security, and justice issues with a focus on the methodologies, data, and measures required to inform good program design and implementation.

Why Does this Work Matter?

Vera’s work in developing and post-conflict countries has shown that while information is rarely well organized and is often difficult to access there are almost always some existing data-collection activities that can provide a foundation for a more comprehensive data- collection strategy. The helpdesk initiative gives DFID staff a unique opportunity to tap into the collective expertise of the participating organizations to develop strategies for working with national authorities and building data-collection capacity in developing and post-conflict environments.

For more information, please contact Caitlin Gokey.

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