Our evidence-based peacebuilding methodology combines an extensive participatory research process with advanced data analysis to identify the drivers of conflict dynamics and peaceful social change. It draws inspiration from multiple scientific disciplines such as sociology, psychology, international relations and security studies and is flexible enough to incorporate new research findings, global policy guidelines and the realities of each local and regional context. The methodology is used to recommend to partners peacebuilding solutions related to social cohesion and reconciliation, youth inclusion, gender empowerment, governance and anti-corruption and urban cohesion. The collection and interpretation of data in these areas allows us to provide policy recommendations to partners, which predict how peacebuilding objectives might be achieved through the implementation of specific policies and projects. Our methodology is underpinned by a Content Framework, which helps us align research objectives with the specific policy outcomes of different partners; a Process Framework, which adopts participatory research principles and ensures local ownership of project results; and an Analytical Toolkit, which combines different advanced statistical methods for scientifically robust investigation of SCORE data sets. We invest in ongoing learning and innovation to improve our methodology so we can provide more incisive and impactful policy and programme advice to governments and international organisations.
SCORE Content Framework
The Content Framework focuses on different dimensions of societal functioning which can either contribute to stable, prosperous and resilient societies, or, if they remain unattended, undermine social cohesion and set the country on a course to violent conflict. We have developed over 200 indicators under each of these dimensions, and continue to design new ones as we calibrate the SCORE methodology to different contexts. For example, SCORE's 'Soviet nostalgia' indicator was first calibrated when we rolled out SCORE Ukraine, and the 'political tribalism' indicator was first calibrated for SCORE Liberia. SCORE's Content Framework dimensions illustrate the vision for resilient and cohesive societies, which require:
- Human capability. Society is made up of resourceful and well-adjusted people with cross-cutting life skills and relevant competencies for employability, citizenship and co-existence. Human capability is also interweaved with psychosocial assets, such as overall mental health and family coherence in order to better understand the extent to which citizens can mitigate challenges in daily life and draw support from close social networks.
- Human security. Members of society feel safe from threats of all kinds at the personal, economic, political and environmental level, and they are able to meet their basic needs to flourish.
- Community cohesion and harmonious intergroup relations. An outwardly expanding circle of connectedness, which begins at the family unit and radiates outwards towards supportive local communities, and harmoniously co-existing multicultural societies. This dimension also relates to identity formation and how people move from individual identities to group identities, and how different group identities contribute to either social cohesion or conflict in any given society.
- Institutional and economic development. This dimension constitutes both the backdrop and the outcome of human capability, community cohesion and human security. It relates to good governance structures, their representativeness, efficiency, accountability as well as provision of public and state services, from justice to health care.
- Meaningful civic participation and engagement. Active and constructive civic behaviours are important features of a healthy democracy where citizens have the skills and political space to influence decisions which affect their lives. This also calls for an in-depth understanding of civic attitudes and behaviours, as well as the mechanisms that can foster constructive citizenship.
Such societies, which experience trajectories of positive peace, individual wellbeing and social cohesion, are expected to be flexible and resilient in adapting to changing circumstances, whether these take the form of adversities or present as opportunities.