The historic Colombia peace agreement announced on Aug. 24 — celebrated as a major turning point in ending the country’s 52-year armed conflict — gives the University of Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies primary responsibility for technical verification and monitoring of implementation of the accord through the Peace Accords Matrix (PAM) Barometer initiative.
This is the first time a university-based research center has played such a direct role in supporting the implementation of a peace agreement, according to David Cortright, PAM manager and director of policy studies at the Kroc Institute. “By applying scholarly research to the practical challenges of implementing the agreement, we hope to help Colombia move toward greater peace and stability,” he said.
John Paul Lederach, professor of international peacebuilding; Francisco Diez, Latin America PAM representative; and others at the Kroc Institute have supported the the peace process and facilitated peacebuilding efforts in the country for decades.
PAM is the world’s leading academic center for measuring the progress of peace agreements on a systematic comparative basis. Its database tracks the implementation status of 34 recent comprehensive peace accords by assessing 51 distinct provisions year-by-year for 10 years in quantitative and qualitative form. Research professors Madhav Joshi and Jason Quinn manage the database and serve as key resources for government officials and others involved in monitoring the Colombia peace accord.
The agreement describes the Kroc Institute’s role in designing the assessment methodology and guaranteeing the rigor and neutrality of the verification mechanism. The institute’s responsibilities include providing best practices and technical support for effective monitoring; building an assessment and monitoring model to measure compliance with the agreement; and enabling accurate, real-time decision-making and adjustments within the framework for continuous improvement in peacebuilding capabilities.
The Kroc Institute’s primary implementing partner for these efforts in Colombia is the Social Pastorate of the Catholic Archdiocese of Colombia — the social justice arm of the Catholic bishops — which has a long record of supporting local justice and peacebuilding efforts in local communities throughout Colombia.
“After half a century, the government and rebel negotiators have achieved an innovative and unprecedented agreement,” said Lederach, Senior Fellow with Humanity United, which has supported the initiative. “We hope that the effectiveness of the PAM monitoring initiative in Colombia can serve as a model around the world for improving peace accord implementation and building more sustainable peace.”
The Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies is an integral part of Notre Dame’s new Keough School of Global Affairs, now offering a Master of Global Affairs degree with concentrations in global affairs, international peacebuilding and sustainable development.
Contact: David Cortright, 574-631-8536, firstname.lastname@example.org
Originally published by Renée LaReau at news.nd.edu on August 31, 2016.