Newswise — The Peace Accords Matrix (PAM), an innovative research and practice initiative at the University of Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, has received a new grant from the United States Department of State’s Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations (CSO). The grant continues CSO support for the PAM team’s first-of-its-kind work to provide real-time monitoring of the Colombian peace process, and sets up a framework for continued partnership over the next five years. The historic Colombia peace agreement signed on Nov. 24, 2016, gives the Kroc Institute, through the PAM Barometer Initiative, primary responsibility for technical verification and monitoring of implementation of the accord.
PAM research findings confirm that international monitoring and verification of peace agreements result in higher rates of implementation, which has many short- and long-term benefits, including less likelihood of a return to armed conflict, greater economic development, greater access to education and improved public health.
“The Kroc Institute is at the cutting edge of stabilization in real time by tracking peace accord implementation as it happens,” said Gail Morgado, CSO’s director of the Office of Western Hemisphere and European/Eurasian Affairs. “CSO is proud to continue our longstanding partnership with Kroc in this groundbreaking initiative. The Peace Accords Matrix has proven to be an indispensable tool in our efforts to support a sustainable peace in Colombia.”
The latest grant of $790,000 follows previous CSO support totaling $3,465,713, and brings the total amount granted to PAM to more than $4 million. To date, the Barometer Initiative team in Colombia has produced five comprehensive implementation reports and four special reports monitoring the implementation of provisions related to gender and ethnic concerns within the agreement. In addition, the team has produced myriad videos, infographics, brochures and public presentations to help tell the story of how implementation is progressing in Colombia.
Most recently, the Kroc Institute’s research was cited during a formal statement at the Oct. 21 U.N. Security Council Open Debate on Women, Peace and Security. Celia Umenza Velasco, a member of the Association of Indigenous Councils of the North of Cauca in Colombia, drew on the institute’s data on the implementation status of gender and ethnic provisions to advocate for continued focus on inclusive implementation.
“I cannot stress enough the importance of our partnership with CSO,” said Josefina Echavarría Alvarez, PAM director. “This is evident not just through the very real and robust financial support that enables us to work in Colombia, but also through the trusting professional engagement and relationships with CSO leaders that we enjoyed even prior to the signing of the 2016 agreement.”
Despite facing many challenges during 2020, the PAM team’s most recent comprehensive report, published in June 2021, showed that implementation continued to advance. These advances were especially clear with provisions related to transitional justice mechanisms. The team will release another short report on implementation progress in December.