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Conceptual and Methodological Grounds - Conflict Prevention and Dialogue

Conceptual and Methodological Grounds

Author: PAPEP
Year: 2007
Language: Spanish / English
Downloads: 294

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The two main goals of this document are:

  1. To clarify the general objectives, theoretical proposals, methodological definitions and specific instruments used by different PAPEP projects.


  1. To describe the above mentioned issues with such specificity that future users and practitioners of this methodology will be able to orient their decisions.


Two additional precisions are required:

First of all, though different PAPEP projects may have similar origins (having been developed in difficult situations by national UNDP offices), a methodological proposal previously designed in all details was not applied. Instead, different national experiences (Bolivia, Honduras, Nicaragua, Peru, Argentina, Ecuador), were complemented by a regional vision that included the continent’s most important countries (Argentina, Brazil, México, Unites States).

A significant degree of convergence between different projects exists, nonetheless.  This is mainly due to three reasons: (i) though national initiatives were not coordinated, initial demands, coming from national political forces, including governments and international cooperation, had many elements in common (in general related to pre-crisis, crisis or post-crisis context analysis); (ii) although national projects were autonomous, the work teams involved almost always coordinated; and (iii) as a result, their studies shared a common conceptual  framework (Calderón 2006). In consequence, this paper summarizes a series of theoretical and methodological convergences that became significant, in spite of having been put together “on the go”.

Second, the idea is to clarify the basis of this work, as well as the explicit principal instruments and expected results, in order to contribute to the development of well-informed demands from toolkit beneficiaries; that is from the potential users of this methodology. This is true whether they use it to develop PAPEP projects (UNDP offices) or to use project results (governments, relevant national actors, international cooperation, OOII).  Thus, this document is intended as a general guide (a sort of “navigational chart”), but not as a detailed methodological manual.  This would be impossible as well as unnecessary in a brief essay since all PAPEP projects require intensive use of different techniques.  Additionally, the methodology has been designed for professional use. 

The report is organized as follows: Chapter 2 describes PAPEP projects in their general specific objectives.  Chapter 3 synthesizes the central elements of the conceptual framework underpinning the design and execution of the projects. To facilitate this presentation, the central components are summarized in five main well-sustained theoretical assumptions. Chapter 4 contains general methodological definitions guiding this work.  In a further facilitation effort, these definitions are presented as a series of distinctions in three application levels and four execution stages.  The main results expected from the analysis stage (“prospective scenarios”) are also included in this chapter, as is the fundamental methodological principle sustaining the whole project: “the active neutrality”. Finally, the principal work instruments are presented in the last chapter, ordered according to pertinence for each one of the four stages described above.

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