Policy question: How should World Vision best train children and youth in conflict
zones in conflict analysis methods?
The purpose of this project is to enable World Vision to reach its objective of “empowering
children as agents of transformation” (World Vision International). That is, to make
informed recommendations for all World Vision’s conflict analysis programs for youth
in conflict zones, using the completed Empowering Children as Peacebuilders (ECaP)
project from the World Vision Development Foundation, Philippines as a baseline.
Options that would most clearly improve conflict analysis programs for children and
youth in conflict zones include:
Option 2: Formalize a worldwide ECaP practitioner group
Design an ongoing professional development program for ECaP practitioners to facilitate
contact among themselves, distribute well-curated information, and to help build connections
with other organizations. This option would likely take the form of a mobile application,
website, and/or newsletter and annual or biannual conferences.
Option 1: Parent-child conflict analysis training
Based on the ECaP model, World Vision would conduct conflict analysis training where
a parent and a child go through the training together.
Option 3: Develop simulations
World Vision would develop simulations where ECaP participants play the roles of stakeholders
in real conflicts. A narrator will describe events and offer possible choices, and
the participants will arrive at a possible resolution. Then, they will compare the
version of events they created to the events as they actually happened.
Option 8: Have trigger events for scaling a program up
Events, such as reaching a certain saturation of ECaP-trained kids in an area, would
trigger new options for scaling up. These would include advocacy training and activities,
further involvement with interfaith groups, and facilitation of conflict analysis
programs for other organizations.
Option 4: Develop a series of follow-up activities
These may include the simulations and case studies listed above, opportunities for
training, or involvement in community volunteer work. They are designed to help children
and youth practice and refresh their skills, and to keep those over 18 years old involved.
I gathered data from a literature review, expert and stakeholder interviews, and from
field research at World Vision Development Foundation’s Mindanao 2 field office and
Matina Aplaya Area Development Program office in the Philippines.
Research Activity totals for research trip to Davao City, Philippines:
• 4 focus group discussions
• 5 WVDF staff interviews (Mindanao, national office staff)
• 8 individual interviews with ECaP trainers and ECaP trainer parents
• 2 home visits to ECaP trainer parents
• 2 debriefings with preliminary findings
I weigh each policy option by how well it fulfills the general criteria below:
• Gives participants skills they use effectively
• Likely to reduce conflict in the short term
• Likely to reduce conflict in the long term
• Allows WV to contribute to peacebuilding field
• Financially and programmatically sustainable
There are many challenges to effective peacebuilding, but conflict analysis training
seems to empower children to contribute to peace in their families and communities.
My findings show that the ECaP project in Davao, Philippines improved children’s lives
by improving their relationships and giving them key skills. ECaP was even more successful
than anticipated. Not only did children become more responsible and dutiful; they
also mediated in family conflicts. The ECaP trainers have the capacity to be effective
trainers, but they need resources to keep their skills up-to-date and applicable.
In implementing conflict analysis programs for youth, World Vision must
The key tasks will be ensuring that ECaP participants have ongoing encouragement and
training even after they age out of the programs, and that World Vision conflict analysis
programs set appropriate goals, assess the program’s context, identify the group of
children or youth to be trained, design the program, and evaluate the results.