Peer review tool for politically-sensitive projects

I recently worked with a political mediation NGO that was looking for a rapid review tool to assess what was working well and less well in its political dialogue project.  The challenge was to find a review tool that was “light” (i.e. didn’t take up too much staff time) and that generated meaningful information on the quality of the NGO’s support without the usual interviews with “beneficiaries”. In fact, in this project, it would have been too politically-sensitive to interview the “beneficiaries” directly.

I developed a customized “After-action Review” tool, which essentially had two main phases. In the first phase, I conducted interviews with the NGO’s staff and consultants and led a peer-to-peer review process of what worked well and less well.  In the second phase, I facilitated a two-hour analysis session with the NGO’s staff only, focused on getting consensus on key findings, conclusions and recommendations.  For a politically-sensitive project, where there is a strong need to maintain confidentiality, a light review tool using a strong peer-to-peer review approach can be a useful, cost-effective alternative to a classical evaluation.

If you have experience of using peer review techniques to review sensitive projects, do get in touch to exchange ideas!