Scaling up in Colombia
The Everyday Peace Indicators stress the importance of participatory methods and produce indicators that account for local perceptions. The very nature of EPI, which allows for this detailed localized picture, however, prevents this methodology from saying much about the wider context. When researchers are focused on community-level peace, this is not problematic. Indeed, EPI’s context specificity is a demonstrated strength of this methodology. Yet there are some research questions that are best answered at a higher level of analysis. In these circumstances, EPI’s strength becomes a limitation. Indeed, EPI is so context specific that we are careful only to use indicators in the community in which they were sourced. In this project, however, we seek to build on our prior successes by determining whether the EPI methodology can be scaled up such that a regional measure of peace might be built from bottom-up indicators. If successful, this project will render data gathered using bottom-up indicators more comparable to existing top-down indices and barometers, and will also create bottom-up measures that can be compared across communities. Here we seek to create a peace barometer for the Pasto Indigenous group from Nariño and Putumayo that can account for the entire group and can complement other peace barometers produced with top-down, expert indicators. This project begins with the collaboration of the National Coordination of Indigenous Women of Colombia (CONAMIC). The EPI team was interested in understanding how our methodology, based on community perceptions, could be scaled up to account for a larger group of people, or a territory. For their part, the members of CONAMIC felt dissatisfied with the ways in which the impacts of the 2016 Peace Agreements were being measured "from above" and were looking for alternative methodologies. In 2018 we started a pilot with the Pastos, which is one of the communities whose members are a part of CONAMIC.