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Evaluating the BMZ's Civil Peace Service (ZFD)


The Civil Peace Service (CPS) was founded in 1999 as a new German government instrument for civil society peacebuilding. The objective of the CPS was to contribute to securing long-term peace by developing structures that promote peace after armed conflict (post-conflict peacebuilding), prevent conflicts from breaking out (crisis prevention) and help strengthen peaceful conflict resolution (mitigation of violence).

Eight German development and peace organisations together form the Civil Peace Service Group (CPS Group – in German: Konsortium ZFD). Deploying CPS experts (ZFD-Fachkräfte) was the main mode of cooperation between the CPS executing agencies and their partners in conflict-affected countries. For the period 1999 – 2009, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) approved a financial volume of approximately 144 million Euros, which funded 583 positions for CPS experts in 50 countries to the end of 2009.



In 2009, the BMZ commissioned an independent external evaluation covering the period from the inception of the CPS in 1999 until 2009/2010. The CCDP was mandated to carry out the evaluation after a tending process. Data collection was completed in mid 2010, and the evaluation process as a whole continued until summer 2011.

The evaluation of the CPS was conducted both in Germany and in eight selected case study countries (Burundi, Cambodia, Colombia, Guatemala, Israel/ Palestine, Niger, Serbia, and Uganda). The aim of the evaluation was to create accountability and learning opportunities for the CPS and its main stakeholders and to make recommendations for the future of the CPS and its projects.


The CCDP developed an innovative methodology for assessing the relevance and effectiveness of the CPS’s work that can provide a model for future evaluations of peace efforts. This included making use of research results as an evaluation framework. The CCDP used its own research results from the ‘Civil Society and Peacebuilding Project’ as well as others.

Please refer to the methodological report for further information available on request at eval (at)


The evaluation concluded that the CPS is a valuable instrument that, however, needs to be substantially strengthened in profile and operations in order for its potential to be harnessed and for the CPS to become a more significant actor within the framework of Germany’s peacebuilding and development policies.

The CPS has its focus on civil society peacebuilding. The CPS with its local partners has helped to make the voices of ordinary people heard at the local level and, in a few cases, even beyond.  The CPS is first and foremost an instrument for the deployment of experts. The core added value of sending international experts to conflict countries is the outsider perspective.

Over the last decade, CPS experts have clearly strengthened the peacebuilding potential of CPS partners. However, the current main practice of CPS expert deployment (one CPS expert per partner) is not sufficiently oriented towards the needs of partners. Hence, other means of deployment as well as as other forms of support have to be introduced.

CPS projects have achieved a number of positive changes, mostly at the local level. However, much more could be achieved for local people if the programme reach were enlarged to encompass a much broader level of intervention, both locally and nationally. Among the countries assessed, only one country programme as a whole was highly effective (Cambodia) and two are likely to become effective in the future (Burundi, Niger) if they broaden their outreach.


Use of evaluation results

In early 2011 the CPS group and the BMZ unit on peace and security have started a process to implement the recommendations of the CCDP evaluation. They have formed four committees focussing on different aspects of the recommendations. The stakeholders have given themselves a time frame of two years to implement the evaluation results.

The methodological report has been distributed at the OECD/DAC and examples from the CCDP methodology have been used as good practise to enrich the new OECD/DAC Guidance on evaluation in conflict affected and fragile contexts.

The Executive Summary of the evaluation is available on the BMZ home page:
Click here for the English version
Click here for the German version

The full versions of the synthesis reports in English and German, including the summaries of all case studies and the full methodological report, can be requested by writing an email to the BMZ: eval (at) Under the same email all full versions of the country case studies are available.


Project coordinator 

  • Daniel Fino

Project coordinator