Peter Woodrow

Executive Director


Peter Woodrow joined CDA in 2003, and became CDA’s Executive Director in 2013, after ten years as Co-Director of the Reflecting on Peace Practice Program (RPP).  His areas of professional expertise include peacebuilding effectiveness, conflict analysis, the application of systems thinking tools to peacebuilding, and the development of strong peacebuilding programs through utilization of the RPP lessons and tools.

As Executive Director, Peter provides general oversight, administration and fundraising for all of CDA’s programs. He is most directly involved with our program in Myanmar, application of systems thinking to anti-corruption efforts in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and development of a framework for collective impact in peacebuilding in cooperation with Humanity United.

Prior to joining CDA, Peter was a Partner at the mediation organization CDR Associates in Boulder, Colorado, and is an experienced mediator, facilitator, and conflict resolution trainer. He has facilitated issue resolution within organizations, as well as multi party environmental and public policy disputes.  He has also developed and implemented international programs in consensus building, problem solving, decision-making and inter-ethnic conflict resolution in Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe.

He holds an MA from the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, and a BA from Oberlin College.

Peter shares experiences on CDA Perspectives Blog:

A Systemic Analysis of Corruption in the Criminal Justice System in Lubumbashi, DRC

CDA has been working with local stakeholders and partners to develop a thorough understanding about how corruption works in the criminal justice system in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). After completing a broad national level analysis, the project has focused on Katanga Province in southeastern DRC. The main approach has been to support the establishment of a local network of people, including judges/magistrates, lawyers and others dedicated to promoting change in the system of corruption in the criminal justice sector. Click here to see the theory of change for the project.

Corruption is a complex adaptive system, and implementers must continuously reassess the system and the effects of an intervention and adjust programming accordingly. In this vein, I traveled to Lubumbashi in April, 2016 to facilitate a systems analysis among the local anti-corruption network. During analysis we paid particular attention to abuse of preventive detention and police custody.

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Identifying Leverage Points in Systemic Analysis and Planning for Anti-corruption Action

Our local partners from RCN Justice et Démocratie have spent months knitting together a network of twenty-five local people dedicated to combatting corruption in the criminal justice sector. More than half of the group works in the sector, including judges, magistrates, police, as well as members of civil society in Lubumbashi, Katanga Province, Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is a dynamic group, quite willing to engage in lively debates and to challenge each other’s’ thinking about how to generate positive change.

The network assembled for three days of intense analysis and planning work aimed at outlining a long-term strategy for decreasing the effects of corruption—and increasing access to justice more generally. In earlier sessions the group had decided to focus on police custody and preventive detention as the parts of the criminal justice system where the most problematic practices take place.

This workshop was dedicated to conducting a systems analysis of those two problems, based primarily on their personal knowledge and experience, and as the first step in developing a strategy for change. My role was to introduce concepts of systems thinking and then to facilitate production of a systems map of corruption at the Lubumbashi level.

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Top Publications

A Distinction with a Difference: Conflict Sensitivity and Peacebuilding

Advancing Practice in Conflict Analysis and Strategy Development: Interim Progress Report

An Alternative to Formal Evaluation of Peacebuilding Program Quality Assessment

An Approach to DAC Guidance for Evaluating Conflict Prevention and Peacebuilding Activities

This report on evaluating conflict prevention and peacebuilding activities was completed under joint Terms of Reference from the DAC Networks on Development Evaluation and on Conflict, Peace and Development Cooperation, and represents a step forward in developing forthcoming DAC guidance on evaluating conflict prevention and peacebuilding activities.

Application of the RPP Program Reflection Exercise: Addressing Land Related Conflicts in Tierra Firma

This article demonstrates how an organization might apply the RPP Program Reflection Exercise to a proposed program for the purposes of review, analysis, self-evaluation and improved program effectiveness.

Conflict Analysis Framework: Field Guidelines and Procedures

Connecting the Dots: Evaluating Whether and How Programmes Address Conflict Systems

Consultation Roundtable on Peacebuilding Cost-Effectiveness: Exploring a Research Agenda

Demystifying Impacts in Evaluation Practice

Encouraging Effective Evaluation of Conflict Prevention and Peacebuilding Activities: Towards DAC Guidance

This paper is a result of a joint project of the DAC Network on Conflict, Peace and Development Co-operation and the DAC Network on Development Evaluation.

Envisioning and Pursuing Peace Writ Large

Forging a Formula for Peaceful Co-Existence in Fiji: A Case Study on the Citizens’ Constitutional Forum

Generic Factor Tree: Progress Toward Peace

Handbook of Global and Multicultural Negotiation

Methinks He Doth Claim Too Much: The Problem of Over-Claiming

Multi-Stakeholder Processes for Conflict Prevention and Peacebuilding: A Manual

Practical Approaches to Theories of Change in Conflict, Security and Justice Programs Part I: What they are, different types, how to develop and use them

Rising from the Ashes: Development Strategies in Times of Disaster

Drawing on case histories of emergency relief programmes that have successfully promoted development, the book offers guidelines for fashioning assistance programmes designed to counter the effects of both natural and human-caused disasters.

Systems Thinking in Peacebuilding Evaluations: Applications in Ghana, Guinea-Bissau and Kosovo

CDA Annual Report Fiscal Years 2014-2015

Designing Strategic Initiatives to Impact Conflict Systems: Systems Approaches to Peacebuilding

Designing Strategic Initiatives to Impact Conflict Systems: Systems Approaches to Peacebuilding

Thinking Evaluatively in Peacebuilding Design Implementation and Monitoring

Business and Peace Boston Consultation Report 2016

Effective Inter-Religious Action: Guide for Program Evaluation – Draft for pilot phase


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