Inclusive Peace & Transition Initiative
Civil Society’s Role in Monitoring and Verifying Peace Agreements: Seven Lessons from International Experiences
Publication date: 

Nick Ross

Effective monitoring and verification increases the durability of peace agreements by addressing commitment problems inherent in peace processes. It is a feature of most ceasefire agreements and thematic peace agreements. Monitoring refers to the technical process of collecting information on the basis of which a verification judgment is to be made. Verification is the process of using monitoring information to evaluate compliance with an agreement. 

The objective of this report is to summarise the available evidence about civil society’s role in monitoring and verification activities around the world in recent decades. It draws on the “Civil Society and Peacebuilding” project (2006-2010), and the “Broadening Participation in Political Negotiations and Implementation” project (2011-ongoing), both under the lead of Dr Thania Paffenholz at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva.

Based on experiences from different peace processes, this report’s aim is threefold. First, it provides an introduction to the purpose of monitoring and verification of peace agreements. Second, it presents the different modalities of how civil society has participated in the monitoring and verification of peace agreements, drawing upon examples. Third, it analyses opportunities and challenges, and presents seven lessons for civil society’s effective contribution to monitoring and verification of peace agreements.