Program Incubation Process

The complexity underlying armed conflict calls for an iterative approach to problem-solving.

Through a decade of experience and investment in trial and error, we’ve learned that peacebuilding programs require coordinated work across all the myriad pressures that are leading to violence or preventing peace. The complex combination of drivers is always unique, and resolving them is both beyond the capacity of any one institution and far outside the parameters of any one isolated solution.

With sights firmly set on the long-term in any given conflict geography, and a relentless focus on empirical data to prove a model of intervention, OEF begins it’s program design with a situation analysis and a goal to prove a model for success that can be expanded to make measurable impact at scale.

Here’s How We Do It.

Identify & Analyze a Conflict
Program incubation starts with a conflict analysis, where we map out the drivers of conflict, their interrelationships, and current efforts to address them. If we determine that we can make an impact alongside the existing network of actors working in a conflict context, we validate a program idea with dozens of diverse experts, practitioners and conflict stakeholders. We challenge our assumptions, incorporate feedback, and revisit our understanding of the problem dynamics. While every context is different, OEF programs tend to utilize data, networks, design thinking, and market incentives to align what exists and create opportunities for sustainable peace, whether at the grassroots or policy levels.
Prove a Scalable Model
If an idea survives the validation process OEF increases its investment in program design, starting with the recruitment of an expert director who shares the vision, takes the reins, and builds a dedicated team. Once operational, the program staff expands the process of discovery and proof of concept, iteratively working to prove—to the communities we serve and to ourselves—that we can make a measurable impact on peace. We integrate structured management frameworks and rigorous M&E throughout the process so we can remain grounded in reality as we work toward a scalable model.
Systematize the Model
There comes a point at which the program team has developed a replicable, adaptable methodology for fostering sustainable peace, evidenced by empirical data and stories of success. Once this level of documented proof, credibility, and recognition exists, the team shifts its focus to creating efficient operational and administrative systems that larger donors need and expect. Backed by recognized management expertise, the program team systematizes operations and bolsters factors for impact sustainability.
Partner to Scale
With evidence of the successful impacts of OEF’s investments toward our goals for peace, we then seek out and establish implementation and funding partnerships with organizations who share our passion for effective peacebuilding. Our partners value transparency in impact management and measurement, and OEF’s approach to program incubation offers documented evidence of success. Our goal is to scale our programs to match the size of the problem they were created to solve.