Can education campaigns change respect for human rights and conflict after war?

The randomized evaluation.

Alex Hartman, Rob Blair and I released an IPA policy report yesterday, from a Liberia project:

For new democracies and societies emerging from conflict, encouraging tolerance and dialogue, strengthening non-violent conflict resolution systems, and increasing understanding of human rights are key priorities.

Governments and NGOs commonly try to change the political culture, civic values, and practices of conflict resolution at the local level through widespread dialogue, education, and information campaigns.  But do these dialogue and education programs actually work as intended? Do they change norms and behaviors, and if so, how? How are new patterns of conflict resolution formed? And how do they contribute to national reconciliation?

The short answer: Civic participation? Not so much. Respect for human rights? A little. Local conflict? Oh boy. Dialogue = more conflict. But, fortunately, less violent conflict.

The academic paper and analysis still to follow. But the preliminary results are interesting.