Measuring and monitoring changes in communities’ capacities for Social Cohesion and Reconciliation, sounds like a job for superman. However in Cyprus, we have SeeD. And they are creating an innovative statistical tool entitled ‘Social Cohesion and Reconciliation (SCORE) Index’.
Administrations and Communications officer Meltem Ikinci tells us all about it.
“There is no handy roadmap for reconciliation. There is no short cut or simple prescription for healing the wounds and divisions of a society in the aftermath of sustained violence”, says Archbishop Desmond Tutu, one of the most inspirational figures in human history.
Yes, there may not be a handy roadmap, but we can show you the way for a peaceful living together with the ‘others’. But, what does ‘peaceful’ mean? Obviously, it brings up a lot of different images and meanings for all of us. In my case, being peaceful means a lot more than being non-violent; it involves taking positive action in a way that would lead to constructive change in society.
In Cyprus, the conflict has remained in a frozen limbo for more than 4 decades. Despite countless efforts, all have thus far failed to resolve the problem. As a matter of fact, one might say the economic crisis and the overwhelming budget-cuts might have become the new Cyprus problem. But the reality of the past is still there and yet remains unspoken.
“Even if you face the most terrible truth, it is not the end. It is up to us to choose what to forget and what to recall from our experiences” said Dr. Naasson Munyandamutsa, who was one of the key note speakers at the Peace and Reconciliation Conference that we organized in September 2012. Dr. Naasson, who lost most of his family members during the genocide in Rwanda, highlighted that forgiveness is the key answer to heal the wounds of the past. His remarkable speech made me think – once again – that there has not been any significant discussion or any formal acknowledgement of the ‘reconciliation’ itself on both sides of the island until today.
Identifying this need, we, as “Centre for Sustainable Peace and Democratic Development” (the former Cyprus 2015 initiative), are currently working on developing an index called “Social Cohesion and Reconciliation (SCORE) Index. The SCORE Index is an innovative statistical tool that can measure and monitor over time changes in communities’ capacities for Social Cohesion and Reconciliation. Essentially, it will be a “barometer” allowing users to determine in which direction society is moving along the “Reconciliation spectrum”. One has to admit that these terminologies may sound slightly overwhelming at first, but this will not be the case with the SCORE index.
The SCORE will be designed in a user-friendly interface, using a simple colour scale of 1 to 10, upon to draw scores of examining how social factors interact with and influence the process of social cohesion and reconciliation. The results will be easily interpreted by the general public and practitioners, fulfilling the goal of supporting more targeted and efficient policy actions to deal with the ‘sensitive issues’.
This interface will soon be easily accessible through the “Peace it Together” knowledge hub, a digital space where you will be able to read more on the analysis of the state of peace in Cyprus and the region, measured by the SCORE Index. This interactive tool will also enable you to take a quick survey that scores your personal contribution to peace. Well, (either good or bad)… the results can be really surprising! So, wait until the platform is ready and find out… “WHATS YOUR SCORE?”
In the meantime, to get a better idea of the SCORE Index please look at SeeD’s presentation on Prezi: SCORE: Prezi Presentation.
Watch this space for more updates!
Written by: Meltem Ikinci – Administration & Communications Officer, SeeD
Who are we?
We are the first inter-communal think tank called “Center for Sustainable Peace and Democratic Development” (SeeD) ever established in Cyprus. By using participatory research, we develop effective and sustainable policy recommendations aiming to enable societies at all levels to make informed decisions, based on the values of inclusivity, accountability and democracy.
How did we come about?
SeeD emerged from the “Cyprus 2015” project which was launched back in May 2009. Through its novel methodology called ‘Participatory Polling’, “Cyprus 2015” has made effective and sustainable policy recommendations and informed the policy debate regarding the Cyprus Peace talks while ensuring democratic citizenship participation based on values of inclusive action and democracy. With support from Interpeace and UNDP-ACT, SeeD was officially registered in Belgium in late 2012. SeeD team is comprised of highly competent practitioners and scholars with years of combined experience in peace-building and reconciliation processes.