2017 Graduate Student Fellows
In Tanzania’s Ngorongoro Conservation Area, human-lion conflict is a major issue; people lose valuable livestock from lion attacks and lion populations suffer from retaliatory killings. Adam’s research will assess whether and how an incentive payment program can be established to mitigate this conflict by providing benefits to local communities for helping to conserve lions.
Nigeria’s prison system is in dire need of reform. Dreadful prison conditions affect mental health and the lack of psychological support services and rehabilitation programs make reintegration into society after release difficult. This results in increased conflict and high rates of recidivism. This study will test the potential of a social psychological intervention to foster resilience against a dehumanizing prison environment and post-release discrimination. Results will inform the design of a sustainable intervention program to reduce conflict and violence for building sustainable peace in Nigeria.
Summer’s research examines to what extent and how exposure to armed conflict shapes the sanctioning environment for sexual and domestic violence. Building on her previous findings from survey and focus group work in eastern DR Congo, she will return to a subset of the same villages for in-depth qualitative research. This research trip will involve examining community power structures and the relationship between social and legal punishments, which will serve to further embed her claims about conflict’s effects on sexual and domestic violence in context.
Teachers College, Ph.D. Clinical Psyschology
Jen’s research will explore child caregiving networks in post-conflict northern Uganda. The study includes a qualitative component to capture the nuances of caretaking in the community for young children of both depressed and non-depressed mothers, as well as a pilot of social network mapping methods to capture the complex and culturally specific social networks in the community through which caregiving skills and assistance are transmitted. This formative study will set the foundation for a second phase examining changes in caretaking networks over the course of a C-RCT for depressed perinatal women that involves a mental health intervention and an evidence-based health and nutrition promotion model targeting maternal and child health.
School of International & Public Affairs, Masters of Public Administration in Development Practice
The Participatory Action Research (PAR) Project focuses on training marginalized youth in conflict areas or refugee camps to generate evidence on issues that concern them, their peers, and their communities. The purpose is to generate evidence, in partnership with regional youth, on key driving factors that lead them to positively or negatively engage with society and to use key findings improve upon programs for them. During my time in Jordan, I will be focusing on the development of materials for the young researchers to use.
The programme on Sustaining Peace: Building National Capacities on Conflict Prevention with the Conflict Prevention, Governance and Peacebuilding Team, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Regional Hub for Asia and the Pacific based in Bangkok, Thailand will focus on understanding the root causes of conflict in 13 Southeast Asian nations. This will form the foundation for the 2nd part of the programme in Building National Capacities for Conflict Prevention and mainstreaming the 16th Sustainable Development Goal (SGD 16) that focusses on Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions in the region. The program also intends to initiate a wider emphasis on understanding radicalisation and preventing violent extremism in the region. This will guide the development of future programs for deradicalization and peacebuilding efforts in this field.
Eleanor Haisell will be working with the Cairo Institute of Human Right Studies in Tunisia on a research project examining local governance in Libya. In particular, examining how local governance and local peace mediation interact and providing policy recommendations.for programs supporting local governance projects in Libya to incorporate peace building into programming.
School of International & Public Affairs, MIA International Security Policy, dual specializing in International Conflict Resolution & Gender and Public Policy
Gretchen will use interviews and focus groups to collect qualitative data on the state-led master narrative in post-conflict Rwanda, specifically its relation to the annual practice of Kwibuka memorial months. She will analyze the seemingly diametrically opposed practices of memorializing Rwanda’s conflict through Kwibuka and the repression of that same conflict memory during the rest of the year, comparing subsequent effects of those practices on the civilian population’s consciousness. Drawing on theories of historical memory, identity in political violence, collective consciousness, and post-conflict state-building, this project aims to provide insight into small, traumatized states’ methods of sustaining—or losing hold of—political peace.
The motivation of Amanda’s qualitative research this summer is to gain insight into the dynamics of household violence in conflict-affected communities in Colombia. Understanding local perceptions and classifications of violence can help in identifying how best to measure violence and violence reduction. Additionally, this insight could help to inform potential policies and interventions by identifying key themes in how youth classify different forms of violence and which experiences they perceive as most impactful on their quality of life.
Jorge’s dissertation research explores why democratic governments delegate coercion to nonstate, extralegal agents such as militias or criminal gangs. He specifically focuses on the electoral determinants that drive local political elites to outsource repression in times of economic abundance. As an AC4 fellow, he will travel to the Brazilian Amazon to investigate the use of illicit forced evictions of vulnerable populations such as peasant villages and indigenous groups. He will use the grant to conduct semi-structured elite interviews in the state of Pará, where the economic opportunities that the boom of agricultural commodities generate are in conflict with the land rights of preexisting rural communities.
Kayum will be working with student activists from the University of Cape Town (South Africa) and the University of Oxford (United Kingdom) who were and remain involved in a radical student movement called #RhodesMustFall (#RMF). The #RMF movement seeks to decolonize education by employing tactics of disruption that are inspired by decolonial theories.
Farah Amalia, Rebekah Nelson, Jaspar Leahy
Teachers College, MA International Educational Development
Farah, Rebekah, and Jaspar will be going to Indonesia to pilot a non-formal human rights education (HRE) curriculum centered around preventing violent extremism. The curriculum is designed for youth to learn about the complex sources and causes of violent extremism (VE), and develop skills to prevent VE through human rights advocacy and community-based social action. Simultaneously, the team will be conducting research on the relationships between youth participation in HRE and perceptions of human rights, locus-of-control, and participation in social action.