Fellowship Opportunity in Reconciliation: Call for Concept Notes
A key puzzle in post-conflict peacebuilding is that we do not know the best methodologies to measure changes in intergroup relations. This makes it very difficult to evaluate the impact of reconciliation programming, and thus to improve programming.
Barometers, or indices, of reconciliation do exist, several in Africa based on a prototype developed for South Africa, some developed separately (Australia; Cyprus). They attempt to measure reconciliation at a national level, with no mechanisms for local level reconciliation nor for changes from year to year, among other critical gaps. At best, they attempt to reflect the state of intergroup relations at a national level, but they are not set up to produce any recommendations for action in the form of policy or programming. No comparative, analytical studies of these barometers exist, nor have those researchers who created or produced existing barometers been brought together to discuss methodologies, successes, shortcomings and “new generation” ideas.
The Reconciliation Research Project in USIP’s Center for Applied Research on Conflict [ARC] seeks concept notes for a Jennings Randolph Fellowship. Over the course of 8-10 months, the Fellow will:
- Carry out a review of existing methodologies of instruments to measure reconciliation;
- Write a USIP Special Report on instruments to measure reconciliation, as well as a minimum of one shorter publication to raise awareness of the research and begin to identify other experts working in this field and potential stakeholders among practitioners and policy-makers
- Working with ARC staff, organize a workshop to convene creators of and researchers working on existing barometers to discuss the development of this type of tool to better measure reconciliation;
- Working with ARC staff, begin to lay the groundwork for a prototype of a Reconciliation Barometer for a conflict or post-conflict context, to be used as a base for barometer planning. Colombia is potentially a strong case study as it is in a peace process, and has wide variation in local experiences of conflict and therefore local as well as national-level reconciliation needs. Proposals for alternative sites will be considered; identifying potential in-country partners (individuals and institutions) will be key to developing this project strand;
- More broadly, the Fellow would serve as a resource and advisor on future applied, empirical reconciliation research, including the development of potential case studies
The Fellowship may be split into two residencies. The research proposal may include trips to the field for short-term research.
USIP envisions that the selected Fellow will be mid- to senior-level professional. Concept note submissions will be evaluated according to the following criteria:
- A strong background in social science research in post-conflict environments, including a PhD, strong methodological skills, including quantitative, relevant publications record;
- Familiarity with the literature and problematics of post-conflict peacebuilding, including reconciliation as a conceptual framework;
- Evidence of the necessary local/regional expertise, including relevant language skills, to carry out the proposed case study;
- A proven track-record of carrying out comparable research and practice- and policy-oriented writing projects;
- Interest in, familiarity with and preferably engagement or experience in relevant peacebuilding/humanitarian/development practice, in order to understand the needs of the field and the nature of USIP;
- Depth and range of experience, as well as creative thinking and analytical approach, to expand USIP’s current research agenda;
- Established track record of writing and publishing on his or her research topic; and,
- Potential to expand USIP’s relationships with practitioners, researchers and national, regional and international organizations engaged in projects to promote reconciliation.
A limited number of applicants will be invited to submit a longer application based on the Concept Note.
To submit the Concept Note, together with a CV, and for information email: ReconciliationFellowship@usip.org. Dr. Elizabeth Cole, Senior Program Officer, directs the Reconciliation Research strand within USIP’s ARC. Please send the Concept Note as an attachment and put Reconciliation Fellowship Concept Note Submission in the subject line.