HU-UIBK Partnership for Strengthening Institutional Capacity in Peacebuilding and Conflict Transformation | PSICPCT

2018_project186_group_picture_c_paul_lauer.jpg © Paul Lauer

Project Coordinator: Dr. Gutema Imana Keno

Coordinating Institution: Haramaya University

Partner Institution: Unit for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Innsbruck (Dr. Norbert Koppensteiner / Mr. Adham Hamed, Ms. Juliana Krohn)

Partner Country: Ethiopia

Project Duration: 1st of December 2017 – 30th of November 2020

HU-UIBK Partnership for Strengthening Institutional Capacity in Peacebuilding and Conflict Transformation (PSICPCT) is an academic partnership between the College of Social Sciences and Humanities (CSSH) of Haramaya University (HU), Ethiopia, and the UNESCO Chair for Peace Studies at the University of Innsbruck (UIBK), Austria, with its MA Program in Peace, Development, Security, and International Conflict Transformation. The partnership focuses on institutional capacity building and collaborative curricular innovation of MA and PhD programs at HU in the field of peace, development, and conflict transformation. It aims to lay the foundation for the establishment of an engaged Center or Institute for Peace and Development Studies at HU. The partnership’s specific objectives are to: revise the MA and PhD curricula in Peace and Development Studies for innovation; strengthen the capacity of HU academic staff in peace and development education, horizontal learning, peace didactics, and curriculum development; impart knowledge and skills of conflict analysis and peace facilitation, models and approaches for community engagement, and peace accompaniment to staff and students of HU; and develop the vision of and plan for the establishment of a Center or an Institute for Peace and Development Studies (CPDS/IPDS) at Haramaya University.

List of results

  1. Four rounds of programmatic capacity building trainings for 20 faculty members each that strengthened the capacity of the faculty to innovate the MA and PhD curricula in Peace and Development Studies and effectively engage in the learning-teaching and research activities of the programs
  2. One MA student semester coursework and 2 PhD students six months coursework and research stay at UIBK that exposed the students to new insights and experiences in the field of peace studies to the benefit of not only the students but also the student body and the faculty at HU
  3. Two defended PhD proposals
  4. Two curricula revisions and innovation: one MA curriculum and one PhD curriculum in Peace and Development Studies
  5. The revised MA curriculum in peace and development implementation
  6. 80 well-trained staff in the area of conflict analysis and peace-work (4 trainings, 20 participants per training)
  7. Four successfully conducted seminars for 60 MA and PhD students
  8. A successful and inspiring small group (25 participants) project culmination workshop in consideration of the COVID 19 protocol
  9. A well-developed and reviewed proposal for the establishment of the Institute of Peace and Development Studies at HU

Impact and sustainability

HU staff and PhD students who attended the programmatic capacity building and other trainings will continue to run the MA and PhD programs innovatively and also successfully contribute to the flourishment of the Institute of Peace and Development Studies in engaging in research and community outreach.

The revised and innovated MA and PhD curricula in Peace and Development Studies will serve, at least, for the next five years before it is considered for another revision based on demand. As the two curricula are the first of their kind in the University in terms of integrating a modular approach, a competency-based education, and international standards such as ECTS, comparability, compatibility, transferability, and credibility, it can be taken as a model and exemplary curricula for future HU endeavors to revise and update the existing curricula in different fields of studies.

Students who graduate with the necessary competencies from the MA and PhD programs in Peace and Development Studies that are made up to standard with curricula revision and innovation will actively and successfully serve the country by assuming different responsibilities in peace and development areas.

The awareness created about peace, conflict, and peace work among the selected members of HU community will have a multiplier effect on the wider community which also contribute to the sustainability of the project effect beyond the project period.

The established Institute of Peace and Development Studies will serve as a hub and center of excellence for learning-teaching, research, and community engagement in the areas of peace, development, conflict transformation, conflict analysis, human rights, women empowerment, gender equality, peacebuilding, governance, democracy, peace education, environmental peacebuilding, and culture of peace in the Horn of Africa and beyond.

The two partnering institutions (HU and UIBK) exhaustively discussed issues of further cooperation that will sustain not only the results of the completed project but also create space for new project ideas. Therefore, as the outcomes of the discussion, the partners reached an agreement to:

  • jointly develop grant-winning project proposals in the areas of peace, conflict, development, education, governance, gender, environment, human rights, etc., in response to different future calls;
  • establish strong institutional linkages that involve staff and student exchanges in peace, conflict, and development studies; and
  • develop new demand-driven joint academic programs based on international standards.