In recent years there has been a push toward an IPCR curriculum with a strong emphasis on practical skills. The program now offers several courses each semester that allow students to gain these professional skills. Our faculty believes in the importance of training students with the skills that are necessary to become leaders in peacebuilding. IPCR bridges theoretical knowledge with real skills that can be applied in practice. Students are also encouraged to take Skills Institutes and must participate in the Graduate Practicum Program, both of which provide extensive real world skills in conflict resolution and peacebuilding.
Skills Institutes provide an opportunity for participants to acquire skills in conflict resolution and other related topics, which can be utilized in both professional and personal lives. These intensive training courses combine skills to work with conflicts that have international, community and public policy dimensions.
Skills Institute Objectives:
To introduce students to cutting edge practical skills outside of SIS.
To connect students with practitioners as a way of promoting networking between students who are looking to expand their contacts, and practitioners who may be in a position to hire interns or employees.
To provide students with a hands-on, interactive experience. The skills institute program is designed specifically to explore further the practical applications that complement theory taught in our program.
In Spring 2017, IPCR is offering three Skills Institutes: Sustainable Peacebuilding: Using Social Enterprise for Social Change, Art and Post-War Healing, and Technology for Peacebuilding.
The Graduate Practicum Program is a way students build concrete skills that prepare them for the job market. Second-year master's students are given a chance to work with organizations and government agencies to cultivate program management, policy analysis and research skills in a team with peers and leading groups in the field. Led by faculty in weekly sessions, students also engage in workshops in order to further their practical presentation and writing skills. These diverse offerings give IPCR students unique opportunities to engage with peers and connect with experts in peacebuilding and conflict resolution.
Professor Hrach Gregorian is currently leading a practicum entitled "Conflict Transformation and Peacebuilding", which focuses on key aspects of contemporary peacebuilding, specifically on building the social infrastructure necessary for a more durable peace in conflict-ravaged societies. Professor Charles (Chic) Dambach heads the "Leadership and Management of Peacebuilding NGOs" practicum, which focuses on core aspects of peacebuilding organizations, with specific focus on leadership, organization development and program strategies, staffing structures, and governance.
Students involved with these practica work with organizations such as Alliance for Peacebuilding, Institute for Economics and Peace, and USAID prime contract agencies such as MSI and Creative Associates.
Spring 2017 Skills Institutes
SIS.730.007 - Sustainable Peacebuilding: Using Social Enterprise for Social Change, February 11-12, 2017: Instructor Jennifer Lynne
This course explores opportunities for social change, development, and peacebuilding using social enterprise models. Using case studies and real world experiences to examine different ways social enterprise can work inside and outside the existing humanitarian and development frameworks, students gain working knowledge of why and how social enterprises can effectively impact development through interactive exercises, and individual and group work. Students develop skills for employing social enterprises, understanding the when, why, where, and who, and impact in a creative, lively, and collaborative environment.
SIS.730.008 - Art and Post-War Healing, February 18-19, 2017: Instructor Hrach Gregorian
The humanities are a rich, if an inexplicably muted color in the peacebuilding palette. Revealing a traumatic experience induces feelings of shame as well as a threat to self-survival. This course examines forms of self-expression that can help to restore self-stability and proceeds on the assumption that individual healing is one good path to community recovery and resilience. Students are exposed to various arts-based healing techniques and learn about the current practices in the use of the arts for post-conflict healing, as well as the effects of traumatic events on the body and mind and strategies for practitioner self-care.
SIS.730.018 - Technology for Peacebuilding, March 25-26, 2017: Instructor Giselle Lopez
The advent of new and rapidly evolving technologies has fundamentally changed the capacity for processing and exchanging information in the twenty-first century. Citizens, NGOs, governments, and companies are just beginning to understand the potential that these tools and systems can have in analyzing and addressing a range of social problems. This course explores how technology is being used to foster learning and collaboration, transform conflicts, fight diseases, monitor elections, distribute food, design better economic development measures, and much more. It also considers some of the key challenges related to access, implementation, scale, and evaluation that working with technology presents. Through a hands-on and interactive learning approach that draws from a number of real world examples, students develop a practical set of strategies and skills that will prepare them to apply new technologies to social change work in a rapidly evolving landscape.
Fall 2016 Skills Institutes
SIS.639.004 - Mediating History, September 17-18, 2016: Instructor Phil Gamaghelyan
SIS.639.002 - Media Relations in Conflict Zones, October 29-30, 2016: Instructor Stefo Lehamnn
SIS.639.003 - Development & Fundraising: Peace NGOs, November 5-6, 2016: Instructor Michael Braeuninger
Spring 2016 Skills Institutes
SIS 639.001 - Countering Violent Extremism: Policy and
Practice, January 16-17, 2016: Instructor Paul Turner
SIS 639.002 – Art and Post-War Healing, February 20-21,
2016: Instructor Hrach Gregorian