This practicum focuses on analyzing the development of peacebuilding-related motivations and expectations of Israelis and Palestinians who cooperate together on a water-energy-food nexus project in the Middle East.
AU's regional partner organizations in the Middle East are the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies (AIES - based at Kibbutz Ketura in Israel) and the Palestinian Wastewater Engineers Groups (PWEG - based in the Palestinian West Bank). Over several years, these two organizations have cooperated on wastewater-focused initiatives intent on reducing conflict and promoting dialogue through shared water management.
In an effort to contribute to project development, planning, monitoring and evaluation, the principal research task of the 2016 Summer Practicum team will be to analyze the development and peacebuilding-related motivations, expectations, concerns and aspirations of Israelis and Palestinians who cooperate together on this water-energy-food nexus project in the Middle East.
The principal research task will be to assess the peacebuilding
significance of the transboundary program's cooperative efforts. Students will
become intimately familiar with transboundary water projects in the region,
both theoretically and on the ground. They will meet practitioners working for
NGOs as well as the beneficiary parties of transboundary water projects. They
will also meet Israeli and Palestinian officials whose governance practices
have bearing on water, cooperation and peace in the region.
Team members will be trained in theories of environmental
building, hydropolitics with an emphasis on the Middle East, rapid appraisal
research methods, interviewing techniques and more. Team members will undertake
desk-study and research design work in Washington, then collect data in the
field through participant-observation, interviews, focus groups, and archival
work at the project sites. Students will produce an environmental peacebuilding
assessment in the form of a report that will be submitted to participating
organizations. This report will be used to further develop their intervention
methods and water management projects in the Middle East.
2016 Course Dates
The course will run approximately from 9 May to 4 August 2016. A tentative has been prepared as follows:
May 9 onwards: Students read intensively in preparation for their theoretical training and field work
May 9: First online training session
May 24: Second online training session
Weekend of May 29: Intensive weekend training at AU
June 8-June 21: Fieldwork in the Middle East
June-July, students will allocate a focused period back at AU for final
report preparation throughout July. A preliminary presentation of
findings will take place in late July. Editing of the final report will
undoubtedly extend beyond. A final presentation will be made both to
partners in the region and to the AU community in September (date TBD).
Expected student expenses include: AU tuition, international travel, visa fee (if applicable), and most meals.
Accommodation and program related travel expenses are covered at no additional cost to students.
Who Should Apply
There are no specific course prerequisites but an application's
competitiveness will be enhanced by showing relevant language skills, prior
experience or field work in the region, coursework on or experience with water
governance or water projects, and coursework, experience or skills with peace
and conflict resolution.
It will be of interest to students across the School of
International Service (SIS), and in particular to Global Environmental Politics
Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR), International Politics (IP), International
Development Program (IDP) and Comparative and Regional Studies (CRS). It may
also be of interest to students across the University, including the Kogod
School of Business and the Washington College of Law (WCL).
be eligible to participate in any SIS Practicum, MA students must be in good
academic standing (including a 3.0 cumulative GPA) and have completed 18
credits of graduate coursework by the end of the spring 2014 semester, prior to
participating in the Practicum. Dual degree students (e.g. MA/MBA, JD/MA, and
KU/MA) must have completed at least 9 of the minimum 18 credits to participate.
Students from any MA program can apply to this practicum.
Application and Deadlines
The application deadline is March 1, 2016.
Click on the following Application Form link and complete the form. This web form is only the first step
of the Practicum application process. Note that this form is not your
complete application! Once you have submitted the form, log in to Blackboard, open the "SIS Practicum Program" site, and upload a cover letter and resume for each Practicum to which you are applying.
For more information about the application process, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Once admitted to
the Program students will receive notification via e-mail. At that time,
students will be required to submit a non-refundable deposit of $250 to
SIS, through a check or money order made payable to American
University, to secure their place in the Program.