Training Course: Youth, Conflict, & Peacebuilding

The Peacebuilding & Development Institute offers its Summer Professional Training Program every June, and each year, dozens of students, scholars, practitioners, and professionals flock to Washington, DC in hopes of taking advantage of what some say is our most engaging training course: Youth, Conflict, & Peacebuilding. We’re highlighting the Youth course this week - please read on.

The Details:

Youth, Conflict, & Peacebuilding

Instructors: Mark Hamilton with Michael Shipler and L. Randolph Carter

Dates: Monday, June 2 - Friday, June 6, 2008

American University, Washington, DC

Cost: $735 for practitioners and professionals, two credits for AU students (includes materials!)

Here’s what people are saying about the Youth, Conflict, & Peacebuilding course:

-Bridge common scholar–practitioner divides and seek to cultivate an engaging learning community that values and extends participants’ base of knowledge.

-Learn from real-world experts on the conflicts in Sri Lanka, Nepal, Liberia, Uganda, Nicaragua, and Colombia on the challenges and better practices that are emerging from this field, especially as it relates to youth.

-”This class has broadened the way I thinkabout my studies and my work with youth and conflict.” -practitioner in 2007 Youth course

-”Building on the success of previous offerings, this year’s course will be co-taught, pairing grounded practitioner insights with scholarly analysis and cutting edge theoretical frames. Both instructors have broad experience working with and learning from young people, leading participative and cross-cultural trainings, and connecting with activists and scholar-practitioners in the field. We plan to invite additional guest speakers to extend our geographic and thematic reach.” -Mark Hamilton, instructor

-”As a graduate student I feel I learned skills I can market in my job search / interview process and take with me in my career. I am very pleased with the time we spent [in the Summer Institute] and feel I gained very valuable information.” -Student in 2007 Youth course

-”We need to address the growing field of Youth, Conflict, and Peacebuilding. There will soon be more funding allotted towards learning how to work with youth, and funding translates into jobs. Agencies and employers that see a special skills training in Youth in Conflict, especially with an intersection with peacebuilding, on your resumes will be eager to hire you.” -Saji Prelis, Associate Director of the Peacebuilding & Development Institute

The Course Description:
Designed for both development workers engaging youth in their work and students interested in understanding youth agency in peacebuilding, this course will explore the inter-relationship between youth and conflict, as well as their integral roles as agents in peacebuilding and development initiatives. The course will use a combination of theory-based research and discussions with current practitioners to cover areas such as youth and policy, effective methods of youth engagement, the “livelihood” factor, and youth as social entrepreneurs.

*Who participates in the Youth, Conflict, & Peacebuilding course?

*2007 practitioners and professionals from 30+ countries include:
David, Save the Children, Sri Lanka
Sameer, International Relief & Development, Iraq
Fatima, German Peace NGO FES, Nigeria
Michelle, Animator & Educator, Barbados
Barward, Liberia Democracy Watch, Liberia

plus two dozen more practitioners and Masters students looking to become more competitive for jobs

And what about the instructors?

*Mark Hamilton is a Ph.D. Candidate in International Relations and a Lecturer in the School of International Service. His dissertation examines why and how youth are mobilized into militant movements and other forms of sociopolitical engagement. The project integrates case histories from Sri Lanka and Nicaragua (and shadow cases around the globe) with a system dynamics simulation model built from qualitative and quantitative data. Mark’s research incorporates “grounded theory” from area scholars and anthropologists alongside field notes from Mark’s interviews with at-risk youth, past and present, and with their advocates and critics in cafes, homes, and educational settings. A former junior high school teacher, youth camp administrator, study abroad coordinator, and development consultant, Mark has extensive study and work experience in Latin America and South Asia (Sri Lanka). He completed a BA in Spanish at Taylor University (1997) and MA in International Development at American University (2003). In addition to his ongoing work related to youth, conflict and peace-building, Mark has published and presented at numerous professional conferences in the US and abroad on themes of immigration and trans-nationalism, religion and development, fair trade and consumer social responsibility, and linkages between popular and political culture.

*Michael Shipler is the Director of Programmes for Search for Common Ground in Nepal where he helped to start and is managing a national, multi-pronged peacebuilding program. He has been working with children and youth affected by armed conflict for seven years developing a range of programs aimed at transforming the role of young people in conflicts. He founded and directed the Children and Youth Division of Search for Common Ground globally. In that capacity he co-founded the Washington Network on Children and Armed Conflict and co-created The Child Soldiers Initiative – a global project aimed at eradicating the use of children as soldiers – done in partnership with Lt. General Roméo Dallaire, UNICEF Canada, and USAID’s Displaced Children and Orphans Fund. He has developed and supported children and youth-focused peacebuilding programs in Angola, Burundi, Nigeria, Liberia, Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, Sierra Leone among other countries. He authored Youth Radio for Peacebuilding: A Guide, as part of Radio for Peacebuilding Africa. Previously, while working for Youth for Peace, a youth-led organization in Cambodia, he developed a youth leadership development division that helps youth find ways of avoiding violence and contributing to reconciliation in their own communities. He is the author of “The Dancing Country and Other Stories.”

L. Randolph Carter formerly led the Children and Youth Division of Search For Common Ground and is Co-Chair for the Washington Network on Children and Armed Conflict. He is also co-Founder of the National Association of Palava Managers, a Liberian youth initiative that conducts conflict resolution and peacebuilding work in school and communities in Liberia. For nearly 15 years, Randolph has worked with children and youth in several parts of the world in peace education, conflict resolution, trauma counseling, self esteem building, and reintegration programs. As a consultant, He has provided technical assistance to organizations such as the USAID (Displaced Children and Orphans fund), and the US Department of Labor (International Labor Affairs Bureau). With co-author Jaime Alvis, Randolph is completing a programming toolkit for engaging children and youth in conflict resolution initiatives. The publication, “Common Grounding with Children and Youth”, will be published in May of 2007. Randolph’s work and experience have been resourced in initiatives such as the Graca Machel Study (The Impact of Armed Conflict on Children), Day of the African Child, YMCA/YWCA projects, The Hague Peace Appeal, Harvard University programs (Harvard Children Initiatives and Harvard School of Humanitarian Policy), American University (Committee on Child Soldiers), Leadership Metro Richmond (Metro-teens) and Children in the Crossfire (US Department of Labor/John F. Kennedy High School).

It’s not too late to apply. Visit

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Tags: africa, america, asia, child, conflict, dc, development, education, entrepreneurship, international, More…latin, peacebuilding, professional, social, soldiers, south, training, washington, youth


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Comment by Zachary Angafor on September 6, 2009 at 6:12am
Please how possible is it for you to extend the Youth, Conflict, and Peacebuilding training to post conflict communities in Africa? Looking forward to hearing from you.

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