I. Peacebuilding

Building Durable Peace:  Enhancing Interagency Relationships in Peacebuilding

The last decade has brought a dramatic increase in the scale and complexity of international interventions to end wars and build peace. As a result, peacebuilding interventions involve national governmental and civil society actors in relationships with a dizzying array of outside actors: foreign diplomats, UN missions and agencies, international military forces and coalitions, and hundreds of diverse international NGOs. This project reframes the challenge of effective coordination in peacebuilding as the need to better understand the dynamics of complex peacebuilding “systems.” It documents and analyzes a broad range of experience with coordination in selected international interventions as well as the tensions that organizations experience between promoting their own individual mandates and working towards collective peacebuilding goals. The project’s goal is to produce an innovative cross-sectoral analysis model for international peacebuilding interventions that can illuminate systemic reasons for suboptimal outcomes to date and identify necessary shifts in coordination policy and practice.

Peaceful Transitions

Research on democratization has documented that when authoritarian regimes begin to open up, they face a much higher risk of conflict and political instability than do entrenched authoritarian regimes, on the one hand, or fully-consolidated democracies, on the other.  The prospect of more authoritarian regimes coming under pressure to liberalize requires a more pro-active stance than simply waiting to see which regimes will be next to fall to a Twitter revolution.  Effective strategy is needed to lay the groundwork for peaceful change before a crisis of transition occurs.  To help develop more appropriate strategies grounded in systematic analysis, this project examines countries where authoritarian regimes were at high risk of instability but nevertheless evolved into pluralistic polities and without significant violence or state breakdown.

Conflict-Sensitive Resource Extraction in Fragile States:  Aligning Stakeholder Interests

This is an effort to help advance conflict-sensitive policies in fragile (conflict prone) states by extractive industries, focusing initially on the mining sector. The principal area of interest is the relationship between mining companies, governments, local business and civil society.  The primary objective is to advance the interests of all affected parties in a manner that is economically and socially viable and that can contribute to conflict mitigation through greater stakeholder engagement. Objectives are to be achieved through studies, multi-stakeholder dialogues, practical, actionable advice and support, including direct consultation.

II. Education and Professional Development

Web-Based Learning

The Institute has been designing and developing distributive education programs for over a decade. These programs have an international audience and are offered in several languages. The Institute’s current catalogue of web-based offerings includes courses on Conflict Management and Negotiations; the Inter-American System; and the Interagency Process. Courses consist of between seven and ten complementary, stand-alone units, each of which features a series of review questions. The courses are self-paced and self-scored. They are open and, to date, free of charge to learners who can register on line at any time.

Professional Development Program

Highly interactive programs designed to assist diplomats and staff of international organizations to develop the knowledge, empathy, strategies and skills necessary to more effectively undertake conflict analysis, bilateral and multilateral negotiations. The program includes case studies, individual and group exercises, including a highly lauded simulation developed by IWA. The program enhances the participants’ ability to gain a deeper understanding of the dynamics of a conflict episode; knowledge of the spectrum of possible responses and intervention strategies that can be employed; and skills as negotiators and mediators.

Internships at IWA

The Institute of World Affairs (IWA) offers internship opportunities to qualified graduate students. Internships are typically semester-long but may be extended under special circumstances. While there is no financial remuneration, IWA interns often receive academic credit from their home institution. The program is highly selective, with two or three students accepted each semester.

Qualifications: Applicants must be enrolled in or recent graduates of programs in peace studies, conflict resolution, development, human rights and allied fields. Field experience is preferred. Applicants must have excellent research, writing, and organizational skills, and be able to work independently. IWA interns generally work remotely.

Application Process: Applicants must submit a resume and a cover letter describing their experience and qualifications, and the particular program at IWA that is of interest to them and why. All internship correspondence should be directed to Dr. Joyce P. Kaufman, Director of Internships, Institute of World Affairs at jkaufman@iwa.org.

III. Policy Forums

Roundtables and Partnerships

IWA organizes roundtable discussions, conferences, and workshops on contemporary topics, either independently or in partnership with other organizations in many countries. The roundtables address current issues of concern to policymakers and leaders who serve in official and unofficial capacities. By providing new perspectives on perennial challenges in global affairs, IWA contributes to public dialogue and helps to equip decision-makers with greater knowledge with which to formulate and implement policy.