CERTIFICATE PROGRAM, CONFLICT TRANSFORMATION ACROSS CULTURES (CONTACT)

GRADUATE CERTIFICATE in CONFLICT TRANSFORMATION
JUNE 2000 BRATTLEBORO, VERMONT, USA


World Learning's School for International Training
in partnership with
The Institute for Multi-Track Diplomacy
and
The Karuna Center for Peacebuilding


CONTACT has been developed with the support of the United States Institute of Peace.

 

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

The CONTACT Graduate Certificate Program engages peacebuilders and their communities in a transformational process. Through the creation of an engaged and active learning community, the program fosters both the reflective awareness and hands-on competence required to guide the process of reconstructing and reconciling broken group relations. CONTACT offers a theoretical foundation in the sources of conflict as well as practical skills development, both in the classroom and through field-based internships and research. Utilizing a competency-based methodology particularly suited for working professionals, the program draws upon practitioner experience as it enhances skills and builds participant confidence. Participants return to their home communities supported by a resource network of international peacebuilders.

 

WHO SHOULD APPLY

CONTACT is designed to meet the learning needs of committed peacebuilders who are potential leaders in intercommunal conflict transformation efforts. The program seeks to strengthen conflict interventions by building capacities of citizen practitioners and NGO leaders through the study and practice of interactive, relational, and systemic responses to conflict.

Whenever possible, participants representing diverse sides of a conflict are teamed for exploration and dialogue. A core group of participants from regions in conflict from throughout the world creates a profound learning environment. CONTACT is also relevant for professionals in community development, human service or religious organizations, schools, public agencies, and other nongovernmental organizations. We seek participants who have a solid foundation in human relations skills, a strong commitment to coexistence, and who desire intensive training in core processes for intervening in intercultural conflicts.

CONTACT is developing the use of computer technology in conflict transformation. However, the program encourages participation from people wherever there is intercultural conflict and will not exclude those without computer resources.

In the past three years, Summer Institute participants have come from Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bosnia, Germany, Ghana, Israel, Italy, Japan, Northern Ireland, Palestine, Republic of Macedonia, Russia, Senegal, Slovakia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, The Netherlands, Yugoslavia, and the United States.

 

PARTNERSHIPS

CONTACT is offered by SIT in partnership with two NGOs actively engaged in global peacebuilding: the Institute for Multi-Track Diplomacy and the Karuna Center for Peacebuilding.

The mission of the Institute for Multi-Track Diplomacy (IMTD) is to promote a systems approach to peacebuilding and to facilitate the transformation of deep-rooted social conflicts. IMTD's conflict transformation activities seek to change the conditions that give rise to the root causes of conflict, to prevent the outbreak of further violence, and to sustain a transformation from conflict-habituated to peace-oriented systems over time.

The Karuna Center for Peacebuilding (KCP) envisions a world in which communities transform enmity and protracted conflict through collaborative dialogue and cooperative problem solving. KCP provides education and training to transform conflict by promoting dialogue and supporting community building and reconciliation. In regions torn by war and hostility, KCP works with local groups in their own efforts to strengthen the conditions for peace and justice.

 

PROGRAM STRUCTURE

CONTACT consists of two components: a Summer Institute and a Graduate Certificate of Professional Practice Program. Participants may attend the Summer Institute only or continue on with the Certificate Program.

Participants who complete SIT's CONTACT Certificate Program earn a Graduate Certificate of Professional Practice in Applied Conflict Transformation which consists of 16 graduate credits applicable toward completion of an SIT Master of Arts in Intercultural Relations or Master of Arts in International and Intercultural Service. The Certificate Program includes:

(1) A four-week Summer Institute on the SIT campus in Vermont

(2) A ten-month field-based practicum period during which participants return to their home or to another community to practice peacebuilding skills. During the practicum, participants

a) complete distance learning coursework under the supervision of CONTACT faculty, focusing on conflict analysis and the development of intervention strategies and skills
b) use computer conferencing or traditional distance learning for communication with faculty and program peers c) have the option to participate in a mid-year seminar held outside of the U.S. with CONTACT participants and faculty (3) A two-week final seminar during which participants return to SIT to synthesize their learning and present the results of their efforts to a new group of incoming participants

 

COURSE DESCRIPTIONS

Summer Institute (SIT campus):

This core course serves as a learning laboratory for multicultural community building, self-reflection, and deepening peacebuilding skills. Taking a systems approach to conflict, the course focuses on conflict analysis, intervention skills, and effective strategies for change in places of social conflict. Specific microskills will be introduced and participants will have the opportunity to examine the complex and interrelated causes and dimensions of protracted violent conflict, as well as the steps that lead to healing and reconciliation.

Participants select one of the following electives for June 2000:

Dialogue and Facilitation: Paula Green, instructor
Dialogue has emerged as a response to protracted interethnic conflict abroad, and as a means to explore painful issues of race, prejudice, and public controversy in the U.S. A major tool for peacebuilders, intercommunal dialogue allows participants from divided societies to experience face-to-face exchange in a structured and safe environment. In dialogue encounters, differing perspectives, problematic issues, and complex aspects of a conflict surface and can be explored. Participants study theories of group facilitation and learn directly by engaging in facilitated dialogue. The course also discusses favorable conditions and limitations for dialogue, its relevance to action and social change, expectations and motivations of participants and organizers, and the relationship between dialogue, power, and oppression.

The Inner Work of the Peacebuilder: Louise Diamond, instructor
The often-ignored inner work of the peacebuilder unfolds in two dimensions: attention to our own well-being and alignment (psychological, physical, spiritual, and ethical), and the way we manage and direct our energy while practicing our craft. In this course, we explore these two streams, focusing especially on how our work in the world is connected to our life purpose and spiritual journey, as well as on the processes by which energy of heart and mind is translated into form and action. We learn how to stay openhearted; how to work with universal energy to catalyze and sustain transformation; how to awaken and magnify the spirit of peace in any situation; how to complement the outer activity with the appropriate inner energetics; and how to let the work flow from our center. This highly experiential course takes participants deep into their own being.

Culture, Religion, and Conflict Resolution: Mohammed Abu-Nimer, instructor
Culture and religion are at the core of many intergroup identity conflicts, which are by nature intractable and deep-rooted. This course explores the impact of cultural and religious differences on the cause, escalation, and resolution of conflicts. It presents creative methods in which cultural and religious values, norms, and world views can be utilized in the process of conflict resolution and examines the specific role these factors play in dialogue, reconciliation, mediation, and facilitation. Case studies will be drawn from participant and instructor experience. Reading material and handouts will discuss the frameworks and skills necessary to deal with cultural and religious conflicts.

Professional Self-Assessment
Participants evaluate their previous experience, skills, and knowledge of the field in order to establish professional goals and learning objectives.

Preparation for Off-Campus Phase
Participants receive computer training in the use of email, Internet resources, and Web conferencing methods for distance learning, and develop a learning contract to guide coursework and practicum during the off-campus year.

 

Certificate Program (distance learning)

The supervised professional practicum provides field experience in peacebuilding and conflict transformation. Participants work within an NGO or other agency—either their own organization or another site—that is directly engaged in a conflict situation during the certificate year. Each participant establishes his or her own practicum, with the support of U.S.-based or regional faculty. One credit is earned for each month of full-time experience, or its equivalent in part-time experience, which may be spread over the certificate year. The practicum must include experiences with conflict interventions, and should begin by the midpoint of the off-campus year.

Supported by dialogue with colleagues in the field, this distance learning course expands participants' abilities to use analytic skills, develop strategic approaches, and design systematic interventions for situations of deep-rooted conflict. Participants research and evaluate current applications of conflict theory, social change, and reconciliation in their region. Where possible, participants interview actors engaged in conflict intervention and evaluate approaches as they relate to conflict transformation theories.

Participants study a specific conflict intervention skill, such as dialogue, mediation, or negotiation. Through a learning contract, participants develop a project in an area of specialization including relevant reading materials, practice, and documentation of learning. This independent study is supervised by U.S.-based or regional faculty.

Participants meet in a regional location for a weeklong seminar led by core and regional faculty. The seminar further explores the dynamics of conflict, the appropriateness of interventions, the role of internal and outside actors in conflict systems, and the development of self-reflecting practitioners. Faculty provide individual and group supervision to encourage cross-fertilization of experiences, increase competence in intercultural relations, and evaluate each participant's off-campus phase. Conflict Intervention Project (3 credits - required) Building on the Conflict Analysis Course, the Conflict Intervention Project encourages participants to develop peacebuilding competencies through interventions in an ongoing conflict. The course requires participants to organize, implement, document, and evaluate a specific intervention modality, such as intercommunal dialogue or community mediation. The Conflict Intervention Project is the culmination of the off-campus phase of the Certificate Program. Certificate Program (SIT campus)

Participants synthesize learning from the off-campus year in this culminating Certificate Program course. Participants develop a presentation of their regional conflict for faculty, colleagues, and incoming participants, focusing on analysis, strategic planning, and interventions. Participants also evaluate their key intellectual, personal, and intercultural competencies and growth as self-reflecting practitioners in the field of conflict transformation, and establish long-range plans for their continued development as peacebuilding professionals.

 

CERTIFICATE REQUIREMENTS

Participants must complete a total of 16 credits, including 13 in required coursework and at least 3 in electives:

Summer Institute 4
Conflict Analysis and Conflict Intervention (distance learning): 6
Practicum 3

Practicum (in addition to required credits) 1-3
Skills Development Independent Study 1-2
Mid-Year Regional Seminar 1
Advanced Skills and Synthesis Seminar 2

 

FUNDING SOURCES AND FINANCIAL AID

Participants are generally supported by their own resources and organizations, private donors, or funding agencies with which they already work, such as The Abraham Fund and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Applicants should apply directly to local foundations, international NGOs, or other funding agencies for financial support. Upon request, SIT will send additional information to a prospective donor source. A limited amount of scholarship funds is available to partially subsidize the costs of tuition fees for eligible applicants.

 

ESTIMATED COSTS (in U.S. dollars)

Tuition $7,800
Room and Board at SIT (4 weeks) $ 900*
Books, supplies, and fees $ 800

*Rate for shared dormitory room. Private dormitory rooms or off-campus accommodations may be available at additional cost. Please consult CONTACT staff (cspidatsit.edu) for details.

Participants arriving by air should calculate an additional $150-200 for round-trip ground transportation between the airport and the SIT campus.

Total costs may vary significantly depending on travel expenses, accommodation, location of practicum, choice of seminar and electives, etc. We recommend that all course candidates and sponsors request a detailed list of estimated expenses.

 

PAYMENT

In order to secure a place in the CONTACT program, SIT must receive a deposit of $200 or a letter of commitment from an organizational sponsor by April 17, 2000. Tuition must be paid in full prior to the start of the program. The check or money order should be made payable in U.S. dollars to the School for International Training.

 

APPLICATION AND ADMISSIONS

The Certificate Program requires a bachelor's degree in the U.S. educational system, or its equivalent in relevant work and life experience in a related field, such as social sciences, education, human relations, or NGO management.

We encourage candidates to submit application materials as early as possible to be able to make arrangements for funding, housing, travel, etc. and to reserve a space in the Certificate Program. Be sure to include the following when submitting your application:

Please note: Non-native speakers of English must demonstrate their ability to participate in a graduate level academic program in English through a standardized exam such as the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or through other indicators of English language proficiency such as a phone interview, certificates of English language study, or reference letters. Information about taking the TOEFL is available through the U.S. Embassies and the Educational Testing Service, Princeton, New Jersey 08540 USA or at the Website www.toefl.org. You should request your official TOEFL scores be sent to the CONTACT office. SIT's institutional code number is 3788.

Applicants intending to apply their Certificate Program graduate credits toward the completion of an SIT master's degree must have the following:

 

Send information requests or application materials to: CONTACT

Center for Social Policy and Institutional Development
School for International Training
PO Box 676, Brattleboro, Vermont 05302-0676 USA
Tel: 1(802) 258-3339 Fax: 1(802) 258-3248
Email: cspidatsit.edu
www.sit.edu/conflict




Chieko Yamazaki
Program Associate, CSPID
School for International Training
Tel:-802-258-3539 (direct line), 3339 (CSPID Coordinator)
Fax: 802-258-3320