ACTION for Conflict Transformation is a global network of individual practitioners and organisations working for global peace using a conflict transformation approach. The Africa Regional Hub is the ACTION Support Centre. Through its Skills and Strategies for Change programme, aims to be a resource for African wisdom with the hope that it will assist organisations and individuals to respond effectively to the deep-rooted social conflicts across the continent. It connects people working for peace and development, human and peoples rights and social transformation in Anglophone, Lusophone and Francophone countries throughout Africa, and in countries experiencing violence that are connected to the conflict systems on the continent.
The ACTION Support Centre is conducting a course on Applied Conflict Transformation from 18th-22nd, October, 2014 in Johannesburg.
The course was designed by a team of conflict and development specialists and aims to enhance and support the work of practitioners and policy makers affected by conflict and escalating tension. The workshop approach to learning uses a fine balance of pedagogical methods that include analysis from specialist resource people, input on critical conflict issues facing the continent, conceptual frameworks, detailed case studies and creative participatory exercises.
Following the success of the previous Applied Conflict Transformation Course in October 2013, the programme has been reworked to incorporate some of the suggestions made by the dynamic team of participants.
-I feel a new sense of passion to continue contributing to the transformation of conflict. The networking connections made between the groups are exciting as well, there is so much potential for positive change and I want to become more involved.-ACT Course 2012
-I came here to learn a set of skills and strategies. Not only has the course surpassed my expectations in this regard I will also leave with a deeper understanding of my passions and where I can make my contribution in this world.-ACT Course 2013
Specifically the course aims to:
- Use a conflict transformation approach to facilitate learning processes with individuals, organisations and communities across the African continent;
- Introduce tools and skills for analysing conflicts that can assist in identifying intervention strategies to reduce and prevent violence;
- Use a conflict transformation approach to provide an interconnected dynamic systems lens that informs how we see ourselves in relation to the world around us and how we see the world itself;
- Demonstrate the value of long-term processes that connect the past to the future by emphasising how analysis can be used to strategise effective approaches to engaging with conflict in the present;
- Use a conflict transformation approach to analyse the interconnected dynamics of conflict systems;
- Design spaces that deliberately cultivate a peoples culture of humanity reflective of the values, attitudes and relationships inspired by our shared vision of the future;
- Expose participants to academic lectures, bringing in specialist resource people and historical tours that facilitate debate, discussions and a deeper analysis on issues using South Africa and its connections to the world as a case-study;
- Promote a deeper look at land, natural resources, poverty and inequality as drivers of conflict;
- Nurture a critical self-reflective sense of individual growth connected to a transformative agenda focused on empowered relationships between people and the empowering institutions that collectively enable a culture of people-to-people solidarity;
- Share ideas that cultivate the notion that one cannot inspire others by trying to be inspiring; inspiring others comes from being your very own inspiring self. Conflict transformation starts with the self;
- Develop a vision for Africa that reflects African values and capacities for peace.
Using examples from across the continent, the course has been designed specifically for people who want to focus on conflict in Africa and connect this focus to the global context. Most of our courses also include participnats from contexts outsdie of Africa, who are able to adapt the learnings, and add their contributions to perspectives that asist in making the lessons from the course globally relevant.
The course includes a set of analytical skills and strategies for analysing and engaging with conflict, as well as a focus on insights derived from new forms of resistance and change and their implications for Africa and beyond. The workshop includes field visits to the Apartheid Museum and Constitution Hill with specialist resource people coming in to give presentations on relevant issues designed in response to the expressed needs of participnats during the application and selection process.
Participants should bring to the course case studies and examples of conflict transformation from their own experience and research. Throughout the course there is a strong focus on the need for individuals and organisations to form learning networks, and coalitions and alliances with others working in similar fields. Another important element focuses on the self, encouraging personal reflection and development. Participants who complete the training will receive the acclaimed Applied Conflict Transformation certificate.
The final programme will be developed in line with the specific needs and interests of selected participants.
Day One: Introduction to Conflict Transformation
- Conceptual framework – Conflict, peace, violence, development;
- Understanding key concepts;
- Theoretical paradigms, dynamic systems theory and conflict transformation in practice;
- Culture, identity and the connections to emerging forms of conflict and tension;
- Conflict analysis tools and frameworks.
Day Two: Working with Conflict
- Approaches to intervention;
- The African political economy;
- Developing case studies and intervention opportunities; and
- Integrating humanitarian assistance, development and peace building.
Day Three: Social cohesion and relationship building
- Land and natural resource conflict;
- Transforming asymmetrical power relations;
- Processing trauma; and
- Faith, values and religion in Africa.
Day Four: Conflict Intervention in Africa
- Developing a peace architecture for Africa;
- Facilitating dialogue, mediation, negotiation and arbitration;
- Reconciliation and reintegration;
- Advocacy, lobbying and campaigning;
- New forms of struggle; and
- Building an African vision.
Day Five: Assessing Impact and Mapping Outcomes
- Human rights, peace building and the African Charter;
- Collaborative partnerships, networking, coalitions and alliances;
- Monitoring and evaluation;
- Mainstreaming conflict sensitivity in project planning; and
- Developing context specific action strategies.
This course is aimed at exploring skills and strategies for engaging with conflict across Africa and around the world. It will also draw practical insights from people in contexts severely affected by escalated conflict and violence. The enriching self-reflective and participatory learning approach will draw out skills and strategies that will inform the work that conflict practitioners are involved in and connect these skills and experiences to theories and policy debates.
It is therefore essential that:
- Identify the areas of the course that will inform their work;
- Identify the participants objectives for the course;
- Clarify how will the participant use the learning obtained from this course in the organisation?
- Discuss how organisation proposes to integrate the participants learning and experience?
Skilled ACTION members from the African continent will facilitate the course. ACTION facilitators take a participatory approach, emphasising experiential learning. Facilitators bring experience of living and working on conflict situations across the continent. The course process and content will be developed and adapted by the facilitators in-line with participants needs.
In addition to the full-time tutors, resource specialists from external institutions will conduct sessions on particular topics.
The course is aimed particularly at:
- Development and relief workers operating in contexts of conflict and violence acroos Africa and from around the world;
- Civil society formations wanting to develop their programme beyond development and emergency relief, or social mobilisation to include advocacy, lobbying, peacebuilding, reconciliation and a long term social transfromation agenda;
- Peacebuilders and conflict transformation practitioners;
- Human rights defenders interested in Conflict Transformation;
- Policy makers and academics looking for practical skills and strageies that close the gap between scholars and practitioners;
- Governance institutions interested in exploring the potential for collaborative cooperative partnerships.
Participants from Francophone and Lusophone countries are encouraged to apply. While the course is conducted in English, translation and interpretation will ensure full participation of all groups. Women are particularly encouraged to apply.
If you have special needs that you fear may affect your participation, inform the ACTION Support Centre. Every effort will be made to accommodate these needs.
Limited funds are available to support those unable to raise the full fees. Through the much appreciated support of Norwegian Peoples Aid, limited scholarships will be awarded primarily on the basis of the context in which the applicant is working and their need for such training. Other factors taken into account include prior experience, diversity of applicants (age, gender, nationality, experience, etc.) and the demonstrated commitment and motivation of applicants. Applicants for scholarships should complete section 4 of the application form as early as possible. This should include an explanation of why they require a partial scholarship and should list the other sources of funds they have approached. Participants should first seek funding from their employer, partner organisations or donors already familiar with their work. The ACTION Support Centre can offer advice to applicants on how to find alternative sources of funding.
The application deadline is 15 February 2014.
For more about ACTION for Conflict Transformation, refer to www.asc.org.za.