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Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa



The Great Lakes Initiative Programme: Advanced Research Workshop on Issues of Peace, Security and Post-Conflict Reconstruction in the Great Lakes

Deadline: 30 April 2013

Date: 5-10 August 2013
Venue: Arusha, Tanzania

Call for Applications

The Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA) is pleased to announce its advanced research workshop on issues of peace, security and post-conflict reconstruction in the countries of the Great Lakes, as part of the International Conference on the Great Lake Region (ICGLR). This call invites academics and researchers to submit their applications for participation in this workshop which is part of the CODESRIA Great Lakes Initiative. This Initiative was launched to mobilize the contribution of research to the process of pacification, reconciliation, security and post conflict reconstruction, and to ensure the well-being of the peoples of the countries in the sub-region.

Background and Rationale of the Theme of the Workshop

Peace, security and post-conflict reconstruction are a constant concern in the countries of the Great Lakes. These countries have lived through decades of crises, conflicts, violence and wars that breed quasi-permanent insecurity. The tragedies caused by this situation are very obvious: millions dead or displaced, thousands of women raped, traumatized populations living in fear – a situation that does not allow them to engage in productive activities. In addition, this context encourages state fragility, autocratic regimes, the looting of resources, impoverishment, etc. It also explains why some countries of the sub-region have become the poorest in the world, despite abundant natural and human resources.

Several initiatives have been taken to put an end to this situation: UN peacekeeping missions, [1] multiple resolutions of the ICGLR to “put out the fire” where there is tension, commitment by the countries themselves to take steps that promote peace, but hotbeds of tension move or reactivate as actors constantly change.

Efforts must continue to build a lasting peace in these countries and research must contribute to these efforts. It is time to engage in a relevant research program, the results of which are expected to propose appropriate solutions, as everything seems to indicate that the root causes of this situation are not yet known and, so appropriate lasting solutions are yet to be found.


Workshops are part of the tools used by CODESRIA to build the research capacity of young researchers, but also senior researchers and tertiary and research institutions. CODESRA is African academics and other researchers working on topics of interest to Africa. The workshop is planned as an advanced research workshop, and it will bring together eligible researchers for in-depth reflection on the theme. Thus, the following objectives will be pursued during the workshop:

1. Critically examine the theoretical constructs and solutions implemented towards the security and the pacification of the countries in the sub-region of the Great Lakes;
2. Propose a (new) epistemological, theoretical and pragmatic and appropriate approach for lasting peace and begin the process of reconstruction and development in countries in the region;
3. Provide participants with a framework for exchanges and deepening their research projects on the topics of the workshop;
4. Define the most suitable methodological approaches for carrying out the research on the topics of the workshop and the methodological capacity of the laureates to do so;
5. Strengthen the capacity of participants in scientific writing to help them produce quality reports;
6. Establish a network of competent researchers on the themes of peace, security and reconstruction in the countries of the Great Lakes sub-region.

The Sub-themes of the Workshop

The workshop will be organized around four sub-themes on which the research projects of the laureates will revolve.

1) The challenge of “impoverishing resources” and the crises
How to pacify a sub-region where war benefits a multitude of individuals, institutions, or even other countries? How to protect national sovereignty in a context of globalization and “liberalism without a soul”, which has led some people to propose the sharing of resources between neighboring countries? How to end the illegal exploitation of resources in a context of fragile states in the sub-region? How to restore a “normal economy” based on economic diversification and a transformation of resources into utility, and therefore goes beyond the extraction of mineral resources?

2) Better safe than sorry!
How to prevent conflicts and crises in a context where conflicts seem permanent? How to realize regional integration in the sub-region while ensuring state sovereignty? How to promote the peaceful coexistence between people of different sister nations?

3) State and popular practices of adaptation to the crisis
How to formalize informal activities of individual self-care in an area where state and production structures have become faulty? Can we make models of self-development of them?

4) The challenges of post-conflict reconstruction
How do these programs support traumatized populations living in fear, loss of confidence in oneself and in the future? How do they support dislocated or separated families, orphans and single-parent families? How to reconcile the imperatives of post-conflict reconstruction and the short-term requirements of sustainable development?

Organization of the Workshop

The workshop will consist of three types of activities:

1) theoretical and methodological orientation presentations, followed by discussions aimed at strengthening knowledge on the themes of the workshop, will be led by the workshop facilitator;
2) presentations and debates by the laureates on the basis of their research proposals;
3) exchanges between participants on the methodological challenges related to their research proposals.

The Workshop Facilitator

The workshop will be led by a facilitator who will be selected on the basis of his/her skills and expertise. The facilitator will be an academic or senior researcher whose extensive publications on the subject focus on current issues in the sub-region of the Great Lakes, and who has made significant and original contribution to these issues.

The Workshop Facilitator will be responsible for:

• presiding over the selection of participants;
• designing and conducting sessions on theoretical constructs, the epistemological aspects, issues and solutions implemented in relation to the crisis, insecurity, peace and post-conflict reconstruction in the Great Lakes;
• interacting with the participants during the session to assist them in improving their research projects;
• evaluating research reports to be submitted by the participants and editing the book to be published after the workshop;
• moderating the political dialogue to be held at the end of the workshop to communicate research findings to policy makers, organizations working in the sub-region, researchers, journalists, etc.

The Workshop Participants

Prospective participants at the workshop must be doctoral students or young post-doctoral candidates. They must be able to demonstrate the capacity to carry out research on the themes of the workshop within a timeframe of 12 months after the workshop.


The facilitator’s application must include the following:

1. A letter of motivation
2. A curriculum vitae
3. Two already published articles on the topic of the workshop
4. Notes of the lectures that will be delivered at the workshop.

Each participant’s application must include the following:

1. A letter of motivation
2. A letter of attestation of membership of training and research institutions in a country of the Great Lakes Region
3. A curriculum vitae
4. Two letters of reference from academics and researchers (with their names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses) known for their competence and expertise on the subject, and certifying the priority research areas of the candidate, his/her ability to lead the research from beginning to end, his/her moral and ethics
5. Two copies of a ten-page research proposal, including the subject that the candidate wants to tackle in relation to the sub-themes of the workshop, the problem or the reasons for the choice of this topic, a review of relevant literature, expected research results and their contribution to the advancement of knowledge on peace, security, reconstruction and development in the countries of the Great Lakes Region.

Deadline for the Submission of Application

The deadline for submitting applications is 30 April 2013. The applicants will be informed of the outcome of the selection process no later than 31 May 2013. The applicants selected will then use the months of June and July 2013 to improve their research and obtain, with the assistance of the CODESRIA Secretariat, entry visas to Tanzania.

Date and Venue

The workshop will be held from 5 to 10 August 2013 in Arusha (Tanzania).

All applications should be sent to the following address:

Advanced Research Workshop on Issues of Peace and Post-Conflict Reconstruction in the Great Lakes
Avenue Cheikh Anta Diop x Canal IV
B.P. 3304, CP 18524, Dakar, Senegal
Tel: (221) 33 825 98 21/22/23 – Fax: (221) 33 824 12 89
E-mail: peace.institute@codesria.sn
Website: http://www.codesria.sn
Twitter: http://twitter.com/codesria
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/CODESRIA/181817969495


[1It is one of the region where the United Nations have deployed the greatest peacekeeping mission of their history, that is the MONUSCO with 19.000 blue helmets.

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