USIP's Academy for International Conflict Management and Peacebuilding offered its course on "The Two Sudans: Managing Ongoing Conflict" for the second time October 15-17, 2012.
USIP's Academy for International Conflict Management and Peacebuilding offered its course on "The Two Sudans: Managing Ongoing Conflict" for the second time October 15-17, 2012. The course was re-configured to three days instead of four to accommodate the busy schedules of its participants. Linda Bishai and Matthew Levinger were co-instructors of the course, with Jacqueline Wilson providing resource expertise on border issues. Participants were a stimulating and diverse group, including representatives from UNAMID (El Fasher), UNDPKO, the Swedish Military, U.S. Military (Civil Affairs), Academia, USIP Senior Fellowship and the State Department. Once again, the course offered a balance of content expertise on various key issues affecting the two Sudans and analytical frameworks designed to help participants develop, implement and assess programs in the region. Experts who spoke to the class included Joseph Tucker from the Office of the U.S. Special Envoy to Sudan and South Sudan. Tucker addressed the difficulties and issues of the negotiations taking place between Sudan and South Sudan and his role of the negotiations team leader for the Special Envoy's Office.
The class also heard from long-time Sudan/South Sudan development expert Brian D'Silva, journalism and media expert Lisa Clifford, the National Democratic Institute's Susan Stigant, and Sudan youth activist Azaz Shami. USIP's own Director of Learning and Evaluation, Andrew Blum, outlined the elements necessary to design and evaluate successful programs. The class also included breakout working groups that applied the analytical frameworks to two case studies - Darfur and the border region - throughout the three days. Participant evaluations showed that the students appreciated the blended approach of academic frameworks and practical methodologies, and found that the concepts "have a direct bearing on [their] fieldwork." Students also found it interesting to learn from the experts as well as from the other students in the class, pointing out that it was "interesting to learn from people in different professions - to see how they approach problems [on Sudan], how they think." This course will be scheduled to repeat in Spring 2013.