The Panel of Experts for the Security, Conflict and International Development (SCID) MSc Course, provided by the Department of Criminology, was established in order to further enhance the learning experience of students and expose them to the knowledge and views of a broad range of leading international experts in the field of conflict prevention, resolution and recovery. Eleven Panel members have been invited to the second Annual SCID Symposium in Leicester on 12 March to present papers on the subject of researching and working in conflict-affected environments. Alongside Panel members, the SCID course developer and tutor will present a paper and a SCID student and professional film-maker, will be presenting a recent feature-length documentary film she directed entitled We Were Rebels, which follows the life of a former child soldier in South Sudan
The theme of the Symposium ties into one of the core aims of the SCID Course and one of the main reasons for establishing the SCID Panel of Experts: to help bridge the divide between academia and practitioners in the field. This is particularly important given the Course aims to equip its students with the knowledge and skills to pursue or advance their careers in this field. Ultimately, it is hoped that by bridging the gap between academia and the field, efforts to understand and better respond to the challenges posed by conflict can be enhanced.
The broad range of papers address issues concerning the challenges of conducting research and working in conflict-affected environments, including: research ethics; monitoring and evaluation of programmes; recruitment and deployment of staff; police research; managing multi-cultural teams; how international lawyers can work more effectively with their national counterparts; preparing police peacekeepers; creating strategies for Security Sector Reform; food security and conflict; the use of biometrics and population registration; and lessons from Ukraine and other conflict-affected environments. Presenters include professors, film directors, retired senior police chiefs and military officers, government advisers, international human rights and humanitarian law barristers, senior officials in the UN system and other leading international experts in the field of conflict resolution and recovery.
Papers from the Symposium will be published in the Annual SCID Reader, which will be provided to all SCID students. Audio and video recordings of the presentations will be uploaded to the Course platforms (iPad and Blackboard). Recordings and the Reader will also be made available via the SCID Blog (www.uolscid.wordpress.com).
My thanks to everyone from whom I learned (and even laughed a few times!). Fantastic event!