The Heller School for Social Policy and Management

Fieldwork Spotlight

Myriam Marcuello-Lopez, MA COEX/NEJS '17 in a group photo with members of Peace Labs, a Lebanese NGO
Myriam Marcuello-Lopez, MA COEX/NEJS '17, posing with the organization Peace Labs.

Conflict Mitigation in Lebanon: From Peace Labs to Arts Labs

"How to support local conflict mitigation capacities and what role can the arts play to foster social transformation and promote more inclusive societies? These questions were the main focus of my practicum in Lebanon. I worked for the Lebanese NGO Peace Labs that supports the peaceful transformation of community-based conflicts, mainly in northern Lebanon. I conducted a strategic review of one of their projects and organized workshops with members of local conflict conciliation committees. I also had the opportunity to undertake a research for the Syrian cultural organization Ettijahat. I focused my work on one of their projects, “Create Syria: a project to empower Syrian art in exile.” The research attempts to shed light on the strategies and methodologies developed to enhance collaboration between artists and disenfranchised individuals in a safe and creative space."

Lisette Anzoategui, MA COEX/SID'15 at a youth soccer match in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.
Lisette Anzoategui, MA COEX/SID'15, at a soccer match in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

The Complexity and Opportunity in Youth Soccer Fanaticism: Towards an Understanding of Violent Conflict, Masculine Identity and Resilience for the Barras Bravas of Tegucigalpa, Honduras

"What can soccer fanaticism of the barras bravas tell us about youth development and challenges in Tegucigalpa, Honduras? For my fieldwork I conducted independent ethnographic research in Honduras to gain insights on youth in the country with the highest homicide rate in the world. With unprecedented unaccompanied child migration from the Northern Triangle, this study reveals the gripping reality of the youth who decide to stay. Barra brava is a name for popular soccer team supporter groups in Latin America who cheer on their teams at games. Strikingly, the barras bravas of Tegucigalpa are generating increased violence, and forming a distinct relationship with MS 13 and Calle 18 gangs. The original intention of these sports fanatics was not to generate physical violence, yet these groups are increasingly being used by gangs to channel their violence or recruit these youth in illicit activities. Stopping the violence propagated by barras means breaking away from narrowly perceived cases such as individual deviants but rather an acknowledgment of the web of causal connections between socio-psychological, institutional and global  structures that are part of an interlaced cause."

Mural on ceiling of UN headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland

Marta Ewa Baran, MA COEX/SID'15

Children’s Rights and Business Principles in Fragile Settings and Emerging Markets: Focused Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) as a Possible Peacebuilding Strategy for the Future - Information Communication Technology (ICT) Sector

"Can business foster peace? For my practicum I interned with the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) in the Corporate Social Responsibility Unit of the Private Fundraising and Partnerships Division in Geneva. I worked on assessing the Information Communication Technology (ICT) industry's landscape from a child rights perspective in 6 countries in South-East Asia with objective to provide supportive background information for internal use for UNICEF country offices in support of global launch of Child Online Protection Guidelines. Simultaneously this internship not only provided me with an opportunity to contribute to UNICEF work, learn about the private sector engagements with Children Rights and Business Principles, but also it enabled me to be part of outside events in Geneva organized by the United Nations agencies, e.g. Human Rights Council Sessions -the 21st Special Session of the Human Rights Council on the Human Rights Situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem or being part of UNICEF delegation at the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child' the 2014 Day of General Discussion - Digital Media and Children’s Rights."

 COEX/SID student Camilo Esquivia-Zapata conducting fieldwork with REDD+ in the Lacandon Jungle in Chiapas, Mexico
Camilo Esquivia-Zapata, MA COEX/SID'15 in the Lacandon Jungle in Chiapas, Mexico

REDD+ in the Lacandon Jungle in Chiapas, Mexico: Conflict Analysis for an Inclusive Sustainable Biodiversity 

"I conducted my practicum with EcoLogic working on EcoLogic’s CarbonPlus program in the Lacandón Jungle of Chiapas, Mexico. For my internship, Alongside the CarbonPlus program’s Senior Manager he worked with three indigenous Mayan communities to explore the possibilities of implementing a REDD+ project in the area, which would use the sale of carbon credits as a source of revenue for the communities. One of the main goals of the project was to create an incentive to keep the approximately 88,000-acre area of beautiful rainforest standing and healthy."

Aline Brachet, MA COEX'15

Transformative Scenario Planning: Thinking of the Future to Transform Today's Conflict

"I experienced a Transformative Scenario Planning Process during my internship with the Bridgeway Group with stakeholders from South Asia. This process helps to deal with complexity and uncertainty in conflict situations; bringing the representatives of a whole system to assess the reality, then invent plausible stories about what the future could be, and finally confront those fictions with their own capacities and positions. Through individual transformation and a shift in perception of realities and potential evolutions, TSP offers interesting peacebuilding tools when a group is willing to change the situation but stuck in its complexity."

Meredith Shull, MA COEX/SID'15

Navigating the Balance between the Non-State and Development Actor: Tools for Integrating Conflict Sensitivity into Corporate Donor Development Initiatives and Processes

"For my practicum project I worked at a corporate donor foundation in Mexico City, Mexico, Fomento Social & Ecològico Banamex, which funds social and environmental projects throughout Mexico, where I developed a series of tools designed to integrate conflict sensitivity into the strategies and processes of the organization in order to generate a larger social impact at the intersection of development and conflict. Currently, I am working directly with the organization in order to raise awareness in this area and build capacity, so as to begin implementing the tools throughout 2015."