Considering the wider context in the respective countries and overall in the South Asia region, this project aims to develop required human resource in the field of conflict, peace, and development studies in the partner countries to contribute to establishing democratic peace and promote the notion of economic governance in the region.
Main partner: Tribhuvan University, Nepal
Noragric project coordinator: Prof. Bishal Sitaula,
Other Noragric staff involved: Dr. Stig Jarle Hansen and Dr. Ingrid Nyborg
Other project partners: University of Ruhuna, Sri Lanka; COMSATS Institute of Information Technology (CIIT, Abbottabad, Pakistan; Norwegian University of Life Sciences
Funded by: NORHED programme, Norad.
Project period: 2013-2018
Other NORHED projects at NMBU
Conflicts hamper both democratic and economic governance as well as social development. South Asian region, specifically Nepal, Sri Lanka and Pakistan has been the hot -spot of conflicts of various nature in recent time and there is an urgent need to understand the nature of conflict for their peaceful resolutoin. For example in Nepal, people's movement of 2006 officially ended a decade old Maoist insurgency and brought hope for new politics in Nepal - that was viewed as a key source of peace and prosperity. However, ensuing political process so far have failed to deliver any tangible results. Rather than focusing on the key issues to move the peace-process towards logical end, the whole political process has been hijacked by the sole objective of seating and unseating the government(s) at the helm thereby inviting governmental instability in the country.
Likewise, In recent decades Sri Lanka had become home to one of the world's most intractable wars
and the longest running conflict in Asia. Although the civil conflict in Sri Lanka has been reported as end, there are number of interrelated issues to be handled which created by the long lasted civil conflict. The remaining issues that need to be sorted out still include the issue of democratic governance, human rights, internally displaced people, people with disabilities, the issues around the war widows and the post conflict development. Pakistan in the last decade (2001-2011) in particular is hit hard by conflicts and strife, for example from militancy and army operation in Swat in 2009. More than 40% of the population are living below poverty line, literacy rate is quite low particularly among female and the overall security situation is quite alarming. Most of the public institutions are weak and often do not meet the needs of law and order situation in the country.
This project has three major components, they are:
1. Establish two years Multidisciplinary Regional Master Degree Program in Conflict Peace and Development Studies (CPDS) with both a teaching and research component.
2. Develop mechanisms for establishing capacities of research, education and outreach services on conflict, governance and gender in higher education institutions of Nepal, Sri Lanka and Pakistan
3. Develop mechanisms for strengthening and institutionalizing democratic decision making processes.
The regionalization of the project will be done through adopting and offering the existing master degree programme at TU by further extending the partner institutions in Sri Lanka and Pakistan and as well as research work on the regional issues of conflict, peace, governance and gender. A regional electronic forum on democratic governance, conflict and peace will be facilitated in order to provide a discussion platform for interested academics and activists in the South Asia region. The south- south and north- south collaborative research and exchanges has been incorporated in the project design in order to facilitate greater level of knowledge and experiences sharing.