From Monday 19 June until Friday 30 June, NUPI and the UNDP Oslo Governance Center host a PDA Fellowship Program on the topic of ‘Promoting local ownership and building capacities for conflict prevention’.

The PDA Fellowship Program provides an opportunity for six Fellows to reflect on this topic in the context of their work. NUPI co-hosted the first cohort of this Fellowship Program in November 2016, with a focus on Inclusive Dialogue.

The six Fellows are all deeply involved in supporting and promoting local ownership, resilience, conflict prevention and sustaining peace in their countries of deployment, and bring up-to-date analyses of their respective countries. During the Fellowship, they get the opportunity to engage with what the research literature says on these topics, and they meet members of the policymaking and practitioner community in Oslo.

Update from Week 1:

This Friday the PDA Fellowship Program reached its halfway point. During this first week, the Fellowship focused on inclusive national ownership and building national capacities for conflict prevention. The Fellows reflected on the assumptions that inform how we understand, approach, and operationalise these concepts and themes. They also engaged with key findings from the academic literature on these topics.

Beyond interacting with scholars here at NUPI, the Fellows met with the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the UNDP Oslo Governance Center, and with Major General Kristin Lund—the first female force commander of a UN peacekeeping operation—over dinner. Further, the Fellows discussed the future of UN operations as well as civil-military coordination with participants at a UN course hosted by the Norwegian Defence International Center (NODEFIC). Last, they interacted with global policy advisor Jairo Acuña-Alfaro from UNDP in New York on building core government functions in fragile settings.

Update from week 2:

During the second and final week, the Fellows focused on resilience in the context of sustaining peace, sustaining coherence in the UN system, and using compacts and strategic frameworks to build effective partnerships with national and local counterparts. They also met with Elisabeth Slåttum, Norway’s Special Envoy to the Philippine peace process with the NDFP, to exchange insights and experiences on inclusive national ownership in peace processes. They also participated in a NUPI roundtable seminar with members of the policy and practitioner community in Oslo, that focused on building national capacities for conflict prevention. The Fellowship ended on 30 June with closing remarks by NUPI Director Ulf Sverdrup and UNDP OGC Senior Research and Policy Advisor Endre Stiansen.

The six PDA Fellows are:

1.      Anthony Agyenta (former PDA Kenya)

2.      Archana Aryal (Team Leader Democratic Transition Unit, UNDP Nepal)

3.      Chetan Kumar (PDA Philippines)

4.      Joanna Nassar (Project manager UNDP Peace Building in Lebanon)

5.      Waly Ndiaye (PDA Guinea)

6.      Zebulon Takwa (PDA Nigeria)

Full bios for the PDA fellows: