Meet the 2016 Build Peace Fellows

Welcome to the Build Peace 2016 Fellows Program for exceptional individuals who want to work at the intersection of peacebuilding and technology. The Fellowship program is made possible thanks to the generous contribution of the PeaceNexus Foundation. The program will also receive in-kind support from JustPeace Labs and Elva Community Engagement. We received 148 applications from 60 countries, and selected three Fellows. Read about them below, and scroll on for more details of the Fellowship.

Diana Dajer

Diana is a Colombian lawyer specialized in administrative law, and a Master in Public Policy from the University of Oxford. She is currently a consultant at Purpose, where she provides assistance in the design and implementation of a project to support citizen participation in the Colombian peacemaking process with the use of technology, and a PhD candidate of Socio-Legal Studies at the University of Oxford. Her research focuses on the interaction between citizen participation, technology and peacebuilding in Colombia, using participatory budgeting as case study. Peacebuilding is Diana’s biggest professional, academic and personal interest, and her career is rooted in Colombia and Latin America’s peacemaking and statebuilding efforts. She has worked in this area for the past seven years, in different projects involving human rights, transitional justice, international law, and political and civic participation.

As a Build Peace Fellow, Diana will design, implement and evaluate a technological participatory budgeting tool suitable for use in urban and rural areas of Colombia. The agreements reached so far by the Government and FARC guerrilla in the Colombian peace process emphasize the construction of peace at the local level through active citizen participation. One of the mechanisms that will be used to achieve this purpose is participatory budgeting, a process that allows citizens to directly decide how to spend part of the local budget. The tool developed through the Fellowship will complement face-to-face processes of participatory budgeting already in place, and help foster reconciliation and the creation of a stronger democracy in the Colombian peacebuilding scenario.

Jean Marie Ndihokubwayo

Author, director and producer, Jean Marie is an Audiovisual Researcher at Cenap (Centre d’Alerte et de Prévention des Conflits), a peacebuilding organization in Burundi and a partner of Interpeace. Jean Marie began his career as a radio journalist prior to embarking on several independent audiovisual production endeavors. In 2009, Jean Marie created his own company, “Netty Communications”, and produced several movies including “Taxi Love”, “Le Rencard” which together won over 6 awards. Recently, with Pascal Capitolin, he co-directed “I Mashoka”, the second Burundian feature film to be recognized in the international arena. The film was awarded «Best East African Feature Film» at 2014 Festicab edition, as well as at the Arusha African Film Festival (AAFF 2014) and the Nile Diaspora International Film Festival (Uganda). Jean Marie currently serves as the chairperson of COPRODAC (Collectif des Producteurs pour le Développement de l’Audiovisuel et du Cinéma du Burundi), the Burundian network of audiovisual and cinema professionals.

As a Build Peace Fellow, Jean Marie would like to develop and implement a strategy for CENAP’s use of technology in their Participatory Action Research process, and future research and dialogue. Concretely, he hopes to explore different technology options available to collect, treat, disseminate and archive research data, develop specific tools adapted to the Burundian context, and test and apply the new tools in the research process

Maude Morrison

Maude is currently living and working in Myanmar, where she is managing the Early Warning Early Response (EWER) Program for the Center for Diversity and National Harmony (CDNH), a local NGO focused on reducing communal violence and promoting social harmony. Maude has a longstanding interest in Myanmar, having first worked here in 2014. She is particularly interested in identity-based conflict and the way technology can play a role in both driving and reducing negative stereotypes. She has a BA in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from the University of Oxford and an MA in International Relations and International Economics from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), where she concentrated in Conflict Management.

As a Build Peace fellow, Maude will remain at CDNH and work to introduce a phone-based EWER communication system that targets local peacebuilders. Acting as both a communication channel and a networking hub, Maude hopes that such an intervention would increase Early Response capacity, foster local ownership over conflict prevention and bridge the gap between local and national actors. She looks forward to the mentorship, technical support and access to a community of peacebuilders that the Build Peace Fellowship will provide.

Fellowship Components

Fellows will come together for a joint, week-long training course on participatory methodologies and technology design. The training course will also provide an opportunity for Fellows to meet and share their experiences and expertise.

Fellows will be assigned a lead mentor from Build Up who will support them to develop an action plan for their fellowship, which will identify a set of concrete goals and an end point for their intervention and fellowship support. The lead mentor will then identify two or three other mentors from the Build Peace community who will support the Fellow throughout their fellowship.

Technology support
Fellows will have an opportunity to present the core technology necessary for their intervention as a challenge to the hackathon held at the Build Peace conference. The hackathon should deliver a prototype, and Fellows will then be matched with pro-bono development support to complete the technology required.

Grant funding
Fellows will receive a grant to cover some of the costs of their intervention. The exact grant amount will be determined on a case-by-case basis depending on the action plan and specific needs of an intervention, but in any case will not exceed 10,000 USD.

Fellowship Details

We expect Fellows to work approximately 30% of their time for one full year starting in May 2016. You can be based anywhere you want. We will ask you to travel for training, support and to attend the Build Peace conference, but you are not required to live in a particular location for the duration of the Fellowship.

You will receive funding to attend the Build Peace conference, and will be given a slot at the Build Peace Lab (held during the conference) to present their intervention and receive feedback from the conference community.

Fellowships are awarded to individuals to work on a peacebuilding intervention to which technology is central. We require that Fellows demonstrate they have a team behind them that will enable them to implement their project. Fellows can present a formal organization as their team, but this is not a requirement. We will also consider Fellows who present an unaffiliated group as their team.

We are especially interested in receiving applications from peacebuilders who wish to begin using technology. Applications from technologists who wish to begin working in the peacebuilding field will be considered, but may not be the best fit for this program.

A panel, chaired by Build Up and comprising peacebuilding and technology professionals drawn from the Build Peace community, will evaluate fellowship applications.

Applications will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

  • Demonstrates in-depth understanding of the peacebuilding context and ability to link to ongoing processes and stakeholders;
  • Is willing to engage in participatory design with relevant stakeholders;
  • Articulates theory of change for use of technology in peacebuilding process;
  • Matches Build Peace community capacities in terms of support required;
  • Demonstrates individual / team capacities to implement proposed project;
  • Demonstrates ability to achieve meaningful milestone for development / completion within Fellowship timeframe.

For 2016-17, we anticipate selecting 2 or 3 applications but the final number will depend on budget and partnership arrangements and the quality of applications received.

A peacebuilding initiative contributes to furthering a process of violence reduction, civic engagement, reconciliation or social cohesion. We are particularly interested in grassroots, Track 3 initiatives working at the grassroots / community level. We are also interested in initiatives that create meaningful engagement between community actors and decision or policy makers. Relevant initiatives might create opportunities for contact or dialogue, work to promote positive attitudes or behaviors, or monitor and understand tensions and hatred. We welcome arts-based peacetech or peacebuilding projects that meet all other Fellowship criteria.

Any technology tool that increases participation or furthers the reach of a peacebuilding initiative is relevant to this Fellowship. A few examples:

  • - Information & data tools of all kinds (e.g. mobile data collection, digital maps)
  • - New media and communication tools (e.g. social media, radio-to-mobile)
  • - Traditional media (e.g. film, radio)
  • - Videogames and gamified apps
  • - Remote sensing (e.g. big data, drones)

This list is by no means exhaustive – we are interested in your creative ideas!

We will consider proposed projects at different stages of development:
  • - Peacetech projects at the idea stage;
  • - Ongoing peacebuilding projects that want to introduce technology;
  • - Ongoing peacetech projects that want to enhance their use of technology.

Fellows may decide to use existing technology tools. However, we expect most Fellows will at least need to make some adaptation to existing tools in order to ensure they meet their exact requirements. The Fellowship can accommodate technology support to adapting or enhancing existing tools.

Once selected, each Fellow will agree the exact costs to be covered by the grant with their lead mentor. We expect grant funding to be spent on direct costs of implementing a pilot initiative, which can include covering some of the Fellow’s time.

Towards the end of their fellowship, support from the Build Up mentors will focus on working out a plan for the intervention to be sustained in a contextually appropriate way - whether that is replicating it in other locations or with different people, embedding it in ongoing processes or developing a new intervention that builds on it. Fellows may be invited back to the next Build Peace conference to present the results of work carried out during their fellowship. Fellows may also be invited to apply for follow-on financial and technical support from Build Up or its partners.

Fellowship Program Team

The Build Peace Fellows program is run by Build Up, a social enterprise working at the intersection of technology, civic engagement and peacebuilding. We work with civic activists and peacebuilders to find and apply innovative practices and technology tools that help them achieve their missions. The Build Up team all have upwards of 10 years of experience in the fields of development, peacebuilding, public policy, media and marketing with particular expertise in innovation programming, design and research. Build Up created the Build Peace conference, and now organizes and curates it annually.

The Fellowship program is made possible thanks to the generous contribution of the PeaceNexus Foundation. The program will also receive in-kind support from JustPeace Labs, and Elva Community Engagement.

The selection process for the Fellowship program is supported by a Selection Advisory Committee, whose members are:

  • Cindy Chungong, Program Manager (West & Central Africa), Search for Common Ground
  • Catriona Gourlay, Executive Director, PeaceNexus Foundation
  • Jerry McCann, Deputy Director-General (Operations) at Interpeace
  • Amy Noreuil, Technology Advisor at USAID OTI
  • Bruno Siqueira, System Engineer at Insituto Igarapé
  • Yannis Tellidis, Assistant Professor of International Relations at Kyung Hee University

  • Application & Contact

    Applications for the Build Peace 2016 Fellows Program are now closed.

    We hope to re-open applications in November 2016 for Build Peace 2017 Fellows. Still have questions about the Fellows program? Contact us.