Monday, July 24, 2017

Update from MDP Fair on Belize Field Experience

I am part of a team of three women currently doing field work with the Maya Leaders Alliance (MLA) and the Toledo Alcaldes Association (TAA) in Punta Gorda, Belize to develop toolkits for use at visioning workshops. Now that Maya Land Rights are formally recognized following the Caribbean Court of Justice ruling in 2015, the MLA and TAA are working together to ensure that the indigenous voices are heard in the planning process for future economic development. The visioning workshops are being held to discover how Maya people desire to move their economy forward in a sustainable manner and what work they would like to develop that supports their culture and way of life. These visioning workshops provide a space for large numbers of Maya people, from a variety of Maya villages in Toledo District, to share and discuss their hopes for the future. We will be hosting two visioning pilot workshops and the main objective of conducting these two pilots is to test methods for future workshops. From these pilots, the outcomes will include Needs/Assets map, world cafe discussion notes, feedback from the pilot project (what, when and where), formally engaging women for the first time in providing input for MLA, building deeper cross-community relationships and ultimately, MLA will have the materials to begin drafting an actual vision statement.

I am including photo from our first pilot with the Women’s Group.

Julia Fair
Master of Development Practice, 2018
Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota

Proj Mgr, Middle East & No. Africa, Crisis Management Initiative

CMI (Crisis Management Initiative) is an independent, non-governmental organisation that works to resolve conflicts and build sustainable peace across the globe. CMI contributes to conflict resolution through dialogue and mediation, mediation support, and supporting national actors.

Within its Middle East and North Africa programme, CMI works to contribute to the relevant peace processes in the region by facilitating dialogue among conflict parties, enhancing regional conflict resolution capacities and supporting regional bodies and national actors.

CMI is seeking an experienced project manager for its MENA team.

The Project Manager will be responsible for:
Leading the development and implementation of specific CMI projects in the region
Leading and managing experts and ensuring responsible and efficient implementation of the work and related resources
Representing CMI in the region and developing networks and partnerships
Participating to the development of the overall CMI programme and cross team working
New business development and fundraising for the work files in Middle East and North Africa

A successful candidate is expected to:
Have an excellent understanding and practical knowledge of the region, its dynamics and politics, relevant peace processes and related diplomatic efforts. Experience from GCC, Iran, Turkey are an asset.
Have around five years of practical experience in dialogue, mediation and peacebuilding processes from international, state and/or non-state organisations
Have solid project management skills (e.g. strategic development, budgeting, RBM)
Have excellent networks in the region and the field of mediation, and strong skills in building and managing relationships with local, regional and international organizations as well as fundraising
Have excellent leadership and teamworking skills
Have an ability to work under pressure in challenging circumstances and to tight timelines
Have fluent written and spoken skills in English, knowledge of Arabic and/or French is a strong asset
Have a university degree from a relevant field
Commit to CMI values and principles of neutrality

Project Manager will report to Head, Middle East and North Africa. The position is located in Helsinki, Finland. Frequent travel is required, including to conflict countries. The position is a fixed-term parental leave replacement until summer 2018. Preferred starting date is 1st of September or as agreed.

This is a unique opportunity to work in one of the leading organisations with some of the best conflict resolution experts of the field. If you are interested, please send your CV together with a motivation letter and salary request to applications(at) by Wednesday 9 August with the reference “Project Manager, MENA”.
Please cite PCDNetwork as the source of the posting in your application.

If you have questions regarding the position, you can contact Maruan El-Krekshi, Head of Middle East and North Africa (maruan.elkrekshi(at) between 3rd and 9th of August.

This material is cross-posted from the Peace and Collaborative Development Network, and appears to be an interesting opportunity for the Humphrey community.   This is meant for information sharing purposes only. 

Sept 13 Global Conversations: Geopolitics of Energy

Despite the so-called "energy revolution," the U.S. today is by no means disentangled from foreign dependence and global trends.

Join us for a conversation - in Minneapolis AND St. Paul - with former Ambassador to Turkey Ross Wilson as he discusses the effect of U.S. petroleum security on foreign policy.

St. Paul Wednesday, September 13 | 12:00 pm | Free

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Field report from MDP Ntalo, Belize

Field experience update from MDP student Erin Ntalo (Belize team includes Adriana Arce Martinez and Julia Fair): "There are many aspects of Maya heritage and custom I could write about, but the one that stands out as primary in the nearly two months I've spent in Southern Belize is the importance of land. Maya people value their land for providing everything they need to sustain life and make it enjoyable.

They grow staple crops like maize in plots located in their fertile forests, which are communally-owned. They forage wild foods like ginger, building materials for their homes like the cohune palm that makes the thatch roof, craft supplies like the jippi jappa for weaving baskets, and medicinal herbs. Many of the 39 Maya villages have rivers within their boundaries and people not only use the water for washing, bathing and drinking, but also find time on the weekends to relax with a swim.

From what I have seen and experienced firsthand, Maya people are connected to the land for what it can provide them, but they don't merely extract its resources, which are bountiful; they steward the soil and trees to ensure abundance for generations to come. The Maya are fond of saying that they may be cash-poor, but they are rich in everything they need to survive. Having walked their farms and forests, I can attest to the fact that there is no lack of useful and beautiful natural resources. 

The attached photo is of some of my teammates and our host, Pablo Mis, planting maize on his father-in-law's plot. The maize seeds were gifted to him by the head alcalde (chief) of the Maya people. We helped plant the seeds so that they would survive for many generations. The photo I'm sending is property of the Maya Leaders Alliance and I have permission to use it" 

MPP alum Besonen is Gadbaw International Law & Policy Fellow at GE

Mark Besonen, a 2017 M.P.P. graduate, has recently started working as an R. Michael Gadbaw International Law and Policy fellow in General Electric's Government Affairs & Policy office in Washington D.C. During his one year working as a policy fellow at GE, Mark will be working on projects related to its defense, energy, oil and gas, and political analysis businesses. Mark's work will focus on international trade, defense, and energy issues.

Indigenous Biocultural Exchange Fund, IIE

The Indigenous Biocultural Exchange Fund provides financial assistance to an individual to attend global biocultural events/exchanges or meetings of international significance which impacts the applicant’s home territory or region (individuals or organizations must apply for funding for a specific meeting or event). The focus of the fund examines biocultural issues—the rich but neglected adaptive interweave of people and place, culture and ecology. This fund supports indigenous peoples and local communities to have a voice in the policies and forums that concern biocultural diversity at a global level (for example, in relation to UNDRIP and other UN Conventions such as the Right to Food and the Convention on Biological Diversity).

The fund aims to encourage an actively and participatory exchange of knowledge systems, especially for, but not limited to, individuals in the following regions: African Rift Valley, Central Asia & Turkey, Southwest U.S. & Northern Mexico, Northern Australia, and Melanesia. Of special interest are indigenous people and local communities who have been traditionally under-represented in biocultural events, including but not limited to, women, youth, and first time travelers.

Award Benefits

Award recipients are chosen by a competitive selection process and must use the award to defray costs, which include international airfare, hotel/lodging, conference fees, meals, incidentals, local transportation, visa fees, and travel insurance.

A maximum of $5,000.00 USD is awarded to selected applicants (flexibility will be considered pending review of an applicant’s budget submission).

We are accepting applications until August 27, 2017 at 11:59 pm EDT for conferences taking place between October 15, 2017 and February 28, 2018. You can find the application form online. Please take time to review the eligibility requirements before completing the application.


Past Participants

Applicant must be Indigenous (definition below) or a member of a local indigenous community.

The modern understanding of this term used and advanced by the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) is based on the following:
Self-identification as indigenous peoples at the individual level and accepted by the community as their member
Historical continuity with pre-colonial and/or pre-settler societies
Strong link to territories and surrounding natural resources
Distinct social, economic or political systems
Distinct language, culture and beliefs
Form non-dominant groups of society
Resolve to maintain and reproduce their ancestral environments and systems as distinctive peoples and communities

For applicants who meet the above criteria, additional preference will be given to:
Youth (18+)
Exchange in the following regions: African Rift Valley, Central Asia & Turkey, Southwest U.S. & Northern Mexico, Northern Australia, and Melanesia
First time traveler (or applying with an organization to support a first time traveler)

This material is cross-posted from the Peace and Collaborative Development Network, and appears to be an interesting opportunity for the Humphrey community.   This is meant for information sharing purposes only. 

Partners Global Exec Program Asst

Position Title: Executive Program Assistant
Position Type: Full time
Salary: Commensurate with experience
State Date: As soon as possible

PartnersGlobal (previously Partners for Democratic Change), established in 1989, is an international, non-governmental organization committed to building sustainable capacity to advance democratic institutions, civil society, and a culture of peaceful change and conflict management worldwide. PartnersGlobal specializes in organizational development and social entrepreneurship, having provided the seed capital and technical assistance to establish 18 independent, local Centers around the world.

PartnersGlobal adheres to the values of participatory decision-making, collaboration, and consensus-building as the fundamentals of an inclusive, democratic society; and, we promote the application of these skills in all aspects of our work. The PartnersGlobal team includes process experts, facilitators, and trainers who apply those collaborative skills to achieve concrete results in technical areas such as the rule of law, women’s empowerment, security sector reform, and natural resource management. Our network of local Centers is renowned for undertaking cutting edge work and applying our process expertise to convene disparate parties to jointly tackle some of the most complex development challenges.

Position Description:

PartnersGlobal is seeking an extremely motivated individual interested in an entry-level position in the conflict resolution or international development field. This is an excellent opportunity for a recent undergraduate to facilitate his or her transition from academic studies to a professional role within an international NGO. The Executive Program Assistant’s responsibilities include, but are not limited to: executive level support, office operations, and communications. As a member of the Executive Team, the Executive Program Assistant provides support for all executive-level initiatives, making sure all details are in place but also providing valuable feedback for the development of such initiatives. This includes external outreach, events and programs as well as internal office and staff development. As Executive Program Assistant, he or she will be exposed to almost every facet of the organization. Candidates must be willing and able to work and liaise with many types of working styles and professionals due to the cross-cutting nature of the position.

The Executive Program Assistant must be comfortable working in a culturally diverse environment and be willing to work in and with various departments in the office. The person in this role sets the tone of professionalism for PartnersGlobal as the first point of contact to the organization for Executive-level relations, including network affiliate organizations, the board of directors, clients, and donors.

Primary Responsibilities:

Executive Level Support Duties (35% of time)
Provide logistical support to President and other senior staff including travel arrangements, and credit card expense reports.
Manage logistics and attend Board of Directors meetings, help produce the quarterly board packets and draft board minutes.
Assist in coordination of various network initiatives, such as directors’ and assembly meetings.
Assist President in maintaining donor contacts and facilitate fundraising initiatives through Salesforce.
Manage the President’s schedule and assist in outreach.
Perform other duties as assigned by President.
Support regional teams as necessary, including with business development related tasks.

Operations and Office Management Duties (20% of time)
Manage daily administrative operations of the office together with the Deputy Director for Operations. Assist in troubleshooting as necessary.
Maintain kitchen inventory
Coordinate printed materials (stationery, business cards etc.).
Facilitate check requests and finance support as needed.
Track copy room inventory, order copier toners, postal supplies, and overnight carrier supplies as needed.
Retrieve mail and post outgoing mail and direct packages to individuals upon receipt.
Liaise with office tenants (the Alliance for Peacebuilding staff members) to ensure office relations and management is smooth. Make improvements to office as necessary regarding organizational and process issues.
Receive PartnersGlobal general calls and forward as necessary.

Communications Duties (45% of time)
Maintain all social media outlets, ensuring consistent, relevant and on-brand content.
Liaise with regional teams to effectively portray and promote PartnersGlobal work.
Create annual report and other informational/marketing pieces as needed.
Coordinate select announcements via email marketing and Salesforce.
Update website content as necessary.

Minimum bachelor’s degree required. Preferably in one of PartnersGlobal program areas: conflict resolution, international development, political science, international relations, sustainable environmental development and/or communications.
Must have a demonstrated interest in PartnersGlobal fields of work. Leadership experience is preferable.
Must be proficient with PC-based computers.
Must be detail-oriented, with excellent organizational skills; strong problem-solving abilities; personality willing to find creative and cost-effective solutions to operational issues.
Must possess effective interpersonal skills, with the ability to communicate effectively with diverse and international teams at all levels, anticipating needs and keeping staff informed of problems and issues.
Strong research and analytical skills to gather and compile complex data and information.
Excellent communication skills both in writing and verbal presentation.
Must have the ability to take initiative and be resourceful in maintaining a professional work environment.
Must be able to handle confidential data (e.g. budget and salary information, contractual terms and conditions, etc.).
Must be flexible, able to multi-task and work in a busy environment.

To Apply: Please send (via e-mail) a résumé and cover letter to: Please indicate in the subject of the email and cover letter that you are applying for the “Executive Program Assistant position”. No phone calls please.

Please cite PCDNetwork as the source of the posting in your application.

We will contact applicants for an interview or to request additional information.

PartnersGlobal is an equal employment opportunity employer and does not discriminate based on sex, gender, race, color, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, pregnancy, marital status, age, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, or any other consideration made unlawful by federal, state, or local laws.

This material is cross-posted from the Peace and Collaborative Development Network, and appears to be an interesting opportunity for the Humphrey community.   This is meant for information sharing purposes only. 
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