NORHED II project, Partnership for Peace: Better Higher Education for Resilient Societies 

The Norwegian Centre for Human Rights (NCHR) was recently awarded Norad funding for a project that will develop a global network of scholars working towards peace and human rights.

Norad recently awarded funding for a project to strengthen higher education institutions’ ability to provide high-quality research and teaching. The NCHR will collaborate with the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) and five other leading academic institutions in Africa, Latin-America, and the Middle East.

The project has a budget of approximately 20 million NOK and will run for six years, 2021-2026. NCHR and PRIO will coordinate the project, partnering with leading institutions in Benin (African School of Economics), Uganda (Makerere University), Ethiopia (Mekelle University), Colombia (Universidad de los Andes), and Palestine (Birzeit University).

The partner institutions are key regional academic actors in the fields of peace and conflict studies and human rights studies. They will provide practical experience and opportunities for fieldwork that helps ground scholarly research on lived realities.

Expanding and internationalizing existing programs

The Partnership for Peace project builds on the Research School on Peace and Conflict, which is co-owned by NCHR and PRIO. Over the years, this Research School has offered various high-quality PhD courses on peace and conflict studies and human rights. It has mostly held events in Norway, with students from European institutions. The Partnership for Peace program will significantly expand this reach, by building links to established and emerging scholars in the Global South. 

This project focuses on the professional training of young researchers (PhD candidates and junior faculty staff). The network-based cooperation consists of four main components: 

  • developing and strengthening the academic quality of existing PhD education in the partner institutions
  • planning and organizing PhD/academic staff training courses
  • enabling academic staff exchanges and sharing of good practices
  • organizing joint academic activities to foster joint research projects and publications.

Developing a global network of scholars working on peace and human rights issues

Project leader, Gentian Zyberi, is excited about the project and its collaborative structure. “In close cooperation with our partners, we plan to organize PhD courses, train junior faculty staff, develop relevant curricula and arrange academic exchanges,” he says. Zyberi, together with Jørgen Jensehaugen from PRIO, will closely coordinate the project’s activities. 

Cooperation between the international partners is an important backbone of the project. The partners will have representatives in the project’s steering committee, to ensure that they are included in decision-making. Joint workshops on various skills and PhD training courses will be emphasized in the program. Where possible, the program will also pursue joint research initiatives like policy papers and journal articles.

The Partnership for Peace project will also include an initiative where researchers from all the partner institutions can be hosted by any of the other partner institutions, as visiting researchers. We believe that this will be beneficial for hosts and guest researchers alike. The aim is to create a thriving global network of scholars that can persist and grow beyond the limits of the project.

NORHED II funding 

Norad received 199 applications to the NORHED II call, of which 60 were funded. The granted project is listed in NORHED II portfolio 2021-2026 as project 70921. It falls under the NORHED II thematic sub-programme 5: Humanities and Social Sciences.

Published May 4, 2021 3:15 PM - Last modified May 4, 2021 3:15 PM