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Opportunity to Host Interns from Columbia University for an Applied Peacebuilding Project

Dear Colleagues:
I am writing to introduce you to the “Applied Peacebuilding” course and internship program at Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA). This program provides skilled graduate student consultants / interns to work with your organization over the summer on peacebuilding-related activities or projects. Please see attached for Overview and Timeline documents.
If you are interested in partnering with this unique program this summer to receive interns, please complete and submit the online Terms of Reference questionnaire by 17 January 2020. Feel free to email me at zm34(at)columbia.edu if you have any questions (please cite PCDN as the source of the opportunity) or need more time. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

 

Sincerely, Zachary Metz, PhD
Instructor, Columbia University Applied Peacebuilding
COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF INTERNATIONAL AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS
APPLIED PEACEBUILDING PROGRAM
– PARTNERNSHIP OVERVIEW –
What are the Benefits for Partner Organizations?
Now in its 20th year, the Columbia University Applied Peacebuilding Program provides your organization with one or more skilled graduate student intern-consultants. Your interns will design and implement an activity or project that you specify and develop with the students. Your organization will reap significant value, including new ideas and energy, and the substantial concrete outputs of the specific activities or project you define. Students also help create a link between your organization and Columbia University International Conflict Resolution Program, opening possibilities for further collaboration. As the instructor for the course and program, I will also be available to you throughout the spring and summer, should you need anything I can provide.
Who are Partners and what are the Projects?
Partner organizations range from international, national and grassroots local NGOs, to regional organizations, and UN agencies and Country Offices. Projects have included research, design, monitoring and evaluation, assessment and analyses, conferences and training workshops, curriculum design, video and documentary projects, among many others. You will determine the specifics of the activity or project, based on your organization’s needs and the student’s skills.
What is the typical Student profile?
The students will have completed one year of advanced graduate work in international affairs or a related field at Columbia. They bring rich and diverse regional and thematic knowledge, in addition to the skills they develop in the Applied Peacebuilding course.
What is the Process?
In late January, each student will select (with guidance from the Professor) a partner from the roster of organizations. From mid-January through late April, your graduate student interns will communicate with you regularly to define the specific scope of the project or activities that you want to have implemented for your organization. In the summer (mid May through late August), students travel to work directly with your organization to implement the project, with the active support and supervision of the Project Supervisor you have designated.
What is the Role of the Project Supervisor?
The role of the “Project Supervisor” from your organization is critical to the success of this initiative. Project Supervisors need to communicate regularly with interns throughout the spring as the students work to design the project, based on your guidance. During the summer internship, Project Supervisors should have daily direct interaction with students in the field to provide support and feedback.
Students choose projects primarily based on the information supplied by you in the TOR. Because I strive to send students with appropriate backgrounds to your organization, I cannot guarantee that each organization will be matched with a student every year.
What Commitments do Partners make?
We ask that each organization contribute whatever they are able to defray the costs incurred by students in the course of their fieldwork. Logistical support and work space, including access to translators, staff and security are basic commitments that the institution must make. When available, additional support can come in the form of cash stipends or in-kind support, including room and board, transportation, and other basic needs.
Easy next steps!
To be included as an organizational partner for the Applied Peacebuilding program, all you need to do is submit a completed online Terms of Reference Questionnaire (TOR). In the TOR, describe your organization’s needs and the kinds of project or activities that you envision having the graduate student intern complete for your organization during the summer. You will also need to identify a Project Supervisor from your organization who will work with the students to design and implement the activities to fit your organization’s needs.
For a full overview see the attached documents or the text below.
COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF INTERNATIONAL AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS
APPLIED PEACEBUILDING PROGRAM
– PROGRAM TIMELINE 2020 –
BY 17 JANUARY: SUBMIT YOUR TOR
To be included as an organizational partner for the program, please submit a completed online Terms of Reference Questionnaire (TOR). In the TOR, describe your organization’s needs and the kinds of projects or activities you envision having the graduate student intern complete for your organization during the summer. You will also need to identify a Project Supervisor from your organization who will work with the students to design and implement the activities to fit your organization’s needs.
Because the course strives to provide appropriate students for each organization, not every organization will receive a student consultant in a given year.
FEBRUARY: BEGIN ENGAGING WITH INTERNS
In early February, students paired with your organization will contact the Project Supervisor you have designated at your organization. Throughout the semester, students will communicate frequently with the Project Supervisor to design a project or activities, identified by your organization.
Project Supervisors need to provide regular and timely feedback and communication to the students as they design the project or activities. Project Supervisors also support students in making logistical preparations in advance of their travel to the field, including visa requirements and securing safe and appropriate housing.
MAY: STUDENTS IMPLEMENT PROJECT
Students travel to the field and implement the project or activities under the supervision of the Project Supervisor you designate. The Project Supervisor and your organization provide ongoing substantive, logistical and technical support as well as any available financial and in-kind resources available to help students implement a successful project.
AUGUST: STUDENTS RETURN TO NEW YORK
Students return to New York and make a concluding presentation at Columbia University.

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