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Preventing Genocide Blog

Call for Applications: Early Warning Fellowship Côte d’Ivoire

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The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide is pleased to announce a new research fellowship focused on increasing knowledge of early warning for mass atrocities in countries our Early Warning Project has determined to have a relatively high risk for mass atrocities.

The Early Warning Fellow will work with the Simon-Skjodt Center’s research director, staff, and collaborators to define priority research questions, plan associated research activities focused on analyzing plausible mass atrocity scenarios, conduct primary field research, and present results to policy makers and other interested audiences. (See previous reports on Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, and Mali.)

Focus Country: Côte d’Ivoire

Côte d’Ivoire has ranked in the top tier of our Early Warning Project Statistical Risk Assessment for onset of mass killing for multiple years. In the aftermath of disputed presidential elections in 2010, approximately 3000 people were killed and hundreds of thousands forcibly displaced from attacks that allegedly included crimes against humanity. While Côte d’Ivoire has shown signs of recovery in the ensuing years, the the country’s resilience will continue to be tested, including by presidential elections in 2020. This Fellowship will explore the scenarios that could plausibly lead to state- or nonstate-led mass killing in Côte d’Ivoire in the coming 1-2 years.

Background

The Simon-Skjodt Center is dedicated to stimulating timely global action to prevent genocide and mass atrocities and to catalyze an international response when they occur. Our goal is to make the prevention of genocide and mass atrocities a core foreign policy priority for leaders around the world through a multipronged program of research, education, and public outreach. We work to equip decision makers, starting with officials in the United States but also extending to other governments, with the knowledge, tools, and institutional support required to prevent—or, if necessary, halt—genocide, mass atrocities, and related crimes against humanity.

In partnership with Dartmouth College, the Simon-Skjodt Center created the Early Warning Project, the first system of its kind to combine state-of-the-art methods to produce risk assessments of the potential for mass atrocities around the world. The first part of the system uses statistical forecasts to assess which countries are most at risk for a new onset of state-led mass killing. The second part of the system continually elicits predictive judgments on the state of risk in specific places, making it possible to track changes in risk during the interval between quantitative assessments. The third element of the project is a series of deep, qualitative early warning assessments on selected countries, conducted by Simon-Skjodt Center staff in partnership with country experts working as Early Warning Fellows.

Fellowship Program Aims

  • To assess factors increasing or mitigating the risk of mass atrocities, committed by state or nonstate actors, in countries assessed by the Early Warning Project’s statistical forecasts to be at high risk for onset of mass atrocities.
  • To foster continued engagement with policy makers, academics, and NGOs on early warning and prevention issues.

Fellowship Description

The Fellowship is intended to provide Early Warning Project audiences with a deep-dive into dynamics in a country by describing scenarios—drawing on the US State Department-USAID Atrocity Assessment Framework—that might exacerbate or minimize the risk for mass atrocities and the dynamics that contribute to the risk of mass atrocities, as well as outline policy options that the US government and international community can take to mitigate that risk. (See our reports on Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, and Mali for examples of this kind of analysis.) The report should put the Early Warning Project’s statistical risk assessments into context with the political realities in that country, as well as the policy options that reflect those realities.

The Early Warning Project Fellow will work with members of the Simon-Skjodt Center’s Research Team to facilitate and co-lead field research, co-draft a public report on risks of mass atrocities and potential preventive actions, and participate in policy outreach on the results of the research. The Fellow will help prepare for field research, including developing a set of meetings with a wide variety of experts and stakeholders, coordinating logistics, and participating together with members of the Research Team in all meetings. The Fellow will work closely with the Research Team to analyze the information gathered and co-draft a report, which the Simon-Skjodt Center will release publicly. After the report is complete, we anticipate convening roundtable meetings in Washington and other relevant cities to discuss the results of the research. We would expect the Fellow to present results and participate in these meetings in person, as well as in a number of private briefings, including with US officials.

Terms of Fellowship

  • Duration:
    • Most fellowships run approximately 6-9 months in total, with at least two to three weeks in the country being researched, and time spent drafting and completing the final paper. Early Warning Fellows will be non-residential but will be expected to spend up to one week at the Museum at the end of the Fellowship and to keep in frequent contact with the Simon-Skjodt Center Research Team during the term of the Fellowship. A full timeline will be agreed upon before the Fellowship begins.
  • Expectations:
    • The Fellow will draw on data and analysis from the Early Warning Project to inform and guide their work. The Fellow will also utilize the US State Department-USAID Atrocity Assessment Framework, UN Framework of Analysis for Atrocity Crimes, the Interagency Conflict Assessment Framework, as well as other materials suggested by Simon-Skjodt Center staff.
  • Fellowship Outcomes:
    • The project will result in a report presenting the results of the research; a template specifying the structure of the report and key questions it needs to address will be provided. The final product may be used by the Museum for its website, exhibits, events or publications.
    • Fellows may also be requested to present their work at appropriate convenings which they may help to organize. On a case-by-case basis, Fellows might be asked to advise or assist Simon-Skjodt Center staff on follow-on projects that would benefit from their input. This would be done by mutual agreement between the staff and the Fellow.
  • Support:
    • Each Fellow will be paid a total amount of $15,000, which is intended to include in-country travel expenses, research, and administrative costs associated with the Fellowship. Long-distance travel costs and any costs incurred after the Fellowship’s completion—i.e. travel to presentations and meetings—will be reimbursed separately by the Museum upon submission of valid receipts.  Please note that Fellows are not eligible for employment benefits and are responsible for their own health insurance.

Selection Criteria

Applications for Early Warning Fellowships will be evaluated based upon the following factors:

  • PhD or seven years of experience; demonstrated expertise related to country in which the Fellow is going to complete research;
  • Knowledge of and prior research in atrocity prevention, conflict and/or human rights;
  • The applicant’s professional achievements and promise;
  • The applicant’s ability to conduct the proposed research and complete the project, and to present information in a clear manner to a variety of audiences;
  • English is strongly preferred but not required.

To apply, please submit the following:

  • A cover letter, 1-2 pages long, presenting your qualifications to conduct the necessary research, outlining the research you propose to conduct, and how you anticipate that research will benefit decision-makers focused on preventing mass atrocities in that country;
  • CV;
  • contact information for three references;
  • Please email materials to ewp@ushmm.org.

Deadline

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. We expect to review the first tranche of applications in mid-July.

For further information, we can be contacted at ewp@ushmm.org.

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