International Policy Meeting on Conflict Resolution Education
The Global Issues Resource Center (GIRC), Office of Community Continuing Education at Cuyahoga Community College (CCC), the Organizational of American States (OAS), and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) hosted Policy Meetings on March 16th and March 17th, 2007 in conjunction with the Inter-American Summit on Conflict Resolution Education (March 14th and 15th, 2007).
Inter-American Summit on Conflict Resolution Education Conference March 14th and 15th, 2007
Global Issues Resource Center, Office of Community Continuing Education at Cuyahoga Community College and The Organization of American States hosted the four-day Inter-American Summit on Conflict Resolution Education in Cleveland, Ohio, USA. This event brought together government representatives from among the 50 states and 34 countries of the Americas, Europe, Australia, and Israel and their non-governmental organization partners who have legislation or policies in place to deliver conflict resolution education at the K-12 level and in colleges of teacher education.
This first-ever Summit offered a dynamic opportunity to develop a hemispheric infrastructure throughout the Americas to advance the work in the fields of conflict resolution education and peace education. The Summit brought together policymakers and educators representing regions across the United States, select member countries of The OAS representing North, Central, South America and the Caribbean, as well as Europe, Australia, and Israel. These national and international educators exchanged program best practices, evaluation methodology, creation of policy implementation structures, and consideration of obstacles to success. The general conference portion of the event (March 14th – 15th) offered a needed opportunity for 400 college students, college faculty, university scholars, K-12 educators, public health officials, prevention specialists, and state, local, national and international policy makers in the Americas to convene in one location to learn more about the most current work being undertaken. The conference was open nationally and internationally to anyone who wished to attend. Presenters (140), representing 24 states and 13 countries, shared examples of best practices within their states and nations, implementation models, and evaluation results with attendees. For an overview of the workshops and speakers which occurred during the Summit, please see the Conference Program (pdf). Presentations from select workshops during the conference are scheduled to be posted on the www.creducation.org web site in August 2007.
During the Summit, important meetings of the Advisory Committee of the International Network on Conflict Resolution Education and Peace Education (INCREPE) also took place. Critical next steps for designing the structures to best support this Network occurred. This corresponded with the launch of the International Conflict Resolution Education Web site which offers training materials, research, resources, and policy information free of cost for educators K-12, Higher Education, and community youth serving workers in multiple languages, available at: www.creducation.org. Participants from the various countries and states will be contributing to this site.
The planning committee for the Summit included: The Organization of American States, Temple University, The National Association for Conflict Resolution, the Center for Dispute Resolution at the University of Maryland School of Law, the European Centre for Conflict Prevention, Global Issues Resource Center, Cuyahoga Community College, the Interfaith Center for Peace, Maryland Mediation and Conflict Resolution Office, the Ohio Commission on Dispute Resolution and Conflict Management, the Ohio Department of Education , the Ohio Department of Health, and the Ohio Resource Network: E-Based Prevention.
There were 21 funders which provided $67,000US to support the International Conference and Policy Meetings. Major sponsors of the event included Global Issues Resource Center at Cuyahoga Community College, The Organization of American States and The United Nation’s Development Program Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery for Latin America and the Caribbean.
Summary of International Policy Meetings March 16th and 17, 2007
Goals: The Policy Meetings were convened to enable conflict resolution education and peace education practitioners and researchers to share insights and information about policy, infrastructure and research needed to promote conflict resolution education and peace education in their regions.
Participants: Participants at the Policy Meetings were representatives from Armenia, Australia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, Colombia, Cyprus, Israel, St. Lucia, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway and the United States (state teams from California, Delaware, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio). In addition, several organizations were represented including the sponsoring organizations (GIRC/CCC, OAS, UNDP),Temple University, The Ohio State University, The United Nation’s Development Program – Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery in Latin American and the Caribbean, United States Institute for Peace, and the United States Department of Education.
Process: Participants provided information about CRE/PE efforts in their countries, states or regions that were compiled in a Pre-conference reader and distributed prior to the meeting. Themes from the reader were used to form discussion groups on factors that supported and/or inhibited policy in CRE/PE and infrastructure in CRE/PE. Participants were also asked to discuss critical research that was needed to support CRE/PE policy and infrastructure.
Discussion groups concentrated on:
- Four supporting factors for CRE/PE policy: (1) Partners, (2) Networks (NGOs, government and others), (3) Existing policy and/or legislative mandates for CRE/PE, and (4) Research on the effectiveness of CRE/PE.
- Three inhibiting factors for CRE/PE policy: (1) Funding for visibility and advocacy, (2) Lack of knowledge of CRE/PE, (3) Turnover in leaders, policymakers and administrators.
- Three supporting factors for CRE/PE infrastructure: (1) Research and development, (2) Teacher leader networks and local school systems (NGOs, government and others), (3) Training, curricula and coursework.
- One unique inhibiting factor for CRE/PE infrastructure: (1) Non-implementation of existing policies.
- Critical research needed to support CRE policy and infrastructure development.
Collaborative Action and Task Forces: Countries, regions and states developed action plans for their own focus. Participants for the whole policy meeting identified three critical areas of collaborative action, developed task forces, and detailed specific tasks for initial effort:
Information and Advocacy:
- Development of a logo
- Creation of a CRE/PE poster that summarizes key areas and information
- Development of PowerPoint presentations on CRE/PE and critical research that can be shared with various organizations
- Contact public representatives of government and funding agencies to share information about CRE/PE
- Disseminate information through existing web sites and links with related web sites
- Make contacts within the media to explore alternative means of disseminating information
Research and Evaluation:
- Identify organizations that are currently doing research on CRE/PE
- Identify funders who have recently or are currently funding CRE/PE research
- Contact vendor organizations to gather non-published evaluations and reports about the efficacy of their programs.
- Compile research articles and summaries and make available on web site.
- Develop summary “factoid” sheets that summarize critical research that can be distributed to non-researchers.
- Identify key research for English to Spanish and Spanish to English translation
- Mapping the partners within our communities and incorporating them into the networks.
- Connecting with related interest groups, associations, to update them on CRE/PE and learn more about what they are doing that is related to and helpful to CRE/PE work.
- Utilize the web sites (www.creducation.org and www.oas.org) for ongoing networking; ask new network partners how to improve the web site access and content for their use.
- Map financial support partners and begin to do outreach to network with funders and organizations that have been funded in CRE/PE related efforts.
- Each participant should develop a strategy to share information with his or her own local community and operative networks.
The full report from the Policy Meetings is available as a pdf file.