Texas A&M University recently received the honor of joining USAID’s Higher Education Solutions Network— a partnership which aims to utilize academic institutions to help fuel research and progress in tackling our world’s most challenging development problems. As one of seven institutions selected to join the HESN, Conflict and Development at Texas A&M University will integrate research and academics to promote further analysis of development in fragile and conflict-affected nations.
Per our agreement with USAID, we hosted a planning workshop in Washington, DC from April 23-25, 2013.The purpose of the workshop was to gather the best minds in the field of conflict and development to help us identify ConDev’s programmatic foci. There were three mornings of discussion devoted to Human and Institutional Capital and Conflict (April 23), Natural Resources and Conflict (April 24), and Science, Technology, Food Security and Conflict (April 25).
- What investments are required to engage youth populations through workforce development linked to jobs?
- How do legitimate local institutions redirect elite competition and promote cooperation dynamics?
- How can natural resource management be used as a peace-building approach?
- Which interventions are required that build upon local coping strategies to incentivize food security and promote resilience?
Four themes were identified that will be incorporated throughout the research agenda:
- Generate meaningful and actionable data and analysis that fills knowledge gaps.
- Fully integrate gender-sensitive research in all programs.
- Identify and test innovative applications of information and communications technology.
- Partner with local research institutions to generate solutions for and by the local population.