15 April 2013 – Amman, Jordan: For the second consecutive year, the Generations For Peace Institute (GFPI) has selected two scholars from the University of Oxford for its Summer Field Research programme. These scholarships are part of an ongoing collaboration between GFPI and the University of Oxford established in 2011, which includes provision of scholarships and research grants to support study and multi-disciplinary research aimed at making a broader contribution to the peace-building community. The 2013 Summer Field Research grantees are Sevgi Sairoglu and Vishnupriya Das, both MPhil candidates at the University of Oxford.
Sevgi, originally from Turkey, is reading Economics for Development at the University of Oxford’s Exeter College. Together with two other winners of 2012 United Nations Academic Impact/Brookings Institution speech competition, Sevgi got to meet the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon and UN Messengers of Peace at the 2012 International Day of Peace celebrations in the UN Headquarters in New York. She has been involved in various interdisciplinary research papers, including an analysis of the impact of women’s earnings on income inequality in Turkey. With her GFPI 2013 grant Sevgi is keen to use her language skills to research the impact of Generations For Peace programmes in supporting post-conflict reconciliation in several African countries, with a particular focus on the role of women and impact on women.
Vishnupriya is a post-graduate student at University of Oxford’s St. Catherine’s College studying Contemporary India. She has conducted research in a wide range of topics, from the relationship between mobile-phone technology and empowerment in the global south, to the ways in which internet is influencing the biological basis of empathy. Growing up in India close to the Bangladesh border, Vishnupriya has always been fascinated with the practical and ideological struggles that come with experiencing life in a divided land. This has led Vishnupriya to use film and new media as a tool to give voice to people in conflict-ridden countries. She would like to use this experience in her research on behalf of GFPI in several south-east Asian countries this summer.
HRH Princess Sarah Al-Feisal, Generations For Peace President, was delighted with the confirmation of this new phase of the Field Research Programme: “Our cooperation with the University of Oxford is going from strength to strength, and we are looking forward to working with selected scholars in the coming months. Our experience with last year’s scholars was very positive and this whole process is yet another dimension of knowledge exchange and development of best practices that the Generations For Peace Institute stands for.”
Following a lengthy selection process and their confirmation as researchers, Sevgi and Vishnupriya will now visit the GFPI in Amman, in preparation for their field visits that will take place mid summer. Once their field research is completed, they will be invited by GFPI back to the field to share their findings with local Generations For Peace volunteers and other stakeholders including the academic community.
The programme builds on last year’s success. In 2012, two Summer Field Research awardees Nabila Hussein and Sairah Yusuf visited Jordan, Palestine, Nigeria and Pakistan. During those visits, they conducted research focusing on assessing the monitoring and evaluation capacity of Generations For Peace programmes and satellite offices, and research to assess the impact the programmes are having in communities facing a diverse range of conflicts, from inter-ethnic and inter-religious to gender inequality and violence in schools or universities.