Our research is carried out by Local Correspondents. We take considerable time and care choosing a person with excellent knowledge of the local organisations and their work; who is enthusiastic about the aim and potential of Insight on Conflict; and who is as reasonable, impartial, and dispassionate about the conflict as possible. We ask for measured views of the conflict and a selection of initiatives representative of the range of work being done by organisations or individuals of different political, religious, or ethnic affiliations.
Local Correspondents may be able to provide bespoke services to users, for example commissioned research, interviews and fixing services for media. Contact the Project Manager for further info: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hasan Dodwell, Colombia
Hasan is a member of the International Peace Observatory (IPO) in Colombia. IPO offers physical and political accompaniment to non-violent organisations involved in processes of resistance and the protection of human rights.
An advocate of international solidarity, he has spent time working in London and Washington on projects for the advancement of human rights and social justice in Nicaragua and Colombia respectively. He has travelled across Latin America.
In June 2007 he graduated from King’s College London with a BA in War Studies.
Rasha El-Fangry – Sudan
Rasha became involved with Insight on Conflict through her work with Peace Direct. Rasha is the co-ordinator for the Collaborative for Peace in Sudan, a group that brings together peacebuilding organisations from North and South Sudan. Rasha speaks English and Arabic.
Flory Kazingufu – DR Congo
Flory has worked for Insight on Conflict since 2007. He has a background in social sciences and theology and a strong interest in grassroots peacebuilding. He is the founder of the Foundation Chirezi, a group working on several peace projects in East DR Congo.
Flory speaks English, French, Swahili, Mashi, Lingala and also some local African dialects.
Ashima Kaul – Kashmir
Ashima Kaul is a Consultant on Kashmir with Women in Security, Conflict Management and Peace (WISCOMP). She coordinates WISCOMP’s Athwaas initiative in Jammu and Kashmir. An independent journalist by profession, she has participated in a number of national and international conferences and training programmes related to women’s leadership, peace and security, conflict resolution, intra-Kashmir dialogue and peacebuilding. She has an active interest in inter-faith dialogue and is a founder-member of Yakjah Reconciliation and Development Network – a network of Kashmiri professionals working on reconciliation, and youth and women’s empowerment. As a founder member of Control Arms Foundation India she is also working on gun control, proliferation of small arms and light weapons in Jammu and Kashmir. Her interests include making films and photography. She has recently completed a documentary film ‘Athwaas –The Journey’ on the Athwaas initiative and its unique and sustainable peacebuilding efforts in Jammu and Kashmir. She is currently working on ‘In Pursuit of Change’, a film on Kashmiri women’s political participation in Kashmir.
Benoite Martin, Iraq
Benoite has been working as an independent consultant in Iraq since 2004.
Working closely with local organisations, she has focused on building their capacity through supporting them all along the project cycle and ensuring their representation to the international community.
She has been involved in designing and supervising peacebuilding and conflict management projects which aim at enhancing acceptance and peaceful co-existence among mixed communities, implemented in the cities of Baghdad and Kirkuk. She has also initiated training programmes in conflict sensitive programming for members of the Iraqi civil society, including NGOs and media.
Benoite has recently completed a Masters in Conflict Resolution at Bradford University and her research has focused on the conflict developing in the oil-rich city of Kirkuk.
Landry Ninteretse – Burundi
Landry is Insight on Conflict’s Local Correspondent for Burundi. Landry is an active member of Action for Peace and Development, an organisation set up to increase the participation of young people in the social and political life of Burundi. He has a particular interest in environmental issues.
Landry speaks English and French.
In January 2010 when visiting Ruyigi to report for Insight on Conflict, I came across an interesting group of peacebuilders called Benindaga Club. This group is made of 30 women, Hutus and Tutsis from various educational backgrounds living in Ruyigi city, who have been actively encouraging forgiveness, reconciliation and the spirit of solidarity between Internal Displaced Persons (IDPs) and refugees from Tanzania in the whole eastern region of Burundi, through cultural activities such as drama, theatre, songs, dances etc.
What impressed me a lot when meeting that group, which has been operating with very little foreign assistance, is the high motivation of club members, their commitment and their continuous efforts and modest financial contributions that have led to the building of their own conference room now hosting diverse socio-cultural events in Ruyigi. For me, that’s the outstanding genuine model of peacebuilders communities need to experience a real change. And these kind of groups deserve recognition and support.
Stephen Oola – Uganda
Stephen Oola is an MA Candidate at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame. Oola is also an Advocate (Attorney) in Uganda and worked with the Refugee Law Project, and the Faculty of Law, Makerere University as Transitional Justice Lawyer for the Beyond Juba Project from 2007-09. Oola graduated with a Law Degree at Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda in 2006. He obtained a Postgraduate Diploma in Legal Practice (PGD. LP), Law Development Centre, Kampala (2007). In 2008, he acquired a Postgraduate Diploma in Conflict Management and Peace Studies (PGC) from the Institute for Peace and Strategic Studies (IPSS) Gulu University, Gulu, Uganda.
Before that Oola also worked with the Human Rights and Peace Centre (HURIPEC) Makerere University as a Research Assistant on social, economic, cultural and land rights for conflict-affected northern Uganda. Oola continues to be a strong voice for peace and justice in northern Uganda and participated in consultation and grassroots mobilisation during the Juba peace talks. He led the drafting of the proposed National Reconciliation Bill for Uganda. Oola served as the technical and policy advisory committee of the Northern Uganda Transitional Justice Working Group (NUTJWG) and is a member of the Northern Uganda Monitoring and Evaluation Network (NUMET). He also works with a group of peacebuilding youths –the Alliance for Community Support Organisations, promoting peace and facilitating reintegration and reconciliation with former child soldiers. Currently Oola is a Research Intern with the International Centre for Transitional Justice (ICTJ), Cape Town, South Africa.
Ambika Pokhrel – Nepal
Ambika speaks Nepali, English and Hindi.
Nilanjana is our local correspondent for Sri Lanka. She has worked and volunteered for several years in the country and is now conducting her postgraduate studies in peacebuilding at the University of Queensland. She speaks Sinhala and English.
Mariam Safi is Head of the Research Department at the Centre for Conflict and Peace Studies (CAPS), one of the leading research centres in Kabul, Afghanistan.
She is an analyst in the field of peace and conflict, and her research and analytical endeavours aim to evaluate the framework of reconciliation and reintegration as transformation tools in conflict societies, in addition to examining the role of democratisation and regional politics in this process. Mariam’s research has been published in an array of magazines and journals in India, Afghanistan and various European countries. Her work has entailed travel to southern and northern provinces of Afghanistan such as Kandahar, Helmand, and Herat where she has conducted qualitative research and in-depth interviews with both officials and tribal elders representing various insecure and volatile districts and villages.
Prior to joining CAPS, Mariam was the Assistant Editor of ‘South Asia Defence & Strategic Review’, in New Delhi, India. As part of this international publication, she carried out research on Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and India. In 2007, Mariam was appointed as a research intern at the ‘Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies’ (IPCS), a leading research institute located in New Delhi, India. Her research at IPCS, focused on providing in-depth analyses of the political, security and insurgency developments in Afghanistan, including issues pertaining to the Af-Pak border dispute.
Mariam was born in Kabul, Afghanistan but resides in Canada. She is fluent in her native Dari, as well as in English and Hindi, with a working knowledge in French.
Dr. Zahid Shahab Ahmed – Pakistan
Dr. Zahid Shahab Ahmed received his PhD from the University of New England (UNE) in Australia. He has an MA in Peace Education from the United Nations mandated University for Peace in Costa Rica, and an MA in Sociology from the University of Agriculture Faisalabad in Pakistan. Currently, he teaches Asian Studies and Islam at UNE. Prior to this, he worked with local and international development agencies in South Asia, in particular in Pakistan, on various peacebuilding projects. He has been publishing and presenting papers on a wide range of issues, such as Islam, human rights, peace & conflict, regionalism, and regional security. In 2010, he co-authored with Balasubramanian R. a study entitled “Extremism in Pakistan and India: The Case of the Jamaat-e-Islami and Shiv Sena”.
Soluciones Comunitarias – Guatemala
Information on peacebuilding organisations in Guatemala is provided by Soluciones Comunitarias, a socially-driven organisation, focused on combating socio-economic problems in rural areas. We now operate in over ten departments of Guatemala offering affordable products that improve health conditions in rural communities. Working within the model of ‘Microconsignment’, Soluciones Comunitarias uses local ideas and local Guatemalans to provide products and services to reach the final mile, where no other organisations have been before. Soluciones Comunitarias is an organisation that was established with the support from the US non-profit, Community Enterprise Solutions. Currently, the two support each other to strive to make a positive, sustainable impact.
TransConflict, Western Balkans
TransConflict acts as Insight on Conflict’s local correspondent for the Western Balkans, providing all of the information on the region. TransConflict is an organisation undertaking conflict and post-conflict transformation projects and research throughout the Western Balkans.
Ismail Wolff – Thailand
Ismail Wolff, a Bangkok-based journalist and writer, has been covering human rights and politics in South East Asia for nearly a decade. His work has appeared in the New York Times, the Guardian, National Geographic, Bangkok Post, as well as CNN, BBC and Reuters, among others. He is the Thailand Correspondent for IoC.
We are looking to expand Insight on Conflict to other regions in the future. If you are based in a region affected by conflict and would be interested in being a Local Correspondent, please contact us. In particular, we are looking for new Local Correspondents to cover outgoing Local Correspondents for Liberia and Lebanon.
Since relaunching the site, we have had a number of contributors to the site. Montserrat Chivite contributed much of the information for the background conflict profiles. Daniel Pardo also helped with conflict profiles and researching peacebuilding organisations in Colombia, his home country.
Some book recommendations have been taken with permission from the Traveller’s Handbook.