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Peace, Conflict, and Development (4 cr.)

Program Director: Dr. Sameeksha Desai

V482/V582/V782 - This is a two-week course designed to introduce and provide firsthand knowledge of issues of sustainable economic development in post-conflict regions of the world with an emphasis on Africa and, more particularly, Rwanda. You will examine and analyze topics related to genocide, social and economic dimensions of instability, post-conflict economic development and policy design (e.g, related to entrepreneurship and private sector mobilization, financing ranging from banking to microcredit, health, migration, and public sector capacity). Comparative discussions of successes and failures in the region and the importance of regional geopolitics in trade and political cooperation will be provided as well.

Additionally, you will learn about historical events in Rwanda leading to the 1994 genocide, its aftermath, and the long-term social, political and economic challenges.  

First four classes: IUB

Four four-hour days of classroom instruction are mandatory prior to departure in early May. These classes will focus on preparing you for Rwanda by introducing you to key cultural, political, economic, social, historical, and environmental factors necessary for increased cultural awareness and openness. You will also be introduced to important political and economic frameworks that can be applied to Rwanda.

Last two weeks: Kigali, Rwanda

Topics will bridge broad theoretical themes (e.g. approaches to development, current debates in the field, historical trends, and ethical debates) with technical themes (e.g. project design, implementation, and leadership all within a cross-cultural framework). While in Rwanda, you will engage in a variety of experiences including but not limited to service-learning projects and visits to host organizations and other sites of interest. From time to time, day trips will be organized that blend in-class and out-of-class activities. Classroom instruction in Rwanda is dynamic and triaged between SPEA’s faculty director, guest visits and interaction, and student experience.

Supplemental Activities and Excursions:

  • Visits to Kigali Memorial center at Gisozi, the country’s most prominent genocide memorial site, Chinese Embassy, and Transparency International  
  • 2-day excursion to Gisenyi, a rustic resort town in the northwest, surrounded by Lake Kivu and the Virunga volcanoes
  • En route to Gisenyi, experience a visit to Kanembwe, a community of over 600 families relocated from regions prone to floods and landslides
  • Visit One-Stop-Shop for SMEs at the Rwandan Development Board
  • Participate in “umuganda,” national day committed to public service – this unique experience occurs once a month throughout all of Rwanda 

Please see your academic/faculty advisor to determine how this study abroad program will fulfill major requirements specific to your academic needs. The IUB SPEA Undergraduate Advising Office has preapproved this course to fulfill the following undergraduate academic programs:

  • Environmental Management
  • Human Resource Management
  • Law and Public Policy
  • Management
  • Policy Analysis
  • Public Financial Management
  • Public and Nonprofit Management


Contact: Ashley Stevens

Overseas Program Specialist
812-856-0796, SPEA 201

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