SPEA in Rwanda
Peace, Conflict, and Development
May 15 - June 1, 2014
Program now open to Undergraduates
V482/V582/V782 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. Students 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, students will learn about historical events in Rwanda leading to the 1994 genocide, its aftermath, and the long-term social, political and economic challenges.
The SPEA Rwanda program consists of one four-credit hour course consisting of in-class lectures and trips to local sites. Four four-hour days of classroom instruction are mandatory prior to departure in early May. The class is designed to draw linkages between theoretical frameworks and ideas to those observed at work firsthand. Classroom instruction in Rwanda is dynamic and triaged between SPEA’s faculty director, guest visits and interaction, and student experience.
First four classes: IUB
Focuses on preparing students for Rwanda experience by introducing them to key cultural, political, economic, social, historical, and environmental factors necessary for increased cultural awareness and openness. Introduces important political and economic frameworks to apply to Rwanda.
Last two weeks: Kigali, Rwanda
In-class training: Topics will bridge broad (1) theoretical themes (e.g. approaches to development, current debates in the field, historical trends, and ethical debates) and (2) technical themes (e.g. project design, implementation, and leadership all within a cross-cultural framework). Scheduled lectures while in Rwanda are listed below and will be led by Dr. Desai.
Experiential component: Students and faculty 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.