Graduate Student Independent Study: Washington, D.C. Conflict Assessment



Project Title:Civic Engagement: D.C. Community Conflict Dynamics

Project Contact: Nathalie Al-Zyoud - Email:

Referring Organizations: this project is a joint effort between Communities in Transition (CIT) and the International Mediators Community of Practice (IMCP)

Number of Students: 2 teams of 3-4 students

Application Deadline: November 20th, 2015


Project Rationale: This conflict assessment of the Washington, D.C. area will lay the groundwork for an upcoming "Civic Engagement: Conflict Resolution Apprentice" Summer Institute, jointly managed by CIT and the IMCP, for students interested in practicing their conflict resolution skills in live settings.


Project Deliverables: in preparation for the upcoming Summer Institute, student teams will complete the following activities during the spring 2016 term:

  • Map Diaspora communities and crime in the DC area: in collaboration with local government and law enforcement agencies, students will identify and locate the different Diaspora communities living in DC.
  • Assess social structures and conflict dynamics: in collaboration with trusted insiders, students will assess the types of  conflicts experienced by selected Diaspora communities and identify the drivers and mitigating factors that affect intra- and inter- group interactions. Students will also identify sources of resilience and conflict resolution mechanisms already in place in the communities.
  • Build relationships and develop partnerships: the student team, in collaboration with CIT and IMCP members, will build relationships with selected peace-making local organizations and Diaspora communities in need of conflict resolution services with the objective of formulating 2-3 partnerships and creating a conflict resolution referral system in preparation for the Summer Institute.
  • Final report: students will write a 3-4 page report on each of the selected communities, summarizing lessons learned from the above activities and making recommendations as to the proposed conflict resolution needs of each of the communities.


Start Date: January 11th 2016

Deliverables Due Date: April 30th 2016


Requirements: this capstone project will require frequent and direct contact with DC-area residents and organizations possibly in high crime areas. Some knowledge of conflict management theory, conflict assessments and stakeholder mapping preferred. Good interpersonal and cross-cultural skills required.



About Communities in Transition (CIT): CIT is a conflict management consulting firm that empowers communities to address conflict-related challenges in collaborative and sustainable ways.


About the International Mediators Community of Practice (IMCP): the IMCP is an informal platform for discussion between mediation practitioners, trainers, academics and providers of mediation support services who actively engage in international third-party conflict transformation, to strengthen the effectiveness and increase the use of dialogue processes in complex conflict contexts. This project is supported by the IMCP Apprenticeship Working Group.

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