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Research uptake 

Leadership and peacebuilding

Leadership and Peacebuilding through a Working Group approach.

The ALC established the Working Group on Leadership and Peace-building (WGLP) in 2012. It aims to critically interrogate the conceptual and operational gaps in peacebuilding and leadership through the lens of researchers and policy practitioners. The research project achieves this by developing a network of researchers, policy makers and practitioners for the purpose of experience sharing, interrogating existing practice by researching conflict terrains and stimulating and crystallising new policy thinking in Africa. 
Additionally, the group facilitates both theoretical understanding and appreciation of the practical challenges of leadership and peacebuilding and policy practices on the ground. Conceptually, there is no disagreement on the overall objective of peacebuilding that is, preventing the recurrence of armed conflict by dealing with the factors or issues at the root of conflict. Operationally, however, the focus on the post-conflict phase is not only narrow, but also unethically sound.  The research initiative therefore explores the ways in which leadership is applied in peacebuilding approaches, particularly process-based leadership and its role in revealing the underlying flows in thinking; and how lasting solutions to conflict, from within the wider society can be developed. 
It is intended that through regular interaction, the Group will contribute to efforts to produce cutting edge research and analysis of key thematic issues and country/region specific initiatives. The WGLP contains several layers of interaction. First are core Researchers and analysts. These researchers carry out the main research and writing responsibility of this project.  Second are sub-Working Groups, which focus on specific thematic and country/region case studies. 
Adopting a working group approach to the subject of leadership and peacebuilding in Africa has a number of benefits. First, it fosters regular interaction and partnerships between researchers, policy makers and practitioners, thus bridging the gap between research and policy.  Second, the working group approach prevents duplication of effort(s) on the already numerous studies conducted and published on peacebuilding in Africa.  It builds partnerships with a range of actors working on peacebuilding in Africa, including those in policy and practice, to synthesise existing work. This is important because African perspectives to peacebuilding are less visible internationally, and where this visibility is noted, the emphasis on the institutional elements of peacebuilding glosses over or neglects other peacebuilding initiatives that are outside the framework of recognised institutional arrangements.

Leading practitioners' reflections on peacebuilding

The African Leaderships Centre (ALC) places value on the practice of leadership and on practitioner reflections, seeing it as a tool that assists the entirety of learning as well as research. As a result, the Practice of Leadership programme was created as a component of both the research and degree programmes, existing to bring the experiences of leaders in the field of peace, security and development to the fore of research and learning.
Exposing students, fellows and researchers of the African Leadership Centre to these first-hand experiences of leadership in the field, we hope to strengthen theoretical analysis of leadership at the nexus of security and development and to document these experiences for future leaders.As part of the programme, the African Leadership Centre invites leading policy practitioners to participate in research and teaching, giving students and Fellows access to these practitioners through seminars and reflection sessions, while providing the practitioners the opportunity to reflect on their experiences.
For easier documentation of practitioner reflections, an ALC Fellow will be designated to serve as Aide to each practitioner who will also serve as mentor to ALC Fellows. This will invariably enhance analysis of the experiences and learning for future use.
The programme aims to address how leadership practices and processes can facilitate or impede efforts at building and sustaining peace. In doing so, it poses a range of questions, from which answers will be drawn through the reflections of the practitioners. As a final part of the programme a publication will be produced, documenting the interactions between the fellows, researchers and practitioners to serve as a teaching and training tool for the Centre in addition to dissemination across a network of researchers and policy practitioners.  

2017 leading practitioners

The ALC targets practitioners who have held lead roles in peace processes in areas affected by conflict across Africa. This year, the African Leadership Centre is pleased to welcome as Visiting Professors to the King's College London and the African Leadership Centre, three Leading Practitioners:

Leading Practitioners' Aides

2016 leading practitioners

Leading Practitioner Aides

  • Akinbode Fasakin  (Leading Pracitioner's Aide to General Martin Agwai on the Centre’s Leadership and Peacebuilding programme).
  • Albert Poliquen Mbiatem (Aide to Leading Policy Practitioner, Dr Youssef Mahmoud, on the Centre’s Leadership and Peacebuilding programme). 

Visiting Fellowships for senior practitioners

The African Leadership Centre brings experienced policy practitioners on an invitation only basis to participate in the Visiting Fellowships for Policy Practitioners.
These Practitioners are brought to the ALC in Nairobi and King’s College London for a period of reflection, writing as well as mentoring of ALC fellows. In addition, Practitioners give seminars, lectures and participate in ALC activities. The practitioners are chosen from governmental and inter-governmental organizations as well as civil society organizations in Africa. Selection is based on the relevance of the experts’ work to the overall programme of the ALC.
At the end of the programme, it is expected that working papers or articles will be produced for publication by the ALC. The invited practitioners will also receive Visiting Appointments by ALC/King’s College London.  
The ALC looks to have four visiting practitioners in between 2016 and 2017.

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