ACTS is an innovative programme, which develops and articulates the experience of people working for peace, human rights, democracy and justice; builds new theory from practice; and tests it in the fire of reality.
ACTS will be a high-quality two-year Masters programme in conflict transformation, which will bridge the gap between academic research and the wealth of experience that exists on the ground. ACTS will be rooted in the real work and experience of participants, developing participants’ practical skills and creating new theory from their own experience.
The vision is of a core international content which can be adapted at a regional level to take into account the context and issues which are relevant to a region, and to ensure that it is truly cross-cultural.
There will be an international structure to the programme, which will enable ACTS to make the links between the different regions and continents and ensure quality standards in all parts of the programme.
Aims of ACTS
The long-term aim of ACTS is to:
· Enable and challenge individuals, organizations and networks, at all levels and in different sectors of society, to become more sustained and strategic in their work for peace and justice;
· Provide accessible opportunities for advanced, practical learning in conflict transformation for people who are engaged in bringing about constructive change in their society;
· Generate, document and disseminate new knowledge, theory and insights relevant to work for peace and justice;
· Make the links between theory, action and reflection and thus contribute actively to the further development of this field where it is needed.
Course learning objectives:
The course will enable participants to:
· Handle conflict at all levels, including the interpersonal, with increased sensitivity and resourcefulness and take the opportunities these present for positive change.
· Assess the impact of specific actions on conflict and desirable change.
· Work strategically to improve their effectiveness and the sustainability of their work.
· Examine existing knowledge and theory in the field of conflict transformation.
· Share their knowledge and skills appropriately with colleagues and partners.
· Communicate effectively with a range of audiences at different levels.
· Generate and test creative hypotheses and theories for action relating to issues confronting them in their work for peace and justice.
· Contribute to the growth of the overall field of conflict transformation by writing, publishing and the use of other non-formal means of communication.
Structure of the ACTS programme
The ACTS programme consists of several partners, which have different roles to play. These are:
· The international partner: Responding to Conflict 1
· The local NGO: Nansen Dialogue Network 2
· The local learning institution: University of Novi Sad
· An international learning institution, possibly the Universiteit van Amsterdam.
· The ACTS Advisory Board, which has been established to monitor the quality and standards of ACTS worldwide. It has an international remit and includes representatives from the various partners as well as independent experts from academia and practice..
ACTS is two-years course consisting of six modules, three modules in each year. Each module consists of:
· Ten-days residential workshop,
· Individual learning and reading,
· Individual supervision,
· Reflective journal
· Research work.
1 Responding to Conflict is the Non-Governmental Organization from Birmingham with several educational centres aimed to educate students in conflict resolution. Similar Centres are founded in Cambodia and Sudan. RC also have activities in Palestine, South Africa and Afganistan.
2 Nansen Dialog Network is Norwegian Fund supporting peace activities worldwide and its seat in Belgrade will be in charge of the organizations of these studies.
Note: the study programme has no longer been conducted
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