One of the ‘best practices’ that SCCRR utilizes to update on knowledge and enhance its intervention strategies is the holding of professionally facilitated discussion forums among its team members. The focus is on field experience, critical peace and development related issues and modes of intervention to transform conflict and alleviate poverty.
In the month of February, SCCRR had a presentation and discussion forum, led by its Executive Chairman Rev. Dr. Patrick Devine. The subject matter was the addressing of underlying causes of conflict and the emerging conflict dynamics in its project areas, as informed by 3 of the highest worldwide profile conflict management paradigms, namely the approaches of the Strategist (Realist), Peace Research and Conflict Research. The aim of the forum was to further deepen the professionalism of the Shalom’s team capacity with a view of enhancing SCCRR’s overall conflict transformation and peacebuilding strategies.
The ethos of Shalom is oriented to address the underlying causes of conflict as opposed to merely dealing with the symptoms. This is done through conducting rigorous empirical research as the foundation for conflict transformation initiatives with a intense focus on equipping communities with essential analytical skills and peacebuilding techniques. This process of empowerment is centered on enabling them become the architects of their own interdependent future or coexistence underpinned by sustainable peace and development.
Through its continuous conflict analysis, Shalom has established the linkage of the prevailing dynamics of violence between ethnic and interreligious communities to the underlying causes identified in previous SCCRR’s empirical research.
Fr. Patrick stressed the importance of linking theory to practice and their reciprocal evolving interactions and progressions. His comprehension of the subject matter, the paradigms and the intervention processes necessary, greatly fortified the team members to expertly apply their skills to the highest possible standards in contextualizing the perspectives presented from the conflict management paradigms to the realities of life in the conflict environments. The informative experience and the vibrant conversation involved were greatly appreciated. “Theory without practice is empty and practice without theory is blind, ever mindful that the relationship of theory to practice should be one of mutual ongoing amelioration as they interact” (Patrick Devine PhD). In closing remarks Prof. W. K. Omoka PhD, Shalom’s Director of Research, enunciated the immense importance of the input and discussion underscoring that renewed knowledge is the foundation of significant and sustainable peace building processes.
Program Management Team:
Godfrey Okoth, MA, Director of Programs
Joyce Wamae, MA, Program Manager, Peacebuilding and Development, Urban Settlements Program
Paulson Erot, MA, Program Manager, Peacebuilding and Development, Northern Kenya Program