USIP 2nd Land & Conflict Course, Dec. 2010


December 13-16, 2010
Washington, DC

Course Facilitators:  Deborah Isser, Peter Van der Auweraert
Resource Persons:
John Bruce, Conor Foley and Rhodri Williams

Land and property disputes play a role in many more conflicts than is often appreciated.  While the most straight-forward case may be two sovereign states fighting over a piece of territory, disputes and grievance over land and property take a multitude of forms in the intra-state or internal conflicts that have been much more common over the past few decades.  In rare cases land may be a primary cause of conflict; more often it is a tinderbox of discontent caused by long standing tenure insecurity and inequities, easily ignited by the flames of violence.  During the conflict itself, land is not only a physical battleground, but is often a tool as well as a casualty of war.   Control of land may serve a political or ideological aim, such as to control its population, including by mass forced displacement and secondary occupation.  It may be financially motivated, to enable armed groups to plunder land and natural resources for direct profit or to reward loyalists.  Land and property relations are further profoundly impacted by the dramatic social and political changes that occur during and in the immediate aftermath of armed conflict.  The lawless free-for-all that characterizes so many of these transitions creates an environment ripe for land grabs.  Mass return of refugees and the displaced – sometimes following generations of absence – together with accelerated rates of urbanization, especially among the landless and unemployed, can put tremendous pressure on a fragile administration. If not adequately addressed, grievances related to land and property – both old and new – may threaten to unravel a hard-won peace.

The USIP Land, Property and Conflict Course aims to provide practitioners with analytical tools for assessing and addressing an array of complex land and property disputes, from competing ownership claims and restitution to customary land rights and illegal urban settlements.  Drawing on case studies of peace operations and peacebuilding efforts, participants explore the range of entry points (humanitarian, human rights, state-building, development etc.) and options for dispute resolution and structural reform.  The course is tailored to professionals who work on conflict management and peacebuilding, whether they come from a legal, development, military, government, NGO, international organization, private sector or academic background.

By the end of this course, delegates will be able to:

  • Identify a range of complex land and property disputes and assess their relation to particular conflicts;
  • Understand the various mandates and entry points of international actors with regard to land and property disputes;
  • Assess the desirability of a range of intervention options for addressing land and property disputes;
  • Apply lessons learned from several case studies of complex conflict-related land and property disputes;
  • Understand and apply over-arching “principles of engagement” to interventions related to land and property disputes.

Delivery Methodology


This course is taught as an intensive 4 day course from December 13-16, inclusive.  The course will be delivered through a variety of methodologies that seek to maximize the learning experience. With an emphasis on ‘problem-based learning’ or ‘learning by doing’, presentations will be supplemented by simulation exercises, group work/discussion, role-playing, and so forth. Primarily, the training course seeks to cultivate an environment in which delegates can learn from each other through the sharing of knowledge, experiences and solutions.

The training course will be facilitated and delivered by individuals with strong backgrounds in land and property issued in conflict environments, both from an academic and practical perspective. Case studies and examples will be drawn from a variety of states where land and property disputes have played an important role, including Bosnia, Rwanda, Iraq, East Timor, Sudan, and Colombia.

Apply Now


1) Click on this link:

2) For Course Type, select All Courses. Click Search.

3) A list of all course will pop up. Click on Land, Property and Conflict.

4) Select date (Fall 2010) and click Apply.

Applicants will then fill out Part 1 of 2 Parts of the application. Applications enter their contact information for Part 1. They will immediately receive a confirmation email with a Username and Password to proceed to Part 2. Part 2 allows them to complete 3 short answer questions and upload their resume.   Please make sure to fill out Part 2.


$195.00 per student

Draft Agenda





DAY 1:   The Intersection of Land, Property and Conflict; International Actors

Monday, December 13, 2010


8:45 – 9:00                         Registration


9:00 – 10:00              Welcome and Overview Session

10:00 – 11:00             Introduction: Land, Property and Conflict

11:00 – 11:15                        Break

11:15 – 12:15                        Introduction, continued.



12:15 – 1:15                        International Actors and Mandates on Land and Property

1:15 – 2:15                        Lunch

2:15 – 3:30            International Actors: Interactive Exercise



3:30 – 3:45 Break


3:45 – 4:30 Wrap up for the day






DAY 2:  National Actors and Frameworks; Key Issues

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


9:00 – 9:15 Reflections and Overview



9:15 – 10:45 National Actors and Frameworks



10:45 – 11:00 Break



11:00 – 12:45 Mass Displacement

12:45 – 1:45                        Lunch

1:45 – 3:15                        Inequitable Distribution (exercise)

3:15 – 3:30                        Break

3:30 – 4:30                        Land Grabs and Climate Change



DAY 3:  Key Issues (cont.); Programming Options

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

9:00 – 9:15                        Reflections and Overview

9:15 – 10:45                        Insecure Tenure

10:45 – 11:00                        Break

11:00 – 12:30                        High Value Natural Resources

12:30 – 1:30                         Lunch

1:30 – 4:30                        Programming options
— conflict prevention
— dispute resolution mechanisms
— legal recognition and protection
— land policy and administration




DAY 4:  Designing Strategies

Thursday, December 16, 2010

9:00 – 9:15                        Reflections and Overview

9:15 – 11:15            Principles of Engagement

11:15 – 11:30 Break

11:30 – 12:30            Capstone simulation Part I

12:30 – 1:30            Lunch

1:00 – 3:00             Capstone simulation Part II



3:00 – 3:15            Break


3:15 – 4:15            Debrief from exercise

4:15 – 4:45 Evaluation and Closing of Course

3 responses to “USIP 2nd Land & Conflict Course, Dec. 2010

  1. Pingback: Second USIP ‘Land, Property and Conflict Course’ coming in December | TerraNullius

  2. I wish I could be there!
    Your course sounds so relevant and needed not only in the USA but also internationally. In South Africa with it’s failed neoliberal land reform experiment land conflicts are again rising across our nation. Conflict between the landless/homeless millions and government in some 2 000 urban and peri-urban slums is growing. Conflict between the landless and the landowners in rural SA is similarly growing. Dispute resolution is usually absent, leaving an increasingly thin line of police to ‘ control’ the conflicts.
    Good luck with your workshop. Any thoughts or possibilities that you could replicate it in an online webinar or forum?
    Kind regards.

  3. Pingback: Reminder – 2nd USIP Course on ‘Land, Property and Conflict’ | TerraNullius

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