Regional Training Workshop on Research Design and Methods in Pretoria, South Africa

University of Pretoria, South Africa

African Peacebuilding Network (APN) staff traveled to Pretoria, South Africa, to attend a regional training workshop on research design and methods. The event took place December 8–9, 2014, at the University of Pretoria, hosted by the Department of Political Sciences, headed by APN advisory board member professor Maxi Schoeman.

This event brought together junior faculty and early postdoctoral scholars with the aim of developing research and academic networks across national boundaries, as well as providing participants with the skills to turn their research ideas into solid, policy-oriented research proposals worthy of funding. Participants were also given the opportunity to interact with senior and experienced academics and practitioners and learn about the research and publishing opportunities offered by the APN program.

Dr. Mimmi Söderberg-Kovacs, an associate professor in the Department of Peace and Conflict Resolution at Uppsala University, Sweden, and senior researcher with the Nordic Africa Institute in Uppsala, presented a lecture on ways to prepare a research proposal for a grant application.

In addition, three facilitators were appointed to guide and lead the participants in smaller group settings to discuss, brainstorm, and refine their draft proposals. The facilitators were Dr. Sergio Chichava (Eduardo Mondlane University, Maputo, Mozambique), Dr. Showers Mawowa (University of Pretoria), and Dr. Christopher Nshimbi (University of Pretoria).

It was agreed that the workshop was very informative and helpful to participants’ needs, and many left feeling motivated to conduct further research.

Participants were drawn from post-conflict countries in the southern African region, with a particular focus on Lusophone countries—specifically Angola, Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, and Zambia.