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Session 2a: Working in Conflict Zones

Session 2a: Working in Conflict Zones

What are some of the logistic challenges associated with working in conflict zones?  How can you better prepare your employees mentally, physically, and emotionally for working in dangerous areas? What kind of strain both physical and emotional will it exert on your team members?  On the project side, how do you design and implement an aid portfolio for these types of regions? What has been successful? Join this insightful, interesting session as Randy Weeks, Chrsitoph Zurecher, and Harley Johnson tackle these issues and more in a session that will better prepare you for the unique challenges of working in unstable regions.

Chair: Paul LaRose-Edwards - Executive Director CANADEM

Paul is the Executive Director of CANADEM, he has been working in the international community for over 30 years. Much of his time has been focused on international human rights in countries such as Rwanda, Kosovo, Croatia, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Indonesia and Afghanistan. He has been staff with the Canadian Government, the UN, the Commonwealth, and NGOs such as Amnesty International, and has also worked as a consultant for the OSCE, EU and NATO. A former Canadian Army officer, Paul has worked with various militaries including NATO on human rights and civil-military interaction. Paul's last diplomatic posts were as the Representative of the UN Human Rights Commissioner for Human Rights in Indonesia, and four years as the Commonwealth Secretariat's Head of Human Rights in London.

Harley Johnson - Partner at CAC International

Harley came to international development from 12 years experience in private agricultural development in Newfoundland, learning the benefits and risks of being a target beneficiary of government economic development schemes. He’d also learned subsistence agriculture, which took him to Rwanda for four years as a coopérant-volontaire agricultural advisor. For nearly twenty-five years as a freelance consultant, Harley has worked to align ID with the interests of its beneficiaries, across an array of sectors, at all scales of programming and budgets, at all points of the management cycle. Harley’s experience of countries in conflict extends from Sri Lanka (Governance Program monitor, 2001-2010), Afghanistan (Country Program monitor - Ongoing Program Review, 2005-2010), and Pakistan (Strategic Review of the Dubai Process, 2010-2011).

Randy Weekes - Head of Duty of Care Program, CANADEM

Randy is the Director of Duty of Care at CANADEM. He has been working in the fields of international development, conflict management and capacity building for more than 40 years. He has worked in education and rural development in Asia, multi-sector program management in Africa and in conflict areas including Kosovo, Bosnia and Afghanistan. He has designed and delivered training programs for hundreds of groups including military, police, diplomats, universities, businesses and NGOs in Canada and around the world. Having experienced many of the challenges that come with international work in higher stress international environments himself, Randy supports CANADEM in ensuring that it and other agencies fulfill their Duty of Care to personnel sent abroad.

Christoph Zürcher - Professor, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, University of Ottawa

Christoph Zürcher is a professor at the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Ottawa. He received his PhD. from the University of Bern, Switzerland. His research and teaching interests include development and conflict, state-building and intervention, and state fragility. His regional focus is on Russia, the Caucasus, and Central Asia including Afghanistan. He has been consulting for, among others, the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the German Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development,  the Swiss Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The World Bank, TACIS, World Vision, Gesellschaft für internationale Zusammenarbeit GIZ, and the  International Helsinki Federation, mainly on issues relating to development and conflict in fragile states.