Land, Property and Conflict Course


United States Institute of Peace, 2301 Constitution Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20037

The USIP and IOM 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 a particular conflict;
  • 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 in a given context;
  • 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

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, Burma, Rwanda, Iraq, Timor-Leste, Sudan, Afghanistan, Nepal and Colombia.

Course Requirements

Participants enrolled in this course will find that it is intensive in nature given the breadth of materials being covered. Participants are expected to attend every seminar, and engage in discussions. In addition, participants will be asked to:

  • Actively participate in all group discussions, exercises, and case studies and
  • Actively participate in the final simulation at the end of the course

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