Time for Rights/Rights for Time: Responding to the times of violence, conflict, and displacement

Lead Research Organisation: University of Birmingham
Department Name: School of Psychology

Abstract

Humanitarian policy and practice are driven by the immediacy of crisis and urgency. But in contexts of protracted conflict and displacement, it is often the hidden damage that takes place over time that sets the terms for future violence, change, and possible peace.

One of the major stumbling-blocks to protection is the failure to measure and identify needs and problems not currently obvious to external actors in policy, law, and local contexts. Aid and protection that reacts to only the most 'recent' abuse or threat not only fails to understand the nature of injury, but limits the sustainability of possible solutions. Uncovering layers of time and hidden damage will reveal the specific needs of the most vulnerable and disenfranchised. Multiple, layered and even simultaneous experiences of violence, displacement, and generational trauma persist into future generations, creating new challenges and blocking change.

What is our main aim?
The Rights for Time/Time for Rights Network Plus (R4T+) will co-create a research network+ that supports and delivers a new understanding of how time conditions war, displacement, and violence, and shifts the possibilities and frame of action for humanitarian protection and human rights.

What will we do?
We will meet these challenges by developing a network that stimulates and supports interdisciplinary, peer-peer, case-based research, drawing together 6 in-country partners from 5 DAC-list countries, including Rwanda, Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan, and Kenya, and academic experts from the arts and humanities, psychology, medical anthropology, refugee studies, gender studies, human rights, transitional justice, humanitarian law, and protection policy. We have chosen to work both within and across specific contexts where the long periods of violence produce enduring and intractable challenges, particularly for vulnerable communities and groups, such as refugees, people who have been displaced, women, and children. We will develop the concept of 'Rights for Time' to build a network+ that can bring the hidden legacies of conflict directly into humanitarian protection, and human rights policy and practice.

What will the network+ look like?
Co-Investigators based at the universities of Birmingham, KCL, SOAS, Taghyeer (Jordan) and the Lebanese American University will work with 6 Project Partners to establish the Network+. Partners include the Wangu Kanju Foundation, We Love Reading, BLAST, the African Initiative for Mankind Progress and the Kigali Center for Photography. We will begin by piloting a series of initial case studies. These will inform the research projects we will commission in our countries of focus as well as in other DAC-list countries as the network grows. The projects will generate new evidence bases, impact communities at the ground level, and develop new policy and practice to make the forms of injury of protracted violence culturally visible at local, national and international levels. In doing so, partner countries will have the necessary tools and an increased ability to develop effective protection solutions for those most affected by conflict and violence, especially vulnerable groups, such as refugees, people living in informal settlements, women, children, the elderly, and those in 'extreme poverty'.

How will this be done?
The network will:
- Fund and support research projects that address protection and the long times of violence for vulnerable communities;
- Undertake a range of activities that create change on the ground and in policy for vulnerable communities, such as through workshops, a Research Summit, a dedicated website and social media;
- Build the capacity of partners and academics to fully reach their potential via training;
- Use creative ways of engaging with people, particularly those who usually miss out.

Planned Impact

Our ambition is to get policy makers, law workers and local and national governments to take the long times of atrocity and protection seriously. Too often, the invisible injuries of memory and trauma are consigned the role of extra or collateral abuse and atrocity. Whilst it is acknowleged that justice is intimately connected with memory claims, the extent to which the deep times of injury hinder protection, and reproduce harm, are not well understood. We aim to produce a sea-change by providing a new knowledge and evidence base that will allow local, national and international policy models to respond more effectively, deeply, and enduringly to the deep times of conflict.

The network will work with researchers, policy makers, local community groups and activists, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) for the benefit particularly vulnerable groups, such as refugees, women, children, and other marginalised communities, bringing academic and creative work into dialogue with the expertise of those who are directly subject to the long-term effects of protracted conflict and violence. Three pathways to impact follow from these collaborations:

1. The generation of new evidence bases will be showcased in our Times for Rights Pamphlets and launched with Policy and Citizen Seminars in each LMIC. This will begin with our pilot projects in Kenya, Jordan, Rwanda, and Lebanon which will develop a range of new creative and critical forms of gathering and presenting evidence, targeted specifically at existing challenges (e.g. forthcoming elections in Kenya, Syrian refugee movement in Lebanon). This impact model will be repeated in subsequent calls, which will be required to target a specified need (what evidence is needed, where and when?) and encouraged to experiment with innovative forms of evidence presentation (film, digital, tracking, simulation, art).

2. The development of new policy, practice, and law in action will be realised through our Policy Briefing, Policy and Citizen Seminars, and our Rights for Time Manifesto and our education programmes. Working with our Policy Engagement Team, local partners, and with the PI and Co-I's established connections with UNHCR, UNDP, Amnesty International, our calls will target specific requirements (e.g. 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development), so as to secure direct impact at local and international levels. Responding to the need for a new interdisciplinary human rights education that communicates the deep-times of injury and protection, we aim to work with the Mellon-Volkswagen 'Global Curriculum' Project to produce new syllabi and resources.

3. Making forms of injury of protracted violence culturally visible at local, national, and international levels. Arts advocacy, photography, poetry readings, research-based journalism, archiving, film thread through the network. Underpinning our Impact Strategy will be a proactive public engagement strategy. Drawing on best practice from the AHRC/ESRC/GCRF project, Refugee Hosts (led by Stonebridge as Co-I), this will begin with the launch of an outward focused website including the evolving Critical Lexicon and a creative blog series, working between English, French, and Arabic. Drawing on the investigators' extensive public engagement work, we will pitch for articles and programmes on the long-times of rights with Prospect, Middle East Eye, New Humanitarian, New Statesman, the Guardian, New Humanist, BBC Radio 4, Politico, Al-Jazeera, Al-Akbar, An-Nahar and the World Service. Working with the University of Birmingham's media team, local NGOs, and drawing expertise from our Policy Engagement Team, we will also develop a media strategy for our LMIC's as well as offering training (e.g., during the Commissioning Workshop).
 
Description We have drawn together in-country partners and academic experts from the arts and humanities, psychology, medical anthropology, refugee studies, gender studies, human rights, transitional justice, humanitarian law, and protection policy, to develop interdisciplinary, peer-peer, case-based research bringing a temporal perspective to protection challenges. The Rights for Time Network Plus research objectives we have acheived so far have included:
1. Convene and develop a sustainable research network that will become a major transnational hub for developing new knowledges and practices for transforming the understanding of past, present, and future times of human rights;
2. We have started to create new evidence bases to demonstrate the impact of the long-times of violence and trauma by launching 5 case study projects on humanitarian protection initiatives led by our partners in Kenya, Rwanda, Jordan, Lebanon, and Palestine. These case studies are gathering evidence regarding the frequently hidden and, urgently, intersectional histories, pose unique and complex challenges to protection. New methodologies and measures are being developed to make hidden damage visible to law and policy.
Exploitation Route Our ambition is to get policy makers, law workers and local and national governments to take the long times of atrocity and protection seriously in our DAC-list countries of focus, which currently are Kenya, Rwanda, Jordan, Palestine, and Lebanon. We are work with researchers, policy makers, local community groups and activists, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) for the benefit particularly vulnerable groups, such as refugees, women, children, and other marginalised communities, bringing academic and creative work into dialogue with the expertise of those who are directly subject to the long-term effects of protracted conflict and violence. Three pathways to impact are in progress:
1. The generation of new evidence bases will be showcased in our Times for Rights Pamphlets and launched with Policy and Citizen Seminars in each LMIC, and disseminating these findings to FCDO, and our Advisory Board, which includes international stakeholders in humanitarian protection.
2. The development of new policy, practice, and law in action will be realised through our Policy Briefing, Policy and Citizen Seminars, and our Rights for Time Manifesto and our education programmes.
3. Making forms of injury of protracted violence culturally visible at local, national, and international levels via our partners local networks.
Sectors Creative Economy,Government, Democracy and Justice,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections

URL https://www.rights4time.com
 
Description Our DAC-list countries of focus currently are Palestine, Rwanda, Kenya, Jordan, and Lebanon, and in these contexts our findings are enabling us to build our capacity to synthesize knowledge and learning regarding humanitarian protection intitiatves, policies and laws across our case study contexts. Project Partners and the named investigators are meeting monthly to share insignts and knowledge to develop effective safeguarding frameworks for the network and the projects we will be commissioning, communication plans, and legay plans. The findings from our case studies, and network activities are building the capacity of the project team to commission research and expand the network, and identify further beneficiaries (individuals, communities, organisations, and institutions) through investment in training, education, educational material, arts interventions, and resource building, leading to transformative and sustainable change beyond the life of the project to achieve SDGs 3, 5, 16, and 17.
First Year Of Impact 2021
Impact Types Societal

 
Description ESRC Impact Acceleration Account Covid-19 Urgency grant
Amount £5,000 (GBP)
Organisation Economic and Social Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 08/2020 
End 01/2021
 
Description AIMPO 
Organisation African Initiative for Mankind Progress Organization
Country Rwanda 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution The team is building capacity to develop funding proposals and conduct arts and humanities research in Rwanda about humanitarian protection initiatives, in furtherance of economic and social wefare of people in Rwanda.
Collaborator Contribution Contributed to the development of the Rights for Time research network plus.
Impact Multidisciplinary research is underway in collaboration with this partner. The disciplines include the English and Law.
Start Year 2020
 
Description Aiyal 
Organisation Ajyal Foundation for Education
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution The team is building capacity to develop funding proposals and conduct arts and humanities research in Palestine about humanitarian protection initiatives, in furtherance of economic and social welfare of people in Palestine.
Collaborator Contribution Contributed to the development of the Rights for Time research network plus.
Impact Multidisciplinary research is underway in collaboration with this partner. The disciplines include the English, and Psychology.
Start Year 2020
 
Description Centre for Lebanese Studies 
Organisation Centre for Lebanese Studies
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution The team is building each other's capacity to develop funding proposals and conduct arts and humanities research in Jordan about humanitarian protection initiatives, in furtherance of economic and social welfare of people in Lebanon.
Collaborator Contribution Contributed to the development of the Rights for Time research network plus. Case study research is underway in Lebanon on refugee policy.
Impact Multidisciplinary research is underway in collaboration with this partner. The disciplines include the Politics, English, and Law.
Start Year 2020
 
Description Centre for Lebanese Studies 
Organisation Centre for Lebanese Studies
Country Lebanon 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution The team is building each other's capacity to develop funding proposals and conduct arts and humanities research in Jordan about humanitarian protection initiatives, in furtherance of economic and social welfare of people in Lebanon.
Collaborator Contribution Contributed to the development of the Rights for Time research network plus. Case study research is underway in Lebanon on refugee policy.
Impact Multidisciplinary research is underway in collaboration with this partner. The disciplines include the Politics, English, and Law.
Start Year 2020
 
Description Kigali Photo Centre, Rwanda 
Organisation Kigali Center for Photography
Country Rwanda 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution The team is building capacity to develop funding proposals and conduct arts and humanities research in Rwanda about humanitarian protection initiatives, in furtherance of economic and social welfare of people in Rwanda.
Collaborator Contribution Contributed to the development of the Rights for Time research network plus, and a case study participatory photography project.
Impact Multidisciplinary research is underway in collaboration with this partner. The disciplines include the English, and Law.
Start Year 2020
 
Description PTC 
Organisation Palestine Trauma Centre UK
Department Palestine Trauma Centre UK, Gaza
Country Palestine, State of 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution The team is building each other's capacity to develop funding proposals and conduct arts and humanities research in Jordan about humanitarian protection initiatives, in furtherance of economic and social welfare of people in the OT Palestine.
Collaborator Contribution Contributed to the development of the Rights for Time research network plus; Co-designed and is delivering a research case study on a humanitarian protection initiative in Gaza.
Impact Multidisciplinary research is underway in collaboration with this partner. The disciplines include the English, and Psychology.
Start Year 2020
 
Description Wangu Kanja Foundation, Kenya 
Organisation Wangu Kanja Foundation
Country Kenya 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Thsi project was conducted in collaboration with partners in Kenya, including the Wangu Kanja Foundation.
Collaborator Contribution This Kenyan partner contributed to the design of the study, data analysis, and dissemination, which has included written outputs and workshops.
Impact *1 policy brief (see publications section of form) *1 research report (see publication section of form) *3 research articles (see publication section of form) *2 webinars
Start Year 2019
 
Description Effective Case Documentation Training, Kenya 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact This event delivered a bespoke co-deleloped training programme to the Survivors of Sexual Violence in Kenya Network
•This activity occurred in-country and was delivered in person in Nairobi, Kisumu, Vihiga and Bungoma and Mount Elgon counties
• The Wangu Kanja Foundation, the Survivors of Sexual Violence Network in Kenya, and ADSOCK, all of which are Kenyan organisations co-developed and delivered the training
• Identify networking activities and workshops. Ensure the following information is provided:
o 78 survivors, 46 duty bearers (healthcare workers and police) attended these training sessions, and 3 people delivered the training sessions. All of these individuals were Kenyan.
from the DAC list country/countries)

To date our evidence is that the training programme is improving participants' knowledge of interviewing skills and we have found that the training significantly increases their understanding of interviewing best practice e.g. ground rules, rapport and independent voice. This will increase attendees their case documentation and employability skills, and increase the GBV evidence base, leading to more resources to combate GBV in Kenya.

The FCDO and the IICI have asked for further information and results, increasing the potential for wider dissemination beyond Kenya.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020,2021
 
Description Skills Inventory 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Third sector organisations
Results and Impact 3 NGO from our DAC-list countries of focus (Kenya, Rwanda, Jordan) met with the Rights for Time team to discuss research capacity building needs, which has sparked discussions afterwards about integrating this information into our commissioning workshop.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021