Education and Advocacy
To complement and support the goals of the justice and development programs, the education and advocacy program raises awareness and provides the IIJD’s perspective about current African events and issues. The advocacy program monitors pivotal events in Africa in which development stands at a crossroads and offers analysis of the situations to the international community.
There are four main parts in the advocacy program: the IIJD newsletter, calls for action, the African Prospect, and IIJD sponsored conferences and seminars.
The education program’s goal is to help raise awareness about international justice and development issues and foster further studies and research.
We currently run an internship program and we have designed a leadership exchange program to open a window for “democracy in action” to community and political leaders in Africa.
In conjunction with the other IIJD programs, these efforts enable the IIJD to address more effectively justice and development issues in Africa.
The IIJD Newsletter
The IIJD publishes a newsletter regularly to alert and update the general public about pressing African justice and development issues. The newsletter is distributed both on our website and through an e-mail mailing list. In addition to informing the public of African issues, the newsletter is also an opportunity for the IIJD to offer its own input and perspective, thereby remaining relevant and current.
A section of the newsletter, “A Spotlight on NGOs in the Field,” focuses on the stories of individual NGOs that are working in important areas throughout the region. These stories add a more intimate element to the IIJD newsletter, and are stories that would not necessarily be reported by the media. Through this section, the IIJD also emphasizes the importance of NGOs, including the IIJD’s partners that are actively working in the field in areas that the IIJD supports.
The IIJD Calls for Action
The IIJD periodically responds to current events in Africa that we feel have the potential to destabilize the state or region in which they occur. We call upon local, national, and international actors to meet the continent’s most pressing needs and to find sustainable solutions to the continent’s most urgent tragedies.
The purpose of the call for action letters is threefold: (1) to alert world leaders, particularly those in the United States government, the African Union, the G8,the European Union, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the United Nations, of urgent world matters that constitute a probable breach to the global peace and security that require their immediate attention; (2) to make strong, specific, and timely recommendations concerning how to deal with the issues in both the short and the long term; and (3) to propose concrete and innovative solutions, and present the IIJD as a serious partner organization willing to contribute in resolving the pressing issues.
The African Prospect
The African Prospect is a journal that was created by the IIJD to foster increased discussion of the underlying causes of global poverty and insecurity, and to enhance the debate of possible solutions. It is committed to fostering diverse academic dialogue that draws on original research and first hand experience. A high level of diversity in contributions, we believe, is vital to the search for fresh and innovative solutions to the underlying causes of persistent poverty in Africa.
The IIJD Sponsored Conferences and Seminars
The IIJD hosted the first International Conference on the State of Affairs in Africa (ICSAA) in Boston, Massachusetts on October 2006 in an effort to address Africa’s current development crisis. The ICSAA reached a strategic consensus on the root causes of the development crisis and unrelenting poverty. Furthermore, the conference established priorities on how to resolve the crisis and to create a more collaborative and effective plan in this regard, emphasizing sustainable solutions for future development.
Following the completion of the ICSAA, a task force group (TFG) was created to address the critical need for a holistic, well coordinated and proactive civil society engagement with policy makers in resolving the Africa development crisis and the continent’s persistent poverty. The members of the TFG are committed to initiating actions with all the stakeholders and concerned parties to tackle the root causes of what appears to be an unending development crisis and poverty in Africa. The TFG also implements some advocacy activities of the IIJD, and has the responsibility to uphold the recommendations of the international conference on the state of affairs of Africa, and build an international constituency of citizens dedicated to African socio-economic and political reforms.
The IIJD Internship Program
The IIJD enjoys a close working relationship with dozens of universities and colleges both in the Boston area and throughout the United States. At our office in Stoneham, Massachusetts, we provide students, academics, and the general public with knowledge regarding poverty, development and justice issues in Africa. Some of the academic institutions from which the IIJD has received interns from include Tufts University, Northeastern University, Suffolk University, Boston College, Cornell University, Emmanuel College, George Washington, Dartmouth College and Boston University among many others. Through these relationships we have developed an intensive internship program for college and graduate students alike. Students work with our staff on a variety of projects including research, communication with our partner organizations and writing newsletter articles. Many of the IIJD’s interns work to fulfill requirements for completion of their degree. Since 2005, the IIJD has welcomed more than 200 interns coming from fifteen States.
The IIJD Leadership Exchange Initiative
In order to foster democratic governance, peace and global security, the IIJD leadership exchange initiative carries out an exchange program that supports the professional and leadership development of foreign participants.
The purpose is to engage with foreign leaders, mainly elected public officers and civic leaders of emerging democracies in Africa, policymakers or policy influencers in the academic, public and private organizations from developing countries and poor communities, and to promote a mutual understanding between the leaders and people of the United States and those of participant countries.
Through this Initiative, the IIJD brings rising leaders, elected officials of emerging democracy to visit, examine and learn democratic, legislative and government practices from county and states to federal levels in the United States.
The IIJD leadership exchange typically includes fellowship, study tours or workshops in the United States and in the host country. Participants come from a variety of professions and include education administrators, public servants, journalists, labor union officials, elected officials, legislatives staff, and civil society leaders. The maximum duration for engagement in this exchange is one year, followed by feedbacks on the lessons learned and their effective application.