Swansea University researcher sets off for higher climes
A researcher from Swansea University has been awarded a three year grant to assess the social support amongst post-conflict communities in the Peruvian Andes
Dr Tim Bowyer, a lecturer at the Centre for Development Studies received the grant from the British Academy Grants Committee and plans to study the opportunities for social integration and social support amongst rural people who have been affected by conflict, discrimination and remoteness.
Commenting on the opportunity, he said: "Interaction with local authorities, social organisations and social networks have all been found to be so infrequent that it may only serve to exacerbate the long-term effects of insecurity, anxiety and lack of social integration.
"Though cooperative relationships at the individual or community level may be regular, voluntary and continuous, this can never be certain, whilst any managerial or administrative input is almost always going to be fluid or ad hoc.
"In practice this means that Community Based Organisations and other social networks operate in a state of continual flux, and therefore constitute an unreliable medium for the interaction, representation and exchange of information with local government."
In its final report the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) sought to address some of these difficulties through its plan for six forms of reparation, including symbolic gestures designed to promote reconciliation, improved public health measures, access to and restitution of the right to education.
Other aspects include the restitution of citizenship rights, economic reparation for conflict affected areas and collective reparation (including institutional consolidation, repairing and rebuilding of the local infrastructure, improving access to basic services, generating employment and income).
Dr Bowyer added: "Although the TRC is committed to these areas, funding restrictions and other factors mean that little has been done since the report was published.
"Working with former members of the TRC and a range of rights based organisations working in the area we now plan to assess the character, extent and trends of horizontal and vertical forms of social capital and identify key threats and priority issues and suggest guidelines which will strengthen the idea of integrated individual, population, community and health service."