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Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Free Online Course at USIP

Dear visitor,

If you have some free time on your hands, don't waste it by playing with Facebook all the time. Yes, some FB is good to maintain social networks, but in the long run you will benefit more by upgrading your knowledge and skills. Further, I believe that the abundance of affordable or free courses online must be taken advantage of. Institutions and individuals have taken the trouble to create these courses, but if nobody subscribes to them, they will soon become discouraged.

Today, I'd like you to pay a visit to a website that I only recently discovered, the USIP, i.e. the United States Institute of Peace. A little about the USIP from its website:

USIP provides the analysis, training and tools that prevent and end conflicts, promotes stability and professionalizes the field of peacebuilding.

Peacebuilding: A Global Imperative
It is essential that the United States, working with the international community, play an active part in preventing, managing, and resolving conflicts. Fragile states, ethnic and religious strife, extremism, competition for scarce resources and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction all pose significant challenges to peace. The resulting suffering and destabilization of societies make effective forms of managing conflict imperative. The United States Institute of Peace (USIP) is dedicated to meeting this imperative in new and innovative ways.

USIP's Mission and Goals
The United States Institute of Peace is an independent, nonpartisan, national institution established and funded by Congress. Its goals are to help:
  • Prevent and resolve violent international conflicts
  • Promote post-conflict stability and development
  • Increase conflict management capacity, tools, and intellectual capital worldwide

The Institute does this by empowering others with knowledge, skills, and resources, as well as by directly engaging in peacebuilding efforts around the globe.

The USIP has very generously made available four online courses available on the website:

  1. Introduction to Conflict Analysis
  2. Introduction to Negotiation and Conflict Management
  3. Introduction to Interfaith Conflict Management
  4. Introduction to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe
I would think that many Malaysians would benefit from the courses above, especially on "Interfaith Conflict Management". We need to have more courses on Peace and Conflict Resolution in this country. The problem is that the politicians do not see it as a problem -- rather, in some cases, conflict is generated and highlighted to create the impetus for certain social change. The direction of that change is uncertain, but it may most certainly be concluded that such efforts do not benefit the country as much as planned change.

Thank you for visiting.