By Alex Hamilton, GFP Oxford PhD Scholar
For those who do not know me, my name is Alex Hamilton and I am the King Abdullah the II of Jordan Generations For Peace Scholar. I am a PhD student at the University of Oxford, UK, and I am interested in impact assessment in the field of Sport for Peace. I will be involved in the evaluation of a GFP Sports For Peace Programme for Youth in Sri Lanka in 2014-2015. I will blog throughout the process and in future posts I will describe my research background, proposal and progress so far!
Sri Lanka suffered a recurrent but devastating civil war between 1983 and 2009. The root causes of the conflict are complex and are not easily explained. At the end of the conflict the country faced huge humanitarian crisis, especially in the Northern region. Despite the scale of the problem, Sri Lanka effectively shut its gates to international assistance, bar a few actors. Direct violence may have stopped in 2009, but the end of violence is not equivalent to peaceful co-existence and normality. With years of separation and a legacy of inter-ethnic violence, Sri Lanka is a linguistically, ethnically and geographically divided society.
Did you know that GFP, and their implementing partner The Community Development Organisation, are true Pioneers as they are currently the only peacebuilding charities in operation in the region? GFP’s blend of sport and peacebuilding may well have a crucial part to play in the reconciliation process, depoliticising interactions between previously opposing groups.
Between the August and September, 2013, I carried out a preliminary field visit, to try and understand the context and meet those involved in GFP Sri Lanka. As a result of this field visit and several discussions with GFP HQ, I have planned a period of extended fieldwork in Sri Lanka in the coming months. The project aims to measure the well-being of young people in the region and the impact that GFP programmes are having on their lives. Over the next few months, I will continue to blog about developments, and next time, I will describe the project in a little more detail! Pass It On!