Laurel Burchfield, recipient of the 2010 AADS Karell Travel Grant, recently returned from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia where she conducted early research for her Ph.D. Between the months of May-July, Burchfield interned with CEWARN, part of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD). CEWARN is an early warning system that monitors cross-border pastoralist conflict between the seven member states in the Horn of Africa. The central office in Addis Ababa shares findings, predictions and recommended courses of action with the governing bodies of the involved states with the hope of decreasing or preventing the outbreak of violent conflict.
Burchfield spent her time as an intern meeting with relevant staff to understand the data collection process, analysis and resources available to CEWARN in the hopes of designing a proposal for future research. Her specific interest involves the ways in which CEWARN and other early warning systems in Africa utilize indigenous or informal methods of conflict prevention, management and resolution. She hopes to return to Addis for further field research next summer to conduct interviews with community leaders, women and youth on this issue.
Burchfield will report on her research activities in Ethiopia at the Karell Lecture, which will be hosted by AADS this fall.