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Consultancy Group

The NCPACS Consultancy Group

The NCPACS Consultancy Group (which is part of NCPACS), draws from the wide experience and expertise of the Centre's staff and post graduate students. NCPACS is available for consultancies with Governmental, Intergovernmental, as well as National and International Non Governmental organizations on a range of peace, conflict and development issues.

Areas of expertise
What we provide
Who we are
Completed projects

We offer expertise in:

  • 1. Dispute Systems Design
  • 2. Conflict Analysis
  • 3. Conflict Management and Conflict Transformation
  • 4. Interactive Problem Solving Workshops
  • 5. Mediation
  • 6. Monitoring and Evaluation
  • 7. Peace and Conflict Impact Assessment
  • 8. Conflict Sensitive Development Strategies
  • 9. Pro-bono projects
  • 10. Public engagements
  • 11. Peace Education

What we do

We provide:

  • learning opportunities for students in the fields of project design and consultancy services, including the possibility of practical experience
  • staff engagement in project design and consultancy in their respective areas of research excellence
  • a model for other Centres and Departments at the University of Otago to engage in ongoing discourse and debate on issues of national and international importance
  • the opportunity to positively impact projects and programmes in relevant developmental fields, in places and on subjects of national and international importance
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Research and Expertise within the University of Otago

The NCPACS Consultancy Group is an integral part of the evolution of a Centre Practice and Policy programme. We are developing this group to take advantage of the considerable academic and practice expertise that exists within the University of Otago. With an academic and research staff of over 1,600 people, the University of Otago is New Zealand’s top-rated university for both research intensity and research quality. The university has a number of strong research programmes, many recognized internationally.

Our work includes strategic planning, research design, data collection, impact assessments, monitoring and evaluation on thematic areas related to peace and conflict, democracy, governance, healthcare, education, energy, poverty reduction, gender equality, disaster preparedness, human rights and the environment.

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Who we are

The NCPACS Consultancy Group consists of Faculty members and Post-graduate students with diverse expertise and research interests.

KevinProfessor Kevin Clements - Director
Professor Clements is the Foundation Chair of Peace and Conflict Studies and Director of the New Zealand Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand. Prior to taking up this position, Kevin was the Professor and Foundation Director of the Australian Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia. He was also the Secretary General of International Alert from 1999-2003 and during this time he was on the Board of the European Centre for Conflict Prevention and past President of the European Peace Building Liaison Office in Brussels.

Prior to becoming Secretary General of International Alert, Kevin was the Vernon and Minnie Lynch Chair of Conflict Resolution at the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia, USA from 1994-2000 and the Director of the Institute from 1994-1999.

Prior to that, he was Head of the Peace Research Centre at ANU and an advisor to the Australian Government on regional security architecture, arms control and disarmament. His career has been a combination of academic analysis and practice in the areas of peacebuilding and conflict transformation. He has been an advisor to the New Zealand, Australian, British, Swedish and Dutch governments on conflict prevention, peace, defence and security issues. He was a member of the New Zealand Government’s Defence Committee of Enquiry in 1985.

Professor Clements has been a regular consultant to a variety of non-governmental and intergovernmental organisations on disarmament, arms control, conflict resolution, development and regional security issues.

HeatherDr Heather Devere
Dr Devere is Director of Practice at the National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, and acts as an advocate in mediations involving not-for-profit organisations.Dr Devere has published widely on issues including peace education, women and politics, women in the media, refugee resettlement, children’s rights and the politics of friendship.

SungYong smallDr SungYong Lee
Expertise:Project management in conflict-context
Dr SungYong Lee is Lecturer at the National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies. His research projects are mainly on peace negotiation at Track I level, post-conflict reconstruction, religious peacebuilding, and community-based development projects. Between 2003 and 2007, he had worked for a number of social development projects run by international or local NGOs as a program manager, teacher, or public liaison officer. Some examples include training for unemployed youth (India 2003), education support (India 2003, Cambodia 2007, 2009), micro-finance support to rural villagers (Cambodia 2007), and post-conflict emergency relief (Afghanistan 2003).

DannyDanny Fridberg
Expertise: Negotiation, Mediation, Dialogue facilitation, training and supervision, peace education, project management, Evaluation.
An experienced dialogue group facilitator and facilitators' supervisor; peace-building project director and evaluator; mediator - specializing in public participation processes and consensus building in public and environmental disputes; taught ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution) theories and methods at the Evens program in Mediation and Conflict Resolution in Tel-Aviv University.
As a dialogue facilitator, Daniel worked with a wide range of groups, from the grassroots to track II levels in Israel and Palestine and the US.
Daniel has conducted numerous evaluations of projects and organization in the fields of Peace building, education, social activism and organizational development in the NGO and governmental sectors.

Aidan Gnoth SmallAidan Gnoth
Expertise: Good governance and public policy, communications and media, teaching and facilitation, crisis mapping, civil/military operations and humanitarian coordination.
Aidan has a range of skills and expertise in a variety of fields after having worked in the tech, academic, and humanitarian industries. He joins our consultancy group after several years working as a political advisor in local government where he focused on increasing transparency and financial accountability within an organization of 10,000 employees. While his traditional academic interests are in the Middle East and Africa, his work in humanitarian coordination centred on the Asia Pacific region where he is from.

Caitlyn Hart

Sonya Hill smallSonya Hill
Expertise: Education, organisational management, project development
Otago MBA graduate with 20 years of consulting, project work and education mainly in the private sector in the UK. Clients ranged from global blue chip organisations to small start-ups. Covering process and project (re)development, planning, training, CSR, developing and managing teams, analysis and assessment of performance. In New Zealand since 2012 focused on youth development and education in the state and NFP sector as well as local political sphere.
An extensive network in New Zealand and the UK with access to skills and expertise to complement any project. Particular interest in social change, fairness and justice as well as the promotion of societal equality, issues of displaced people and structural oppression.

Russ Hunter smallRuss Hunter
Expertise: Civil/Military Operations, Intelligence, WMD Operations
Russ is currently in the Masters in Peace and Conflict Studies program at the University of Otago. He holds a Master Degree in Liberal Arts from the University of Richmond, a Post Grad Certificate from the University of Stirling, Scotland and is a graduate of the U.S Army Sergeants Major Academy. He retired from the U.S. Army as a Sergeant Major in 2009 with over 24 years of distinguished military service in both Operations and Intelligence. He has been a guest lecturer at the University of Richmond. The titles of Russ’ past lectures have been Drone Strikes: A Case for a Moral Response, Evolution of Unmanned Air Systems (Drones in the Sky) Counterterrorism/Antiterrorism Strategy. He co-taught a Drone law course for law, paralegal and Masters students. Russ has multiple awards and citations both professional and academic.

Liesel smallLiesel Mitchell
Expertise: Education, communication, analysis
Liesel Mitchell is an experienced teacher, facilitator and academic. She draws on an education and arts background to shape her approach to conflict navigation along with her formal training as a restorative justice facilitator and mediator. Her online conflict resolution service has enabled her to develop communication, education and practical navigation tools for managing conflict and draws on Liesel’s social media skillset. In addition, Liesel has experience with large-N data collection and analysis, particularly on groups involved in violent and nonviolent conflict.

Rachel R smallRachel Rafferty
Expertise: Training, Dialogue Facilitation, Community-level Peacebuilding
Originally from Northern Ireland, Rachel is experienced in designing, delivering, managing and evaluating community-level peacebuilding projects in a post-conflict environment. Particular achievements include designing arts-based dialogue projects, creating peace education training and resources for teachers and facilitating civil society dialogues on conflict-related social issues. She has led workshops for diverse groups including children and young adults, elected representatives, police officers, ethnic minority groups and conflict resolution practitioners.

RiaShibata smallRia Shibata
Expertise: Facilitating Track II problem-solving workshops, NGO project management, media communications, documentary film production
Ria Shibata is a PhD candidate and consultant at the National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Otago. She has conducted extensive research on the underlying socio-psychological dynamics of intractable conflicts and the effectiveness of intervention strategies such as interactive problem-solving workshops. Her expertise is in the area of Sino-Japanese relations. She has published works on the role of collective memory, competitive victimhood, and identity needs exacerbating the conflict in East Asia. Before starting her doctoral programme in New Zealand, Ria worked as a professional communications consultant for various NGOs and political institutions for projects related to human rights education, peace and nuclear disarmament and sustainability. Ria has been trained in practical skills and strategies for conflict management and resolution through SIT’s CONTACT program. She has helped design and facilitate interactive problem-solving workshops with influential academics and government leaders from China, Korea and Japan.

Stephanie Smith

Adan Suazo smallAdan Suazo
Expertise: Environmental Security, Post-Conflict Analysis, Curriculum Design, Sustainability
Adan E. Suazo is a Doctoral Researcher at the National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies (University of Otago, New Zealand) and Research Associate at the Loyola Sustainability Research Centre (Concordia University, Canada). He completed his graduate studies at the Department of Peace and Conflict Research at Uppsala University, where he focused his research on patterns of post-conflict inclusion in Angola, El Salvador and Mozambique. He has served in research positions at the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies, Equitas - International Centre for Human Rights Education in Canada.
His current research focuses on the normative and practical study of environmental considerations in conflict resolution mechanisms and instruments. He has collaborated in joint projects with the North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation, the United Nations Secretariat for the Convention on Biological Diversity, the United Nations Environment Programme and Future Earth. He is also a regular contributor to the online publication "Insight on Conflict", an initiative started by Peace Direct to increase access and availability of peace and conflict research to practitioners.

Jonathan Sutton

Nick Tobia smallNick Tobia
Expertise: Peace, Human Rights
Nick is a development consultant in the fields of peace and human rights. He specializes in developing rigorous standards of research design, data-collection and analyses for project assessments, progress monitoring and evaluations. He is a panel consultant with Rapid Asia, and an evaluation consultant with The Asia Foundation. His thematic expertise are in human rights violations in the context of insurgency, and regional human rights cooperation in Southeast Asia.

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Links to completed projects

Cool Schools Peer Mediation Programme evaluation