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Women in Public Service Project (WPSP)

Reconstructing Societies in the Wake of Conflict: Transitional Justice and Economic Development

Mount Holyoke, Simmons, and Smith colleges are proud to co-host "Reconstructing Societies in the Wake of Conflict: Transitional Justice and Economic Development," a two-week institute of the Women in Public Service Project (WPSP). The institute will bring together emerging women leaders working to rebuild their communities and promote sustainable economic livelihoods following political violence and human rights violations. This intensive program, cosponsored by the U.S. Department of State and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, is scheduled for May 25 - June 6, 2014.

The institute will select 50 applicants from societies recovering from recent (within the last decade) conflict, with a preference for delegates from Asia. The institute aims to provide the emerging women leaders selected for participation with the concrete tools and training necessary to increase the scope, efficacy and visibility of their work. Invited scholars, policymakers, and government and non-government representatives will aid delegates in expanding their leadership and communication skills, developing effective use of traditional and social media, and improving the ability to build national, regional and international networks.

The Program

Through panel discussions and working groups based on actual cases and projects, as well as workshops, debates and special events, the 2014 institute will promote leadership skills and explore the multiple legal, political, economic, social and cultural approaches to recovering from violence and safeguarding human rights.

Delegates will explore the following questions:

  • How can women effectively mobilize their communities to respond to conflict and repair the damage done?
  • What strategies exist for reconciling divided societies and addressing the needs of victims?
  • Which institutions (e.g. government agencies, judiciary, and schools) need to be reformed in the wake of atrocity and what are the tactics for restructuring them?
  • What are the different ways to document, remember and memorialize atrocity; deter future human rights violations; and amplify the role women play in the process?
  • What approaches can be used to improve economic development and inclusion to aid societies in recovering and prospering following violence?
  • How can women build financial and economic capacities, from the grassroots to the highest levels of policymaking?


The 2014 Women in Public Service Institute will take place at Mount Holyoke, Simmons, and Smith colleges. Mount Holyoke College is located in South Hadley, Massachusetts; Simmons College is located in Boston; Smith College is located in Northampton, Massachusetts.


The funding for this program covers tuition, accommodations, meals, field trips and travel from arrival at the delegates' home airport to one of two airports: Boston, Massachusetts, or Hartford, Connecticut. The delegates will work with a travel agency and the institute to make the arrangements.

For More Information

Please contact with any questions.