Dr. Jacob Udo-Udo Jacob, frsa

My teaching and research interest is located at the intersection between communications, peacebuilding, and conflicts in contemporary society, with particular reference to Nigeria (and the broader Lake Chad region), Somalia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. I am particularly interested in how communication interventions are localized, encountered and contested in extremist and violently divided societies.  The applied area of my work involves developing and deploying contextually relevant strategic communication solutions to local and national crises and working with civil society and social movement organizations to achieve social and cultural change.

2nd Global Constructive Journalism Conference
More Responsible Journalism for Tomorrow
 
Panel debate: Journalism in post-conflict societies
 
Date: January 18, 2019
Venue: Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies,
Geneva, Switzerland
Congressional Forum to mark the 5th Anniversary of the Chibok Schoolgirls Kidnapping 
 
(Hosted by Congresswoman Frederica Wilson)
 
Boko Haram and the attack on Education in Nigeria since Chibok
 
Date: April 9, 2019
Venue: 2020, Rayburn House Office Building, 
Capitol Hill, Washington DC, USA 
 

 UPCOMING AND RECENT  SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS

University of Oxford 
Media Policy Summer Institute
(Programme in Comparative Media Law & Policy) 
 
Technology & Policy at the Margins
Inciting Peace in Times of War: Principles, Practices, and Ethics of Peace Journalism
 
Date: August 9, 2019
Venue: Pembroke College, University of Oxford, United Kingdom
The Bechtel Lecture
Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues
 
Panel on: 
Environmental Scarcity and Instability in the West African Sahel and the Lake Chad Basin
 
Date: April 2, 2020
Venue:  Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA
USA
 
RESOLVE Network Roundtable 
Developing the Next Research Agenda for the Study of Violent Extremism in North Africa and the Sahel
 
Current and Future Trends and Challenges in P/CVE Research
 
Date: July 18, 2018
Venue:  West African Research Center,
Dakar, Senegal
 
Sheffield Hallam University International Summer School: 
 
Addressing Global Challenges to Journalism and Press Freedom
 
The Media in War and Peace
 
Date: June 24, 2019
Venue: Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, United Kingdom

PROJECT STORIES

Transactional Radio Instruction: Improving Educational Outcomes for Children in Conflict Zones

Schools are one of the first institutional casualties of war. It is a lot worse when the principal belligerent is ideologically opposed to education. Pupils and teachers, school buildings, laboratories, and libraries, all become the targets of a senseless war. This has been the tragic case with the Boko Haram insurgency in Northeast Nigeria—a war that has been going on since 2009, and for many years largely ignored by Western media, governments, and policymakers. It took an attack on a girls’ secondary school in the sleepy rural town of Chibok to arouse short-lived international outrage and interest in the violence. Chibok has since remained a byword for the Boko Haram insurgency, and the 276 schoolgirls kidnapped by the insurgents have become the poster-casualties of the war. But beyond the sad faces of the Chibok schoolgirls lies a much more bizarre story. The Boko Haram insurgency has brutally disrupted education to its very core, not only in Nigeria but also in the broader Lake Chad region—including Cameroon, Niger, and Chad. It will take time, several years if not several decades, for the region to recover from the attack on education. Millions of children have been uprooted from their homes and schools, thousands of teachers have fled, never to return, and thousands of schools have been shut down and often destroyed. Some will never be reopened. Although many displaced persons have now returned home, many displaced children have not returned to school, for their schools no longer exist. Countless others have lost valuable years and have struggled to cope after being reinserted into school.

This situation is not peculiar to the Boko Haram insurgency. Extremist-inspired violence now accounts for more conflicts around the world than any other cause. Unfortunately, despite a plethora of military and nonmilitary interventions, such violence has become increasingly bold and frequent and is likely to continue into the foreseeable future. Education, particularly at the primary level, will continue to be one of the worst social casualties. 

In this new book, Dr. Margee Ensign and I demonstrate how we used radio and mobile technologies to improve educational outcomes for over 20,000 displaced and out-of-school children in northeast Nigeria at the height of the Boko Haram insurgency.  The book is available on Amazon and on the publisher's website.  You can download the Front Matter here to continue reading our Preface as well as the Foreword by USAID's Mike Harvey.  

 

RESOLVE Network Research on Secularism and Politics of Religion in the Lake Chad Basin

The third Annual Researching Solutions to Violent Extremism (RESOLVE) Network Global Forum at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) explored new approaches in Preventing/Countering Violent Extremism (P/CVE) research.  I facilitated a salon discussion featuring RESOLVE Network Country Fellows and Principal Investigators from the Lake Chad region. We discussed findings from our three-country study on secularism and the politics of religion in higher education spaces.  The project covered Cameroon, Chad, and Nigeria.

To find out more and watch the entire Forum visit https://www.usip.org/events/resolve-network-2018-global-forum   

Working with women to prevent extremism using a Community Extremism Risk Assessment and Early Warning app

At-risk communities can use a new customized community extremism risk assessment (CERA) tool to systematically identify individuals that are at risk of joining Violent Extremist Organizations (VEOs). The Women Action to Combat Violent Extremism and Radicalism in Northeast Nigeria  (WACVERN) is piloting a new CERA app in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe States in Northeast Nigeria to assess the likelihood of an individual getting radicalized, based on available local information. The risk factors are based on a set of characteristics demonstrated by a significant percentage of known extremist offenders in various contexts.   CERA is currently being used by local women in the three states to help build a community-level shield of resilience against radicalization.   CERA is being used along with Beliepedia (a mobile app that compares texts in the Bible and the Qur'an on some questions of shared concern between Christians and Muslims) to promote religious tolerance. 

 

© 2018 by Jacob Udo-Udo Jacob