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.
A more Responsible Journalism for Tomorrow
Panel debate: Journalism in post-conflict societies
Date: January 18, 2019
Venue: Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies,
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
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
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
United Nations Department of Peace Operations (DPO)/Office of Rule of Law and Security Institutions (OROLSI)/DDR Section
“Research perspectives on Public Information and Strategic Communications during
Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration (DDR) processes”
Date: June 25, 2020
A joint virtual event between the UN's DPO/OROLSI/DDR Section and the Research Group on UN Media and Peace Processes (RUNMAPP), at the Centre for Freedom of the Media (CFOM), Sheffield University.
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
The Public Information and Strategic Communication Module of the UN's Integrated DDR Standards
On Thursday, June 25th, 2020, I facilitated a joint virtual roundtable consultation by the DDR Section of the Office of Rule of Law and Security Institutions (OROLSI), the Department of Peace Operations, the UN, and RUNMAPP. The roundtable brought academic experts together with UN policymakers and DDR practitioners from the field to explore research and theoretical perspectives on how public information and strategic communication can contribute to the DDR process.
Transactional Radio Instruction: Improving Educational Outcomes for Children in Conflict Zones
My new book with Dr. Margee Ensign has just been released!
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.
On the 'VIP Show' with Linord
I recently sat down with the VOA's Linord Moudou in her VIP Show to talk about a range of issues and how my background and upbringing has influenced my work.
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
Working with women to prevent extremism using a Community Extremism Risk Assessment and Early Warning app: Lessons Learned
The participation of local women in peacemaking and conflict prevention (in line with UNSCR 1325) should be given higher priority. My work, along with a continually growing body of research, has shown the importance of women's involvement in peace and security issues. In my work on this project, I was amazed at how incredibly informed, engaged, and committed women were in finding solutions to the problem of radicalization in their communities.
Using a community-based participatory action process, I worked with 60 women leaders from 60 communities in Northeast Nigeria to develop a new community extremism risk assessment (CERA) tool. The tool is used to systematically identify individuals at risk of joining Violent Extremist Organizations (VEOs). The 60 women all had one thing in common: a known person from their community had joined Boko Haram.
Over three days, the women worked together in teams to discuss the common characteristics demonstrated by the persons they knew who had joined Boko Haram, the timelines in which certain behaviors were observed, their families, their close associates and influencers, and various other push and pull factors. After identifying the risk factors and their indicators, the women then ranked them by order of gravity and assigned weights for each factor. I should add that the risk factors they identified and ranked high were different from those prevalent in literature on risk factors associated with radicalization. The variance can be explained in many ways. Still, for me, it confirmed the need for researchers, international organizations, national governments, and civil society organizations to give local women a louder voice and more robust agency in the research and interventions that affect their lives and communities. CERA was built based on the risk factors and indicators the women identified.
CERA, which has been developed into a mobile app, is used as part of the project, Women Action to Combat Violent Extremism and Radicalism in Northeast Nigeria (WACVERN). WACVERN is supported with funding from the USAID's Nigeria Regional Transition Initiative and Nigeria's North East Regional Initiative (NERI).