The Aegis Trust today launched its newly created Research, Policy & Higher Education Department (RPHE) at Lemigo Hotel, Kigali. The RPHE is supported by the UK’s Department for International Development under the Genocide, Research and Reconciliation Programme. The goal of the department is to inform policy and practice on peacebuilding and genocide prevention in Rwanda with evidence and to support the Rwandan research community as they provide and communicate this evidence. RPHE works in partnership with Rwandan researchers, policymakers and practitioners.

To bolster the environment for Rwandan researchers and to stimulate research that is relevant to policy and practice, RPHE will annually commission work by Rwandan researchers on themes relevant to genocide prevention and peacebuilding, publishing it in an online working paper series. RPHE will support the Rwandan research community through workshops and mentoring. The department also aims to catalyse the use of materials available in the Genocide Archive Rwanda and Gacaca Archive, as source material for research.

The RPHE is also involved in Higher Education and will deliver an annual summer course. The course will cover the causes of and responses to genocide and other mass atrocities, in Rwanda and elsewhere in the World. The targeted participants for the summer course are academics, practitioners and policymakers mostly in Rwanda but also regionally and globally. Aegis Trust has developed partnerships with the University of Rwanda (UR) and other universities for course delivery and accreditation purposes. The RPHE will also collaborate with UR by finding lecturers to cover topics for genocide-related Masters programmes, as proposed by UR staff.

To facilitate Rwandan, regional and global exchange of the growing body of research on genocide prevention and peacebuilding, RPHE is launching an online hub. This ‘Genocide Research Hub’ will be designed for researchers, policymakers and practitioners, primarily focused on Rwanda. It will contain a collection of quality research relevant to policy and practice, a directory of experts in genocide prevention and peacebuilding, and a section on relevant news. The hub will disseminate a regular newsletter on matters relating to research, policy and practice. RPHE also plans to engage policymakers and practitioners through events to discuss relevant research and its implications for their work.