On November 18, 2020, IPA’s Peace & Recovery Program, J-PAL's Governance Initiative, and J-PAL’s Crime and Violence Initiative held the first webinar in a series focused on showcasing emerging results from the first three years of our joint Governance, Crime, and Conflict Initiative (GCCI). Launched in 2017, GCCI aims to produce new research on effective policies to promote peace and good governance, reduce crime, and support individuals and communities recovering from conflict.
Can contact between groups reduce discrimination and prejudice, and build social cohesion? Rebuilding social ties in divided societies is a core aim of much peacebuilding and development programming. Programs that aim to reduce prejudice through contact with other groups have built on decades of social psychology research on prejudice reduction, which suggests that contact between divided groups can effectively contribute to prejudice reduction and social integration.
This webinar shared emerging insights from two studies funded by GCCI, in India and Iraq, which together shed light on the ways in which contact with other groups may reduce prejudice, and the ways it may not. Danjuma Dawop from Mercy Corps Iraq additionally discussed the implications of this new research for programming and practice, particularly in conflict-affected contexts. The presentations were then followed by a Q&A session.
Watch the webinar recording below:
- Betsy Levy-Paluck, Professor of Psychology & Public Affairs at Princeton University and Deputy Director of the Kahneman-Treisman Center for Behavioral Science & Public Policy, provided an introduction to the intergroup contact literature, framing the contribution of the two studies.
- Salma Mousa, Post-Doctoral Fellow at Stanford University, presented her work on The Impact of Inter-Religious Soccer Leagues on Social Cohesion in Post-ISIS Iraq.
- Matt Lowe, Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of British Columbia, shared insights from his recent study in India, Types of Contact: A Field Experiment on Collaborative and Adversarial Caste Integration.
- Danjuma Dawop, Head of Conflict Management and Social Cohesion at Mercy Corps Iraq, spoke to how these results can be interpreted and applied in practice.
- Nessa Kenny, Peace & Recovery Program Coordinator, Innovations for Poverty Action, moderated a discussion and Q&A following the presentations.