David DengDavid Deng ’10 has been awarded a grant in the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) Priority Grant Competition for a project on community participation in large-scale land acquisitions in Southern Sudan. 

The USIP Priority Grant Competition funds activities that enhance mechanisms for advancing the knowledge and practice of conflict prevention, conflict management, and post-conflict peace-building in five countries: Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, and Sudan. Deng’s project will be hosted by the South Sudan Law Society (SSLS), a civil-society organization that promotes justice in society and respect for human rights and the rule of law in Sudan. The SSLS was founded in 1995 by a group of lawyers from Southern Sudan, and now has 90 members from the marginalized areas of Sudan.

In the yearlong project, Deng will work with investors, community members, and government officials to develop a step-by-step guide to community consultations for land investments in Southern Sudan. The handbook will be distributed widely among institutions working on land issues in the region, and Deng will hold a series of roundtable discussions throughout the year to promote the handbook among stakeholders. 

“Sudan sits at a crossroads,” Deng said. “With the momentous political transformations that are underway, the development of a responsible investment framework is critical to securing a lasting peace in the country.” By improving dialogue between investors and local communities, Deng’s project will help to ensure a more equitable allocation of benefits from investments in the region.

In addition to the USIP grant, Deng’s project is also funded by a Helton Fellowship from the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice and the Public Interest Law Center at NYU School of Law.

Posted on September 28, 2010