Kroc Institute-CRS Fellow to Research Vertical Social Cohesion at Notre Dame

Author: Hannah Heinzekehr

Valarie Vat Kamatsiko is spending two months at the University of Notre Dame as the 2019 Kroc Institute-CRS Fellow. Kamatsiko is the Africa Peacebuilding Technical Advisor with Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and is based in Kampala, Uganda.


During her time at Notre Dame, Kamatsiko’s research will focus on improving vertical social cohesion within CRS's successful 3Bs (binding, bonding, bridging) social-cohesion-strengthening methodology. The methodology was initially developed in the Mindanao region of the Philippines, and was further refined in the Central African Republic. Since its inception, the methodology has been applied in more than 10 countries in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East with favorable results and illustrated success in effecting change at personal and relational levels.


However, in the course of Kamatsiko’s work, lessons learned and recommendations from case studies indicate that, during application of the methodology in field practice, opportunities to impact systems and structures were either missed or under-explored. Kamatsiko will seek to offer a renewed and crystallized definition of vertical social cohesion and to offer insights for improving the methodology.


Kamatsiko is a scholar-practitioner who is widely published in both peer-reviewed academic journals and popular publications. Prior to working with CRS, she served as the Regional Peacebuilding Advisor for East Africa with World Vision, providing leadership to peacebuilding and conflict sensitivity work in Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Kenya, Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda, Ethiopia, and Tanzania. She also led World Vision’s Regional Peacebuilding Field Practice Learning Center in Rwanda. Her areas of expertise include integrating conflict-sensitivity and peacebuilding concerns with humanitarian and development assistance; engaging children and youth in peacebuilding efforts; multi-faith peacebuilding; and macro and micro-level participatory conflict analysis.


Kamatsiko will present a public lecture titled “Vertical Social Cohesion in Catholic Relief Services’ Binding, Bonding, and Bridging (3Bs) Methodology” at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 4, in room C103 of the Hesburgh Center for International Studies.


The Kroc Institute and Catholic Relief Services have sponsored the Kroc Institute-CRS fellowships since 2006. Fellows pursue short-term research and writing projects related to peacebuilding while engaging with Kroc students and faculty. Past fellows have come from Burundi, Cameroon, El Salvador, Ghana, Indonesia, Kenya, the Philippines, Rwanda, Senegal and South Sudan.


Catholic Relief Services is one of the world’s largest humanitarian relief organizations, serving more than 100 countries around the globe.


Contact: Caesar A. Montevecchio, Research Associate for the Catholic Peacebuilding Network,