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PEACEST 4G03 Peace Through Health: Praxis (C01)

Academic Year: Winter 2019

Term: Spring

Day/Evening: D

Instructor: Dr. Nancy Doubleday


Office: University Hall 304

Phone: 905-525-9140 x 23464

Office Hours: Monday 4-5 PM

Course Objectives:

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

1: construct, articulate and communicate important ideas about the connections among peace, health, water security and other important aspects of today’s crises in development, migration, and biodiversity;

2: identify a range of appropriate responses, actions, policies, and strategies under conditions of calm and crisis, in order to reduce risk and enhance prospects for peace, justice, health and sustainability;

3: to learn to respond effectively, with compassion and reason, to a range of opinions concerning the major crises of our time, including climate change; biodiversity loss; and water, fire, flood and drought, and refugee migrations;

4: develop academic and workplace-ready skills by collaborating in designing, writing and delivering a targeted assignment that will effectively integrate your abilities in research and analysis;

5: reflect on your individual strengths and areas for growth as you become a global citizen with an ethical appreciation of sustainable principles and practises relevant to water security.

Specifically, you will be able to complete the following key tasks:

Scope and describe orally and in writing the many facets of the UN workplan for clean water and sanitation as presented in the 2018 report “Sustainable Development Goal 6: Synthesis Report on Water and Sanitation”;

Offer insights as to how we might understand and transform conflict to achieve greater cooperation for water sustainability at different levels of organization and in diverse contexts;

Reflect on interpersonal relationships, inter- group issues, international affairs, and inter-systemic incompatibilities that constitute barriers to peace and water security;

Propose new models to better understand the interconnections articulated amongst the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs);

Actively engage with issues, design strategies and perform work to reduce, transform and prevent the occurrence of conflicts, and to reduce associated risks, by promoting water security and environmental justice;

To reflect on the interconnections and “wicked problems” apparent in different economic models of water security;

Learn how to improve your performance and to build your adaptive capacity as a leader and agent for change;

Together we will work on the particular problems of governance in relation to civil society and sustainability, examining business, municipal government, and social organizations preparing for climate change, and related increases water-related risks (e.g. fire, flood and drought) to health and well-being of humans and ecosystems.

To engage with the capacity building program for McMaster scholars at UNU INWEH- The MUST Program


Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

Physical copies will be placed on reserve when possible. Links will be provided to e-resources.

Use of McMaster email is required.

We will use Avenue 2 Learn for course content, readings and case materials:




Readings: Free, on-line; or on reserve in Mills Library




Bellagio, May 2017



Sustainable Development Goal 6 Synthesis Report on Water and Sanitation



UN-Water. Nature-Based Solutions for Water


Method of Assessment:


Our structure for evaluation is as follows:

1. Individual Work

 50% based on individual assignments, including:

  • 2 topic reviews (3-5 pages, 12 pt Times New Roman or equivalent font, double spaced);
  • a peace-health-water-themed postcard (to be sent to a relevant decision-maker, if you wish);
  • individual contributions to team and class projects, INCLUDING BETA TESTING OF UNU INWEH WATER SECURITY AND PEACE MODULES.

2. Team Work

 25% based on:

  • your contribution to a team project with 5% assignment by peers (you choose your partners and topics are negotiated with me), including an abstract and a poster.

3. Class Contribution to Research

  • 25% with 5% assigned by peers for a class contribution to a research project, (to be co-created in class). The research project is to contribute to the design of an observation network for the boreal forest region of Canada to help citizens acquire agency in the face of climate change, risk and needs for adaptation.
  • The results will be presented at an event - in this case a water-themed event - in the second half of March






% Value:

Due Dates:


Topic review 1


Jan. 25, 2019


Topic review 2


February 1, 2019




February 14, 2019


Beta-testing Water Security and Peace module


April 1, and April 8

In-class activity


Team Poster & Abstract


February 28, 2019


Class contribution to research - citizens, climate and conflict risk reduction

25 = 20 (instructor)

+ 5 (peer to peer)

Presentation on

March 25, 2019








1. Topic review (3-5 pages, 12 pt Times New Roman or equivalent font, double spaced), due January 25. 10%

2. Topic review (3-5 pages, 12 pt Times New Roman or equivalent font, double spaced), due February 1, 2019 15%

3. Postcard: Peace-health-water-themed postcard (to be sent to a relevant decision-maker if you wish); 10%

4.Individual contributions to team and class projects, INCLUDING BETA TESTING OF UNU INWEH WATER SECURITY AND PEACE MODULE. 15%




5. Team Poster & Abstract: Paths, Processes, Transformations

Choose your theme, your partners and then negotiate topics.

Document your learning/discovery/knowledge by creating communications tools, including an abstract and a poster.

Evaluation is based on your individual contribution to a team project. 25%

6. Class Contribution to A Research Problem

We are designing an observation network for the boreal forest region of Canada to help citizens acquire agency, access to information and greater adaptive capacity in the face of climate change, risk and needs for adaptation.

This contribution is to be designed in class and the results will be presented at water-themed event on March 25, 2019.

25% with 20% assigned by instructors and 5% assigned by your peers.

Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:

PLEASE USE MSAF (when necessary). Alternative assignments can be made available if in-class work is missed.

In the case of team-work, deadines must be respected. Failure to do so will result in penalties of 1% per day, for each day late that is not authorized in advance.

Please Note the Following Policies and Statements:

Academic Dishonesty

You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical behaviour in all aspects of the learning process. Academic credentials you earn are rooted in principles of honesty and academic integrity.

Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage. This behaviour can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: "Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty"), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university.

It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. For information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at

The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:

  1. Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
  2. Improper collaboration in group work.
  3. Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.

Email correspondence policy

It is the policy of the Faculty of Humanities that all email communication sent from students to instructors (including TAs), and from students to staff, must originate from each student’s own McMaster University email account. This policy protects confidentiality and confirms the identity of the student.  Instructors will delete emails that do not originate from a McMaster email account.

Modification of course outlines

The University reserves the right to change dates and/or deadlines etc. for any or all courses in the case of an emergency situation or labour disruption or civil unrest/disobedience, etc. If a modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with an explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. Any significant changes should be made in consultation with the Department Chair.

McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)

In the event of an absence for medical or other reasons, students should review and follow the Academic Regulation in the Undergraduate Calendar Requests for Relief for Missed Academic Term Work. Please note these regulations have changed beginning Fall 2015. You can find information at If you have any questions about the MSAF, please contact your Associate Dean's office.

Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities

Students who require academic accommodation must contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) to make arrangements with a Program Coordinator. Academic accommodations must be arranged for each term of study. Student Accessibility Services can be contacted by phone 905-525-9140 ext. 28652 or e-mail For further information, consult McMaster University's Policy for Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities.

Academic Accommodation for Religious, Indigenous and Spiritual Observances

Students requiring academic accommodation based on religion and spiritual observances should follow the procedures set out in the Course Calendar or by their respective Faculty. In most cases, the student should contact his or her professor or academic advisor as soon as possible to arrange accommodations for classes, assignments, tests and examinations that might be affected by a religious holiday or spiritual observance.

Topics and Readings:

Topics include, but are not restricted to:

  • international, regional, national and local authorities, and their roles in fostering cooperation (e.g. the UN  General Assembly)
  • roles, organizations and citizen agency
  • peace, health, sustainability and justice under a changing climate
  • water security
  • transboundary issues
  • regional crises in development, migration, and biodiversity decline in relation to peace and conflict

Readings include the resources listed above, and other reports, policy documents and journal articles posted in

Avenue, on Reserve in Mills Library, or presented in class.

Other Course Information:

In 2019, our seminar will focus on the connection of water and peace and health, as a contribution to the work of the General Assembly of the United Nations and the Resolution ‘International Decade (2018–2028) for Action – Water for Sustainable Development’. Student contributions will include individual and collaborative project-based learning assignments, and class attendance and possible participation in events to celebrate World Water Day (22 March), and an international conference on Water Security and Peace. Guest Instructors: We welcome the participation of Dr. Nancy Murray of Health Sciences at McMaster to contribute from her first-hand experience as a citizen, at the 2018 United Nations’ High-Level Political Forum ‘Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies’: Sustainable Development Goals for 2030 with a focus on Goal #6 Water. Dr. Nidhi Nagabhatla of UNU-INWEH will join us to share her knowledge of Water Security and Peace.