Exchange to Change January 2018 E2C January 2018 web - Page 13
IN THE PICTURE
Truth or dare with Monica Aciru.
A talk about truth
Monica Aciru is an IOB alumna
of the Master Governance and
Development (2007). On Friday
7 July 2017, she successfully
defended her doctoral thesis on
“Transitional justice in practice:
truth commissions and policies of
Can you give a short summary of
your PhD project?
The PhD project focused on
understanding the dynamics of
following up and implementing truth
commission recommendations and
the interaction between the various
actors in achieving this aim. It
analysed the different contexts for the
inclusion of reparations within truth
commissions processes and strategies
for their implementation. To this end,
it proposed a framework for studying
the follow-up and implementation
of recommendations on reparations
made by truth commissions.
What methodology did you use in
I used a qualitative approach
consisting of literature analysis and
in-depth interviews with purposely
selected respondents. This approach
was relevant in order to understand
the complex and sensitive issues
that would require a comprehensive
analysis of various experiences. A
three pronged approach was adopted:
seeking out what the practice is in
transitional justice for studying post-
truth commission recommendations,
empirically explore how the
recommendations are translated
into action and from these develop
a framework for studying post-truth
What do you consider as the most
important policy recommendation of
The study developed a framework,
the integrated approach, that
could be used to study how the
recommendations on reparations
made by truth commissions
are implemented. It views
implementation as part of a long
term process rather than an isolated
activity emerging after the end of
the commission and argues that
implementation is affected both by
the prevailing circumstances and the
factors that existed before and during
the truth commission.
How did you experience to work and
live in Belgium the past years?
In general, I have enjoyed my stay in
Belgium. Having access to different
services is refreshing and convenient.
It is also cosmopolitan and one is
bound to experience a diverse mix of
What was the worst, most difficult
and what was the best moment?
The worst moment was having to
bid farewell to my cohort from IOB
when we completed our studies. The
most difficult is not experiencing the
support of extended family and friends
in child care. The best moments are
the graduation ceremonies both at
IOB and KU Leuven and mothering my
To conclude, can you tell us the most
important thing you have learned
during your time at IOB? How did it
help you in your PhD process?
I learned a number of important
things. First, my PhD topic was a
continuation of my Masters thesis.
I therefore credit IOB for deepening
my knowledge in my field. Second,
the working and learning process at
IOB encourages a mix of autonomy
and team work as well as diligence
and perseverance. These skills were
invaluable during my PhD process.
Third, the intercultural interactions
led to contacts and networks in
different parts of the world.
What’s next for you?
Since October 2017, I joined Argusi b.v.
(Breda) as the Humanitarian Logistics
Research and Development officer.
E xchange to change J anuary 2018