Bautista Logioco, Class 1 (2002-2004)
Twenty Blogs for 20 Years
Bautista Logioco was in the very first cohort of Rotary Peace Fellows, choosing to study international development policy at Duke University in 2002. Since then, he has focused his work squarely in the peacebuilding and conflict transformation sphere, working across a range of international organizations and in many different countries. He is now an independent consultant, using the skills he gained as a Fellow and those he has developed since, to improve the lives of others through better dialogue, mediation, and conflict prevention and peacebuilding strategies at the national and international level. Bautista has also served as a board member with the Rotary Peace Fellows Alumni Association and was instrumental in organizing the recent Presidential Peace Conference in Houston, Texas (USA).
It was 2001 and I was in Cleveland, Ohio, participating in an international humanitarian law competition, when my father told me that a Law Professor, from my former University in Argentina, who also happened to be a Rotarian, had asked for my CV. She wanted me to apply for a new fellowship that the Rotary Foundation was launching, something on peace and conflict resolution. She was particularly keen as there was a Rotarian from Argentina who had been very much involved in its conception and creation, someone she deeply admired. I wasn´t sure what it was about as there was not very much information about the Rotary Peace Fellowship at the time and I knew very little about Rotary. However, I really liked and trusted that professor, so I sent her my CV. At the time, to be honest, I was really interested in a scholarship to undertake a master´s programme in Switzerland, but I decided to give this new “Rotary World Peace Fellowship” (as it was known then) a shot. It sounded, at the very least, interesting. Little did I know that I was about to embark on a truly life changing experience.
I was a member of the RPF class 1 cohort (2002-2004). During this time, I undertook a master´s programme in international development policy at Duke University (MIDP), a Certificate in Peace and Conflict Resolution from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, and a Certificate in Latin American Studies at Duke University, as I focused most of my research in this region. To me, the MIDP programme was a fantastic opportunity to firstly, gain knowledge on how to understand conflict, tensions, causes of conflict while using a development lens and vice versa. From land and natural resources related conflicts, through ethnic and religious confrontations and weak democratic systems that provided conditions for a range of crises, I had a chance to look at the structural causes and drivers of these situations, which almost always were related to structural inequalities in development processes in different settings. In addition, the MIDP programme allowed me to hone very practical skills on conflict analysis, programme and project design, monitoring and evaluation and the integration of a gender perspective into this work. All of these skills and knowledge have accompanied me up to this day.
In other words, what I learned at Duke-UNC has been instrumental in the more than 18 years of my peacebuilding and conflict transformation career with the Organization of American States, the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations, the UN Peacebuilding Fund, UNDP, UN Women and the UN World Food Programme (WFP), among others. In each and every experience I had the chance to integrate a conflict prevention and peacebuilding lens into the development and humanitarian fields and vice versa. For instance, I had the chance to understand how disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programmes, without a longer-term development lens, could put incipient peace and stability at risk in certain contexts, or how rooted social norms based on gender play a role in contributing to creating or perpetuating conflict and violence drivers in societies, or how food insecurity could be linked to structural inequalities between different social groups.
In 2018, after 16 years living abroad, I moved back to Argentina, my home country. Since then, I have been working as an independent consultant on conflict prevention and peacebuilding for the UN System, international development banks and local governments. Even though the knowledge and skills gained at the Duke-UNC Rotary Peace Center were key for my professional development, the most important feature of this programme for me was the outstanding network of peacebuilding and conflict transformation professionals that it created and fosters to this day. I am still in touch with Rotary Peace Fellows and other MIDP fellows with whom with I shared those two years of my life, as well as with many faculty and staff from the programme with whom I continue to share articles, views and ideas. This professional and human network is without any doubt the most important gift that the RPF has given me and that I will keep for the rest of my life.
 That Rotarian was Luis Giay, Rotary International President and one of the outstanding leading forces behind the creation of the Rotary Peace Fellowship.