Last month Clingendael Academy organised a ‘Training of Trainers (ToT) for Insider Mediators’. The training brought together 16 participants from 11 different countries, including two Clingendael alumni.
This training programme was set up in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). UNDP seeks to build the capacity of insider mediators to strengthen infrastructures for peace. Insider mediators are trusted individuals who are internal to the conflict and therefore have thorough knowledge and understanding of the conflict dynamics at play. The goal of providing a ToT is to enable these bridgebuilders to train others in how to mediate within their own societies and by doing so multiply the contribution they already make to peace.
The first week of the training focussed on providing the participants with a solid basis in the methodological tools and concepts of negotiation and mediation, using interactive exercises, role plays and simulations. Specific attention was put on the question of how insider mediation differs from third-party mediation and where insider mediators bring added value.
The second week of the training focussed on building the capacity of the participants to train others in insider mediation. By interactively introducing them to concepts and methodologies such as the ADDIE cycle, Kolb learning styles and the Johari Window for feedback, participants were provided with a rich toolbox to aid them in developing their own training curricula.
Throughout the second week, participants worked on their ‘Back Home Action Plans’ in which they sketched out concrete steps to implement the lessons learned once back in their own context. The mediators came up with plans ranging from training religious scholars and businesspeople, to starting a regional mediation centre, and establishing an insider mediator network.