The Clingendael Academy closed off the second edition of the two-week programme ‘Training of Trainers (ToT) for Insider Mediators'. The training brought together eighteen participants from seventeen different countries, including three Clingendael alumni.
This training programme was set up in collaboration with UNDP. UNDP seeks to build the capacity of insider mediators to strengthen infrastructures for peace. Insider mediators are trusted individuals, “belonging” in their societies, who rise above sectarian lines and play a role in the prevention and peaceful resolution of conflict. The goal of providing a ToT is to enable these bridge-builders to train others themselves in how to mediate in their own societies and therefor multiply the contribution they already make to peace.
Training the Trainers
The programme started with refresher lessons in negotiation and mediation skills and continued to focus on building the capacity of the trainers to train others. In doing so, the interactive sessions aimed to improve participants’ capacity to conduct training needs analyses and to design, develop, deliver and evaluate training for insider mediators. In addition, throughout the two weeks, Clingendael trainers provided the participants with a diverse toolbox of instruments, such as the Kolb experimental learning model, how to set up learning goals and which methods to use for reaching those, effective communication and presentation techniques and different training methodologies.
Bringing it home
Participants called the programme “eye-opening”, “stimulating” and “empowering”. During the last two days they conducted dry-runs with their own newly developed training materials, simulations and exercises which they were eager to use upon their return home. They also discussed plans to conduct trainings on new topics and skills to new training audiences. One participant considered the training programme at Clingendael and the possibility for intermediaries to follow this course as more than only the transfer of skills and knowledge. He compared it to the opening of an egg from the inside (meaning life, the prevention of conflict and positive change) versus opening it from the outside (more likely to cause harm).
The end result was impressive. With new tools and a basic negotiation and mediation programme in their pocket, all the participants were more than eager to bring the lessons learned into action when being at home. The quite concrete action plans they formulated varied between short-term goals and long-term goals. Examples included:
- Training 100 church leaders and 20 security sector chaplains on insider mediation;
- Training community and youth leaders in insider mediation and setting up practice groups so skills are improved;
- Trainings on conflict analysis and mediation for the National Commission of Human Rights in its territorial delegations;
- Provide a practical guidebook for insider mediators;
- Convene an inter-religious dialogue on the prevention of violence and provide training to insider mediators within the national tripartite committee and to 10 inter-religious organisations;
- Setting up an African Peace Academy for a permanent infrastructure for peace.
Clingendael Academy will keep track of what the insider mediators will accomplish and where possible guide them in reaching their goals.
This training falls under the “Negotiation and Mediation as an Instrument for Conflict Resolution” training facility, funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Do not hesitate to contact us in case you would like to know more.