The third year of Clingendael Academy’s collaboration with the Ethiopian Foreign Relations Strategic Studies Institute (EFRSSI) opened with a three day course on conflict analysis, held from 6-8th of March in Addis Ababa. Since last year, the Institute is part of the newly established Ministry of Peace which is an umbrella to eight different organisations. We were pleased to see many institutions from the Ministry of Peace represented, in addition to representatives from the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the National Parliament.
With a group of 30 participants, the training course discussed a variety of conflict analysis tools which were applied to a regional case study. Participants reflected on the links between key players in conflicts, but also on the role of those on the periphery. Throughout the training course, several models were used to analyse the dynamics of actors as well as the different types of violence and peace.
As civil servants, the participants were also keen to explore the role of negotiations in the de-escalation of a conflict. Alongside reflecting on individual conflict behaviour, they were introduced to the dynamics of the process of negotiations. Combined, this gave participants a deeper understanding of why some negotiations fail and why some are successful, realising that this, among many other causes, can be down to individual behaviour of key players or deadlocks in the process.
Participants commented on how much they enjoyed the interactive nature of Clingendael Academy’s method and wished there was more time to explore other conflict analysis tools. There was a realisation that as civil servants, good conflict analysis forms a condition for effective policy –making which prompted the Director of the Institute to invite all participants back to attend Clingendael’s next training programme for the Institute on scenario planning coming April.