Negotiation & mediation in conflict resolution
In cooperation with the African Union, Clingendael Academy trains groups of African women mediators. As such, we support women’s effective participation in conflict mediation in Africa. We train the capacity of African women mediators and enhance insights on how to deal with the multitude of stakeholders around any peace process.
Many mediators are neither well-prepared nor trained for large-scale peace negotiations. Since mediation is the facilitation of a negotiation process, lack of understanding of the negotiation process and the behaviour of negotiators can be a serious problem. Mediators should therefore, amongst others:
- Understand the phases of a negotiation and how negotiating actors prepare and look at the negotiation process;
- Have experienced what it is like to be a negotiator and the pressures negotiators are under.
Mediators play a central role in design of a negotiation process. The way negotiation processes are designed differs greatly. In most cases there is a struggle how to ensure that all parties are actually represented at the negotiation table. Many negotiators ánd mediators (logically) focus on the groups in conflict, but if the peace agreement should be comprehensive, the focus on warring factions is often too limited. As a result, our training deals with questions such as: What are instruments and best practices to deal with inclusivity? What conditions are there to make inclusive process designs work? Is inclusivity the best option in all scenarios?
In our training approach we relate skills training to practice. Practitioners are invited to share their first-hand experience.