Peace Mediation and Dialogue
Supporting people in (post-)conflict societies and strengthening their capacities to peacefully transform political conflicts
Inmedio runs mediation and dialogue projects in various countries in Asia, Africa and the post-Soviet region in cooperation with our local partners. Furthermore, we support international actors and their projects by trainings & teambuildings and strategic policy advice.
In recent years, mediation and dialogue approaches have gained influence within the fields of peacebuilding and development cooperation. The mediation perspective has become institutionalized in many international organizations and in the policy of national states. The UN for example has adopted mediation guidelines and founded a mediation support unit.
This development leads to an increasingly systematic and professional implementation of mediations and dialogues within societies and in the international context. It is widely acknowledged that official mediation and informal dialogue facilitation, national dialogues and insider mediator networks need to be connected and coordinated on multiple levels of society (multi-track approach) in order to realise their full potential.
“Dialogue is like weaving different flowers into a beautiful garland.“
(Bikram Sundras, former Company Commander of the Maoist rebels in Nepal)
We support insider mediators and local capacities for dialogue, reconciliation and democratization in polarised societies and conflict-prone countries. In our projects we facilitate dialogue formats and train local peace activists in polarised societies and conflict prone countries among others in North Africa, South Asia and Eastern Europe.
In order to deepen trust-building and foster the readiness for reconciliation, we have developed the sha:re approach: From shared narratives to joint responsibility (English/German/Video).
‘While careful analysis, technical expertise and architecture of process design remain the core instruments of our trade, the heartstone of our craft […] must tap the wells of compassion, courage, humility and patience.’
John Paul Lederach
In our mediation trainings, we combine the training of micro skills such as communication techniques with a macro perspective by a focus on overall process design.
In our annual 15-day training course Multitrack Peace Mediation (run in cooperation with CSSP), participants are from international organizations, thinks tanks, local grassroots initiatives, national and international mediation bodies as well as from the freelance sector. Inmedio conducted professional mediation qualifications in Ethiopia and Nepal on behalf of the German Civil Peace Service and in Switzerland in cooperation with the Swiss Development Cooperation, SDC. Through in-house mediation training we have supported the EU Monitoring Mission in Georgia, among others.
We also facilitate teambuilding in international teams working in countries with a legacy of large-scale violence and polarisation. Staffs of NGOs and INGOs often face repercussions of the conflict within their own team. Not only do team members have different relations to the conflict parties, they also have different cultural and professional backgrounds (i.e. expat/local; military/civilian). Internal tensions sometimes happen to become more challenging than the work with the external partners. Teambuilding can make a huge difference in order to deal constructively with these challenges and can easily be combined with skills training and strategic planning. Inmedio facilitated this in the Philippines, Indonesia, Israel/Palestine, Kosovo, Kenia, Haiti and Nepal.
In many conflict and post-conflict countries, a large number of different peacebuilding initiatives are active and many mediation and dialogue projects are implemented. In order for them to add up and trigger a comprehensive transformation process they need to be well coordinated and embedded in a larger strategy.
As a member of the Initiative for Mediation Support, Germany (IMSD) along with the Berghof Foundation, CSSP – Berlin Center for integrative Mediation, the Center for Peacemediation at the Viadrina-University (cpm) and ZIF – Center for international peace operations, we regularly consult with the German Federal Foreign office (AA).
In cooperation with the AA, the IMSD hosted the mediation conferences in 2014, 2015 and 2016 and developed a factsheet an peace mediation among other activities. Conference Reoprts and other resources can be downloaded under publications or from the IMSD webpage.
As consultants we particularly make use of the insights and tools of the Reflecting on Peace Practices Project, systemic approaches to conflict analysis and strategic planning as well as creative methods for thinking out of the box, i.e. elements of systemic constellation work, in order to discover points of leverage, entry points, unintended side-effects and hidden dynamics.