Designing and Supporting Dialogue and Mediation Processes

April 30 – May 7, Sandö, Sweden. The Department of Political Affairs (DPA) and the Folke Bernadotte Academy (FBA), the Swedish government agency for peace, security and development, have collaborated on dialogue and mediation trainings since 2006. Following a request by DPA for assistance in enhancing the mediation capacities of the organization, this joint venture has developed into a bespoke training course for UN staff and selected individuals from regional partner organizations in the categories of P2-P5.

In 2013, mediation support was identified as one of the four DPA core mandated areas that all DPA staff should be trained in, and the course has since been one of the key courses offered to the Department’s staff. It aims to:

  • Enhance dialogue and mediation skills and provide practical methods for DPA staff and partners including regional organizations to support such processes;
  • Promote uniformity in the United Nations’ understanding of and approach to dialogue and mediation, while strengthening DPA’s PMD support of mediation and dialogue in the UN system;
  • Encourage reflection on dialogue and mediation in the UN within a values-based framework and to provide an opportunity to meet, reflect and share on the existing practice and knowledge;
  • Contribute to more effective dialogue and mediation by deepening the knowledge and enhancing the skills of the participants through simulation exercises, expert inputs and collective sharing of experiences and lessons using tested pedagogical approaches;
  • Inspire participants to promote change in their organizations’ approach to and practice on dialogue and mediation.

Methodology

The training is interactive in its character, focusing on skills-building. It highlights themes such as conflict analysis, basic communication and facilitation skills, frameworks of dialogue and mediation, and process design. During the training a number of different learning methods are used, including experience-sharing, theoretical input, plenary discussions group work, reflection, and, not at least, simulation exercises and role play. The conflict dynamics and peace process in Myanmar will be used as a case study throughout the 2016 course. However, participants do not need to have any specific knowledge of Myanmar.

Resource team

During the training, a team of six experts from FBA, DPA and external consultants will guide the participants through the different training modules. These are (at the time of writing the DPA resource person is yet to be confirmed):

Chris Spies is an independent conflict transformation consultant based in Stellenbosch, South Africa, who was involved in the anti-apartheid movement and peacebuilding in South Africa during the 1980s and 1990s. Chris has been a Peace and Development Advisor in Guyana, and has gained extensive experience in mediation, dialogue, facilitation and training over many years in various international and UN settings.

Emmanuel Bombande has been the Special Assistant to the Head of the UN Office for West Africa since October 2015. He is a peacebuilding practitioner with vast experience, including as a lead mediator in several intra communal mediation efforts in West Africa. Emmanuel is a member of the Advisory Board of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration of the Republic of Ghana, and a co-founder and former Executive Director of the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP).

Emma Leslie has worked on conflict transformation and peacebuilding throughout Asia since 1993. In 2008, she founded the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies in Cambodia, in which she holds the position of Executive Director. Emma actively supports peace processes across the region, particularly in Myanmar, and in the Philippines, as a consultant for Conciliation Resources and a member of the International Contact Group for the peace talks between the Government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

Tobias Petrelius is the Course Director and project leader within the Conflict Prevention in Practice Program at FBA. During the last three years, Tobias has been working in the Democratic Republic of the Congo with conflict transformation, first as Technical Adviser, embedded in a local Congolese NGO, and later as Conflict Analysis and Mediation Specialist for the DPKO Mission MONUSCO.

Maja Jakobsson is a Desk Officer at the Conflict Prevention in Practice Program at FBA since 2014. Maja’s previous experience is mainly from civil society organizations in Sweden and abroad, working with peace, training and youth issues.

Practical information

The training will take place at the FBA training center at Sandö. Sandö is a small island on the river Ångermanälven, some 500 kilometers north of Stockholm. In order to reach the facility, all participants will take the train from Stockholm Arlanda airport to the city of Sundsvall, where they will be picked up by bus (catered by the FBA) and driven to the training center.

In order to be able to catch the train from Stockholm Arlanda airport and arrive in Sandö in the afternoon, all participants need to arrive in Stockholm, at latest, during the morning of 30 April. All participants will depart from Sandö to Stockholm Arlanda airport during the morning hours of 7 May.

During the training, all participants will be accommodated at the Sandö training campus. FBA will provide participants with more information once the participants have been confirmed.

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