I trust we all went back more equipped to deal with the challenges facing our West Africa, if not our continent, summarised a United Nations political officer who participated in the intensive training course on multi-track mediation and conflict analysis. The course brought together fifteen mid- and senior-level professionals working with mediation and conflict resolution mainly within the region of West Africa but also in the rest of the continent.
The 10-day training course entitled 'Conflict Analysis and Mediation' was piloted between 10 -21 June 2013, at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) in Accra, Ghana. The objective of the course was to enhance the capacities of professionals engaged in mediation and conflict resolution in West Africa, but also beyond, to utilise conflict analysis and mediation as a tool for conflict prevention, resolution and management. The impact of the training will continue to be monitored.
Mediation and conflict analysis – approaches, strategies and tools
The joint CMI-KAIPTC pilot course brought together participants with various backgrounds in the field of peace and security, including from the military, civil society, government and from international organisations. It shed light on a variety of subjects, ranging from the practical tools of conflict analysis, multi-track approach to mediation and gender issues, to traditional and cultural considerations in mediation. Through thought-provoking sessions, facilitated by trainers with broad practical and academic experience, participants gained knowledge on theoretical frameworks and, most importantly, practical options that can be applied in real-life mediation contexts. Emphasis was also placed on the participants' own experiences.
The training sessions included presentations, interactive debates, simulation exercises and case studies. This comprehensive package helped participants to understand and critically analyse various aspects of mediation and conflict prevention. They learned among others to apply conflict analysis as a tool for generating mediation recommendations; identify linkages between various tracks of mediation and their respective benefits and challenges; consider the gender dimension in mediation; understand the peace and security architecture of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS); and reflect on the implications of tradition and culture for contemporary mediation practices. Practical mediation implications were highlighted with different case studies, such as the Ivorian crisis and the conflict in Mali, including discussions with a senior diplomat who had been personally involved in the Ivorian mediation process.
Inspiration and relationship-building
The training was well-received among the participants and it triggered important realisations related to their work in conflict resolution. A strong need to understand and contribute gave rise to both intense debates and fruitful conversations that often continued over coffee. Relationships grew stronger, and have led to a continuous sharing of experiences and learning when participants have returned to their respective work places. At the end of the 10-day course, participants told us that they felt better equipped and would apply their enhanced capacities to respond to the challenges in their jobs to contribute to the prospects for peace and prosperity in West Africa.
For further details, please contact Project Manager Philippe Taflinski ( email@example.com)