Cross-Conflict Participation: Advice of Experts
Role of Trainers Page 4


Expert Advice
Page 2

Peace-Culture Consciousness
Page 3

Role of Trainers
Page 4

The Actors
Page 5

Education and Information Campaigns
Pages 6

The Difficulties
Page 7

Resources and List of Specialists Consulted
Page 8


Cross-conflict participation will not be easy; this is agreed by all the specialists. Each team and project must be aided by local trainers who have developed the skills to facilitate the development of a relationship of peace culture consciousness and cooperation in all the participants in the project. The following analysis comes from Professor Louis Kriesberg of the Program on the Analysis and Resolution of Conflicts (Syracuse University) : "the idea of forming cross conflict teams is excellent" but the task will be difficult. "Initial work would need to be done among the members of each team, learning each other's perspectives, feelings, etc. Only then, could they begin to undertake some of the tasks you map out."

The trainers are essential. As Fisher says, "It is clear that your trainers not only need to be highly skilled, culturally sensitive experts in conflict resolution, but also good facilitators and team builders." The trainers who work in the Programme should be recruited and trained locally to ensure that they have the cultural sensitivity that Fisher and others have indicated to be essential.

The need for cultural sensitivity is emphasized in detail by Reardon:

-Deriving peace culture must take into account the deep cultures of the local people.

-This integration must be guided and interpreted by representatives of the culture.

-The participants should be involved in creating cultural forms that enhance the process of reconciliation.

-In addition to reconciliation; a peace culture requires a deep exploration of values, assumptions, and fundamental social purposes.

Although the general principles are clear, the specific details of cross-conflict participation must be worked out in practice in each country. As stated by Joachim Bony, former Minister of National Education of Ivory Coast, action for a culture of peace should be decentralized and adapted to the realities of each society. In the terminology of Sakamoto this requires careful optimization of indigenous, tradition- oriented ingenuity, on the one hand, and international/comparative, scientific innovativeness, on the other. As Kriesberg says, we cannot come in with pre-set techniques, but must work with local people to "learn what ideas they have about developing peace and how they think they can be helped to build the peace they collectively want." And as Professor Fisher says, "All training and action must be posed as a developmental sequence where trainers and team members can learn as they go and adjust accordingly."

Training should employ an "elicitive method." This term has been coined by John Paul Lederach of the Mennonite Central Committee. To illustrate the method, we quote here from his paper entitled "Beyond Prescription":

Open the exercise with a statement like this: "I want everyone to think back to a time when you found yourself experiencing problems with someone else. You know things are not right. This can be a problem in your family, among friends, at work or in your neighborhood. Now, I want you to think through this question. If things got difficult and you felt you needed help with this problem, who would you go to for help? Get the image of this person or persons in your mind. Then here is what I want you to work on and share with your small group. Why did you choose this person? What characteristics does he or she have? What do you expect from this person?"

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