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Mon, Oct 27, 2008

Google Moderator - Create and Sort Questions from a Large Group

Last month Google released another application (still in beta) that may have utility for conflict mediators, facilitators and anyone running large group meeting in a wifi enabled space or lab. The tool, called Moderator, provides a method for gathering questions from a group and then using a voting method to push favorite questions or topics (ie those that interest the most people) to the top of the list. It does require participants to have a Google login, so it may not be as useful as it might be for groups that aren?t heavy Google tools users. There is an option to permit anonymous voting, but you still need to login to Google to create questions or vote on your favorites.


Posted by: Bill Warters on 2008 10 27 | Filed under Tech News  

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Sat, Oct 25, 2008

New Version of the Kraybill Conflict Style Inventory available for review

Ron Kraybill has released a new revised version of his Conflict Style Inventory. Review copies and a free trainer’s guide (link to pdf) are available for download.

While similar in concept to the more well-known Thomas Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument, there are a number of significant differences as well. For instance, the Kraybill version has “calm” and “storm” questions to differentiate times when stress or conflict is high (storm) versus more regular interactions (calm).

Here’s a link to a comparison of the two instruments.

Upgrades to the Kraybill Conflict Style Inventory 2008 (also known as Style Matters 2008) include: 
- Simpler  and quicker to take and interpret. 
- User-friendly instructions and study guide for after-workshop reading or solo users.
- Colorful new format.  Full-color on all 24 pages, it reproduces well in color or black and white.
- Revised discussion questions for groups.
- Updated and expanded Trainers? Guide
- Cultural adaptability still available but unobtrusive when not needed. 



Posted by: Bill Warters on 2008 10 25 | Filed under Research Tools  

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Wed, Oct 22, 2008

Fight, Flight or Face it? - International Workplace Conflict Survey Report

image Fight, Flight or Face It?: Celebrating the Effective Management of Conflict at Work is a new report out of the U.K. based on research conducted in May of 2008 on 5,000 full-time employees in nine countries around Europe & the Americas: Belgium, Brazil, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States. The research was carried out by OPP, an international business psychology consultancy.

The study, available for download as a pdf, found that the majority of employees (85%) have to deal with conflict to some degree and 29% do so ‘always’ or ‘frequently’. Unsurprisingly, poorly managed conflicts were found to have a cost attached to them: according to the survey, the average employee spends 2.1 hours a week dealing with conflict (2.8 hours in the U.S. sample). In terms of individual impacts of conflict, over a quarter of employees (27%) have been involved in a workplace disagreement that led to personal insults or attacks, while a similar percentage (25%) have seen conflict lead to sickness or absence. The research also explores the causes of conflict, and role and value of workplace training in conflict management skills and identifies some of the positive impacts workers have seen as a result of conflict.

The report is loaded with useful information for people interested in understanding and constructively managing workplace conflict. Definitely worth a look…



Posted by: Bill Warters on 2008 10 22 | Filed under Conflict Resolution  

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Tue, Oct 21, 2008

Captain Awareness - Comic Book on Campus Sexual Assault Prevention

Captain Awareness is a superhero dedicated to raising student awareness and battling real-life problems that plague society.

CAPTAIN AWARENESS: ASSAULT ON CAMPUS was the first issue in the series. “Based on a survivor’s true story, it has been written in conjunction with the American Women’s Self-Defense Association and has been reviewed and approved by the American College Counseling Association and various other organizations.�CAPTAIN AWARENESS is published in full color, with text features on assault prevention, and additional artwork that has been donated by such top graphic artists as Norm (BATMAN) Breyfogle, Dan (SUPERMAN) Jurgens, George (TEEN TITANS) Perez, Trina (WONDER WOMAN) Robbins, and Mike (SPIDER-MAN) Wieringo.”

See the Artwork Preview links for images from the issue.



Posted by: Bill Warters on 2008 10 21 | Filed under Learning Objects  

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Thu, Oct 16, 2008

Happy Conflict Resolution Day

The third Thursday in October is always Conflict Resolution Day. That’s today!
Lots of activities are happening around the country and abroad. Find out more at the CR Day Events page.



Posted by: Bill Warters on 2008 10 16 | Filed under Conflict Resolution  

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Sun, Oct 12, 2008

The UK’s Improving Dispute Resolution Task Force issues Higher Ed ADR Toolkit

Funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England, a UK-wide project namedimage the Improving Dispute Resolution task force was set up in 2007 to ensure that universities tackle effectively the growing number and range of disputes that can cost universities dearly in terms of time, money and reputation.

Specifically, funding was provided for three linked purposes:

1 ) To determine Higher Education Institutions’ (HEIs’) experience with mediation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution

2) To discuss with HEIs ways of identifying disputes which are suitable for mediation

3) To work with HEIs to develop training needs assessments for mediation

The task force has completed their initial audit and has recently released a 50-page guide entitled Taking a Fresh Look at Disputes in Higher Education: A Toolkit (1 MB pdf). The guide provides some results from their survey of the field and offers a series of questions and advice for HEI’s looking to improve their dispute handling capabilities.

A general theme is the suggestion that universities adopt a more institution-wide approach, more centralized services, and more systems for coordination of activity. A website for the project provides useful background on the UK Higher Education environment (quite different from the U.S. in many respects) and provides resources and sample cases to help spur program development and improvement. Researchers might be interested in reviewing the survey instrument (available online here) developed by the project to gather their baseline data.

Below is a screenshot of one of the checklists from the guide that focuses on mediation services.

checklist screenshot


Posted by: Bill Warters on 2008 10 12 | Filed under Conflict Resolution  

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Fri, Oct 10, 2008

Encyclopedia of Peace Education - Online Edition

Teachers College at Columbia University is the host of the Encyclopedia of Peace Education edited by Monisha Bajaj. The volume currently includes 40 entries, available as pdfs, covering the broad spectrum of Peace Education. The material traces the history and emergence of the field, highlights foundational concepts, contextualizes peace education practice across international and disciplinary borders, and suggests new directions for peace educators.
book cover image


Posted by: Bill Warters on 2008 10 10 | Filed under Learning Objects  

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Wed, Oct 08, 2008

Re-Inventing the Pyramid: A Process for Teaching and Learning In Mediation Courses

John Wade, Director of the Dispute Resolution Centre at Bond University in Australia, has released a thoughtful and practical article on a classroom teaching technique useful when teaching mediation (or just about any other topic…). The article, announced via the Bond DRC News is entitled Re-Inventing the Pyramid: A Process for Teaching and Learning In Mediation Courses and it is available for download as a pdf.

As a Faculty Fellow at our university’s Office for Teaching and Learning (see OTL blog ), I am pleased when I see people reflecting on their teaching practices and documenting what works, and even more pleased when it is in my home field of Conflict Studies.



Posted by: Bill Warters on 2008 10 08 | Filed under Learning Objects  

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Tue, Oct 07, 2008

USIP Expands Conflict Management Education and Training Program

As David Smith noted in a recent email…

The United States Institute of Peace is proud to unveil its new conflict management education and training program.  For more information email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

The U.S. military, ten civilian agencies, several international/regional organizations, and dozens of non-governmental organizations are devoting resources to post-conflict operations. However, these organizations vary widely in the training they provide, and no single entity offers joint training to reach the entire spectrum of practitioners, especially nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and international organizations (IOs).

In addition to post-conflict work, the U.S. and the international community must work more effectively to staunch the outbreak of armed conflict and engage in effective crisis management and peacemaking when violence breaks out. Even less training exists for efforts in these areas.

A program is needed in which professionals from government, the military, NGOs, and IOs, as well as pre-professionals in the academic world, can come together and receive training on core conflict management skills, as well as best practices in conflict prevention, peacemaking, and state-building. To address this need, USIP is expanding its education and training programs to prepare practitioners to work effectively in conflict zones. Drawing on USIP’s twenty years of leadership in the field of conflict management, these courses will complement existing academic programs in international security and conflict management.

Participants from backgrounds as diverse as education, the military, international organizations, the non-profit sector, and international development agencies will have a unique opportunity to enjoy a common learning experience. USIP’s conflict management program will respond to both individual career needs and the ever-increasing demand for conflict management professionals.


The courses offered through USIP?s education and training center will include a mix of theory and practice, with a heavy dose of applied exercises, including case studies, simulations, and practical and small group exercises. In addition, each course will include participants from a range of intellectual and professional backgrounds.

An essential aspect of these courses will be distance learning?in time, all courses will have an online component to reach much broader domestic and overseas audiences. USIP’s course in conflict analysis is already offered in Arabic, and will soon also be available in Russian, Chinese, Spanish, and Farsi.


All classes held in Washington, D.C. No tuition or materials cost, unless otherwise noted. Participants are responsible for lodging and travel, including visas. Participants will receive certificate upon completion of course.

To Request an Application: Send an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) with the title of the course you wish to apply to in the subject line. Qualified applicants will have a minimum of five years of relevant experience.


Foundations of Conflict Analysis
Oct. 14-17, 2008
This course presents an introduction to the subject of conflict analysis, illustrating analytical tools used by practitioners through case studies and scenario gaming exercises on the Cuban Missile Crisis, Rwanda, Afghanistan, and Iraq. The course provides analytical tools for assessing local and regional causes of conflict, potential triggers for escalation, and opportunities for productive engagement by third parties in order to prevent or mitigate violence. Prerequisite: Completion of USIP Online Certificate Course in Conflict Analysis:

Preventing Deadly Conflict
Nov. 17-21, 2008
Participants will learn techniques to analyze emerging conflicts and identify opportunities for productive engagement by third parties to prevent or mitigate violence. The course will examine long-term strategies for conflict prevention (e.g. development assistance and other economic interventions, human rights promotion, governance reform), as well as tools for preventing imminent violence or halting violent conflict in its initial stages, including economic and/or legal sanctions and the threat or use of military force. The course will also explore how to maximize the effectiveness of peacebuilding operations by enhancing cooperation with governmental and nongovernmental institutions at the local, national, and international level.

Introduction to Post-Conflict Strategies and Operations
Jan. 12 - Mar. 16, 2009 (two evenings per week)
This course provides students with a framework for organizing and implementing post-conflict peace and stability operations based upon the end-states that should be achieved. Students will understand the critical issues that confront post-conflict interventions in achieving each end state and the overarching leadership responsibilities involved in obtaining these objectives. This is a ‘hands on’ course for managers to all aspects of future peace and stability operations.

Institutions of Conflict Management and How They Behave
Mar. 16-20, 2009
This course covers the missions, cultures, operating procedures, and other essential characteristics of key international organizations, regional organizations, government organizations, militaries, and nongovernmental organizations involved in peace and stability operations.

Introduction to Peace Processes
Dates To Be Determined
The course focuses on the variety of strategies and approaches that can be employed to make peace in conflict situations. It will also cover operational aspects of peacemaking efforts, from engaging parties and promoting ceasefires to getting an agreement on track for implementation. This survey course will look at the wide range of approaches that can be taken in both track I and track II contexts. In this course, the range of peacemaking strategies, including negotiation, facilitation, mediation, arbitration, as well as more coercive strategies will be considered. Besides direct engagement strategies, the course will look at education, training, economic development, reconciliation and legal accountability efforts, and other approaches to peacemaking.


Engaging With Identity-Based Differences
Oct. 20 - Nov. 19, 2008 (M/W 7-9PM)
In today?s complex peacebuilding missions, civilian personnel and soldiers are routinely required to work with religious, ethnic, tribal, and minority communities. Identity-based conflicts rooted in ethnic or religious differences pose distinctive challenges for third-party mediators and other advisors. Parties to such conflicts often fear the annihilation of their group or their way of life, making them resistant to compromise or interest-based negotiations. The course will outline strategies for addressing these challenges, including countering hate speech and exclusionary policies, engaging religious and tribal leaders in peacebuilding efforts, establishing trust through intergroup dialogues, promoting educational reforms, and other measures.

Strengthening Local Capacity: Training, Mentoring, Advising
Nov. 3-7, 2008
A major task facing individuals engaged in complex operations is to build the local capacity of civil society organizations, the military, business groups, and government institutions. Well-versed as these practitioners are in their areas of specialization, they often have limited perspectives and experience in educating, training and mentoring others. This course covers the fundamentals of how to develop and transfer professional capacity in fragile states including: designing and implementing teaching and training programs; recruiting and engaging adult learners; establishing adequate and effective mentorship programs; understanding and accounting for political, social, and cultural specificities; facilitating cooperative relationships and collaborative projects; understanding and managing expectations; coalition-building with local groups and leaders; and raising controversial topics.

Mediating Violent Conflict
Jan. 5-9, 2009
This course focuses on the objectives and methods of third-party engagement in peacemaking in interstate or intrastate conflicts. It provides an overview of international mediation in contemporary international conflict, focuses on building competence for practicing mediation, and situates mediation in a larger peacemaking or international affairs context. During the course, participants will examine: different types of intervention, including conciliation, facilitation, mediation, arbitration, and coercive measures; motivations and objectives in an intervention; means of assessing and promoting ripeness; assessing and strengthening their own institutional readiness to undertake mediation; coordination among the different third parties engaged in mediation; engaging relulctant parties; mediating in protracted conflicts; attributes and techniques of effective third parties; and best practices in support of successful third-party engagement.

Cultural Adaptability in Complex Operations
Jan. 5-9, 2009
Diplomats, military officers, and NGOs alike frequently cite lack of cultural awareness as a primary obstacle to success. Participants in this course will learn about and practice culturally sensitive communication; negotiating across cultures; understanding the scope and nature of cultural differences as drivers of conflict; identifying obstacles facing organizational designs and their cultural differences; interacting with local populations; incorporating culture into planning; and managing culture shock. The course emphasizes that it is equally as necessary to understand the implicit assumptions and cues behind one?s own culture before it is possible to become truly aware of, or sensitive to, other cultures.

Leading Teams in Conflict Environments *
Jan. 12 - Mar. 16, 2009 (two evenings per week)
This course is tailored for student from different institutional backgrounds expecting to lead teams in the field. Working in conflict and crisis environments, personnel are often thrown into chaotic, ambiguous situations, where responding institutions often work at cross-purposes. Yet, increasingly, coordination and decision-making authority is being delegated to operators in the field. The goals of the course are to help student understand core leadership functions critical to working in conflict environments, and to develop the skills necessary to implement them.

Negotiations from Checkpoints to High Politics
Feb. 9-13, 2009
Whether engaging in international diplomacy or responding on the ground to a local crisis, developing successful alternatives to violence requires a firm command of the practice of negotiation. This course provides a thorough conceptual framework to help practitioners structure their efforts in negotiation, with theoretical and practical investigations of: negotiation analysis and planning; negotiating styles; “hard-bargaining” versus problem-solving approaches; interest versus positions; building relationships for negotiation; value distribution versus value creation; development and use of leverage; cross-cultural negotiations; negotiating with the hard cases; and other considerations necessary to successful negotiation.


Security and Protection in Fragile States
Dec. 1 - 5, 2008
This course will focus on the critical nexus between different security mechanisms for state reconstruction—the military, intelligence, police, customs and immigration agencies. The course investigates opportunities for the development, implementation and evaluation of a security blueprint for both the policy and operational levels. The course will include issues such as the role of law enforcement organizations; broad-based security sector reform; police practices and reform activity; stability police units; comprehensive enforcement of ceasefires; demobilization, disarmament, and reintegration of former combatants; protecting important sites, infrastructure, and evidence of atrocities; protection of the civilian population; secure national borders; and building effective security forces under civilian control. In addition, issues of legitimacy, accountability, cross-cultural training, capacity building, corruption, the effect of the transfer of ideologies, countering organized crime and the use of private security companies will be explored.

Governance and Democratic Practices in War to Peace Transitions
Dec. 7-13, 2008
Establishing best practices in governance in countries damaged by war and internal conflict and building environments in which democratic practices can take root is difficult, but essential. The need to support and strengthen effective and legitimate executive institutions; develop legitimate systems of political representation; and create a robust civil society to include traditionally marginalized groups is necessary in order to establish the foundation of an open and stable society. How can this be achieved in states that have collapsed? This course will distill lessons learned, and importantly analyze current troubled areas around the world in order to develop effective and practical strategies in building governance and democratic practices in war-to-peace transitions.

Rule of Law Practitioners Course
Jan. 12 - 16, 2009
Catering to the needs of practitioners of all levels of experience looking to build or refine their knowledge and skills, this course offers a comprehensive introduction to rule of law promotion in fragile and post-conflict state. Topics covered will include: reforming justice institutions (courts, prisons, prosecution, police and defense), law reform, constitution-making, transitional justice, customary justice, legal empowerment and rule of law program management.

Economics and Conflict
Jan. 26-30, 2009
In this course, practitioners will explore the analytical links between economic activity and conflict as well as the practical constraints and rewards of using economic instruments of conflict management. Course participants will grasp the importance of economic actors in triggering, perpetuating, and resolving violent conflict and will formulate the use of economic instruments within a strategic framework for economic development in vulnerable and conflict-affected states.

Enhancing Social Well-Being in Fragile States
Feb. 23-27, 2009
Building on the experiences of UN agencies, international NGOs, humanitarian NGOs, and government aid agencies, this course investigates the fundamentals of successful humanitarian assistance. It then moves beyond providing life-saving material assistance to a discussion of the longer-term needs for social well-being and development in fragile states: creating effective educational systems, promoting peaceful coexistence between parties to the conflict, dealing with refugees and displaced persons, addressing past abuses, and strengthening civil society.

* These courses are offered for credit through The George Washington University. Standard University tuition and fees apply.

United States Institute of Peace - 1200 17th Street NW - Washington, DC 20036
+1.202.457.1700 (phone) - +1.202.429.6063 (fax)


Posted by: Bill Warters on 2008 10 07 | Filed under Conflict Resolution  

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