Conflict management

Today we went through practical examples at the international, national and local level in which conflict appeared. The lecture focused on what you need to know about the situation, the possibilities that you can do something or not, and how to investigate this.

  • CASE 1. Oil extraction case in Niger Delta. One point made in this case was that, when the facilitator is not local, trust may need to be built before intervening and that it may also be dangerous for the facilitator depending on the context. Due to it is difficult to identify what the NGO can control, such as how to collaborate with local actors or with governments, part of the investigation may need to be focused on understanding the power relationships: who could listen and also make decisions that are respected by other actors.
  • CASE 2. Law of open access in Sweden. One specific discussion setting was used to exemplify that three criteria, having access to the process, being understood and being able to influence the outcome, need to be met in order to make a discussion process work. One of the criteria, the “ability to influence the process” was not met for one participant, who expressed a point several times without being paid attention to. However, neither the facilitator or other participants could understand that this participant did not believe to have the ability to influence the process outcome. By revising the meeting recordings, the facilitator understood afterward what the participant meant.
  • CASE 3. Cranes and crop damage, local. This case was used to exemplify how sometimes the local actors do not express frustrations in an explicit way in their requests, and therefore they discussed practical things instead of something like the political agenda for a natural reserve. “The miracle strategy” was mentioned as a possible mean to improve the understanding of their point of view.

It sparked my attention one thing that came up during the class regarding the abilities and possibilities of inclusiveness in decision-making: “ + You can not talk to everyone. – Yes, I know, but the consequence of not talking with everyone is what has caused this problem.”

Happy weekend,






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