CSSProject for Integrative Mediation

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[edit] General Information

  • Official name: CSSProject for Integrative Mediation
  • Country: Germany and Western Balkan
  • City: Berlin (Headquarter), Sarajevo, Skopje, Pristina
  • Type of organization: Non-profit private diplomacy organsiation
  • Date of creation: 2005 (origins starting in 1995)
  • Interests: Intercommunity Mediation
  • Fields of expertise: Mediation in the Western Balkan region and other regions (Sri Lanka, Myanmar/Burma, Caucasus, Nepal and others)

[edit] Description

The CSSP team is a dynamic and creative team of international experienced staff. Although we have diverse cultural and academic backgrounds we all share the same vision of a world in which conflicts can be managed nonviolently and thus enhance constructive interaction. The CSSP team consists of eight persons in the headquarters in Berlin, an one person each in the field offices in Pristina (Kosovo), Skopje (Macedonia) and Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina).

[edit] Origin

The CSSProject for Integrative Mediation (CSSP) was founded in January 2005. It evolved out of ten years of experience of the International Mediator in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Dr. Christian Schwarz-Schilling, who started mediating informally in 1992. He was formally mandated in 1995 by the international community, the President of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the President of Croatia to assist local leaders with problems arising from the Dayton Peace Process.

During the 10 years of his mandate (1995-2004), the format and structure of local level mediation changed according to the needs and local situation. Dr. Schwarz-Schilling sought to increase dialogue and reduce tensions by finding step-by-step solutions to daily problems. In 10 years the Mediator conducted over 185 local mediations in 55 municipalities. He dealt with issues of return, reintegration, proportional representation, human rights and economic development.

The mandate of the Mediator ended in December 2004. In February 2006 Dr. Schwarz-Schilling was appointed High Representative and EU Special Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina. He took office with the request of the international community to close the OHR. During this time he used his mediation efforts to shift responsibility of the peace process from the international community to the Bosnian leaders. During his tenure he advocated for a “do it yourself” policy but concluded that after 15 years of international supervision, Bosnian leaders were not ready to shoulder the responsibilities of state building on their own. After eight months in office he reversed his position and called for the Office of the High Representative to remain open. In June 2007 Dr. Schwarz-Schilling stepped down and returned to CSSP as Honorary President.

Dr. Christian Schwarz-Schilling, Bundesminister a.D., is a former Minister for Post and Telecommunication of Germany (1982-1992). As a member of the German Parliament (1976-2002) he served in various capacities, including Chairman of Subcommittee on Human Rights and Humanitarian Aid (1995-1998) and member of the Committees on Foreign Relations (1995-2002) and Economy (1993-1998). After leaving the German Parliament he has focused on furthering the concept of mediation in South Eastern Europe.

Dr. Schwarz-Schilling currently holds a Chair for Political Sciences and International Relations at the School of Science and Technology in Sarajevo and he works with CSSP on political mediation in Kosovo. He further concentrates his efforts on the Chinese-Tibet conflict.

[edit] Methodology

Integrative Mediation

Integrative Mediation is a constantly evolving and developing methodology which originated from the work of Dr. Christian Schwarz-Schilling and was further adapted by all of the members of CSSP. While much of this is done by many of our partners and supporters, it was first brought together in this form in January 2005. Over the recent years and with constant lessons learned we have been able to grow with it and to expand the understanding of the organisation. In its simplest form Integrative Mediation is about bringing people together to find solutions to common problems. How do we work?

The main aim of CSSP is to develop different formats and environments in which conflict parties come together to discuss issues of concern, build trusting relationships, and develop durable solutions. Stakeholders are brought together in tailor-made mediation processes based on the Integrative Mediation methodology and involving elements of Stakeholder Consultation, Conflict Analysis, Inter-community Mediation, Interactive Training, and Systemic Advocacy. While these elements can be used independently from one another they are in sequential order to ensure a participatory process focused on local empowerment and intending to do no harm. At the core of the five elements are three main goals:

a) to improve systemic communication and dialogue among all stakeholders; b) to build confidence among the stakeholders; and c) to develop a professional interest-based problem-solving culture.

[edit] Elements of Integrative Mediation

Integrative Mediation has five mediation-related elements which can be used sequentially or individually to support local leaders. These elements are essential parts of our approach and are a fusion of ideas stemming from the facilitative, evaluative and transformative mediation traditions. Through them mediators have the flexibility to design a process with various formats to meet different needs in communication, trust-building, problem-solving, networking, and capacity-building. The elements are not static and can evolve and develop depending on the situation.

Stakeholder Consultation

Through consultation CSSP engages with all levels of governance and all stakeholders to assess the situation and to discuss possible CSSP contributions. More importantly, consultation is used to generate stakeholder acceptance of the process, to build trust, and to keep secondary and tertiary stakeholders informed of progress made or to identify obstacles for cooperation. At the municipal level CSSP consults with mayors, municipal presidents, heads of departments/members of the municipal boards of directors, religious leaders, political party leaders, business leaders, gender officers, IDP representatives, and often with unofficial, yet highly recognized community leaders. In our meetings we often provide these leaders with individual and personal advice/coaching to build their own personal skills and to empower them in their efforts for conflict transformation.

Conflict Analysis

The conflict analysis instrument is used both before joint meetings, mediations or Interactive Trainings and with the stakeholders themselves. Beyond research, the mediation team dialogues with the local stakeholders to identify what are conflicts within the area of competencies of local leaders and what is beyond their mandates and needs to be addressed at different levels. Collecting the results of these consultations from all Integrative Mediation processes together are used to identify systemic problems. Discussion papers are published on a variety of systemic issues such as conflict resolution processes, return, reintegration, anti-discrimination, local self-governance, and education. These papers highlight gaps in the peace process and offer ideas from the field on how to address structural burdens within the context of the overall peace process.

Inter-community Mediation

CSSP brings together communities to discuss and negotiate with each other and to resolve problems at the municipal level. It is a mediative process by which all stakeholders from the various ethnic, linguistic or religious communities at the local level are brought together to work on unresolved municipal conflicts. The goal of the mediators is to build coalitions which support peace and want to make progress on the issues. Through an omnipartial process it is possible to hear all sides and to engage them in the process. Inter-community mediation assumes that each ethnic group has its own collective perceptions and experiences with other groups that coexist with them. It is the gap in perceptions and understanding among these groups that underpin the conflict. As the gap widens there is a relative increase in the conflict over resources and power.

Interactive Training

Extending the inter-community mediation component, the mediation team complements its efforts with capacity-building for local leaders. The Interactive Training format allows participants to discuss issues in a less formal environment while at the same time strengthening their abilities to work through conflicts. The general methodology underpinning the workshops is based on interactive problem-solving workshops. Workshops become mediation processes themselves which allows brainstorming and options development. The stakeholders identify next steps and follow-up measures together with the mediation team.

The Interactive Trainings are followed-up by mediation sessions/joint meetings to incorporate the results of the training and to integrate the agreements into the formal decision-making process. Issues that are dealt with in the municipalities tend to be similar across all local communities, including property rights, proportional representation, return of IDPs, project funds, gender, infrastructure, decision-making, education, security and economic development. Following the “people, problem, process” model, mediators help to build the conflict management and transformation skills of the conflict parties.

Systemic Advocacy

Working closely with the conflict research component, Systemic Advocacy furthermore seeks to identify and communicate structural deficiencies and issues affecting the local level as a result of the implementation of peace processes. Systemic Advocacy is based on the assumption that local conflict resolution does not happen in a vacuum. Therefore all efforts must be integrated into the wider political, social, and economic context. Very often the authority to reform dysfunctional mechanisms and policies lies at a higher level of government or with the international community.


[edit] Principles of Integrative Mediation

As part of our commitment to professional service and ethical conflict resolution, CSSP has developed a few principles which guide our interaction with partners and stakeholders in the field. At the core of these principles lies the understanding that interventions, projects, and cooperation must be sustainable and empowering. Below are some principles which together underpin our work.

Capacity-building

In order to ensure long-term impact of our work, we seek to build local capacities and skills in problem-solving. In this regard we build capacity of local leaders as well as of staff of international organizations in the peacebuilding field. Our activities vary from one to five day workshops to seminars and lectures.

Confidence-building

We actively work with the stakeholders to develop ideas and projects which will enhance inter-community trust and function as confidence-building measures through joint design, joint implementation, joint gains, and joint contribution.

Confidentiality

Confidentiality is central to trust-building and respect. It implies for us that information is not attributed to any one person unless permission is granted. We seek to be as transparent as possible in processes we develop and with the persons involved. Additionally all of our meetings are held under the principle of confidentiality.

Gender sensitivity

As a result of socially ascribed roles in society women and men often experience conflict and conflict resolution differently. They often also have different needs and represent their interests in different ways. It is our experience that problem-solving is enhanced by ensuring that men and women equally participate in the design, solutions, and implementation of conflict resolution in accordance with UNSCR 1325. We also strive to promote awareness of the central role both women and men play in promoting peace and the need to see both as victims and agents in their own conflicts.

Inclusiveness

In an effort to ensure maximum gains for problem-solving we strive to ensure that as many voices are heard and integrated into our projects as possible. This implies working with appointed, elected, and identified community leaders. It also means reaching out to disempowered and vulnerable groups as part of the process design and implementation.

Omnipartiality

While it is a core principle of mediation not to take sides or show preference, it is equally important to understand stakeholders in their own reality. Omnipartiality is the ability to empathize with all sides, work within each side’s reality, and still maintain one's own role and understanding without have to take a particular side or position. It differs from impartiality in that at CSSP we have taken the side of pro-peace and dedicate ourselves to promoting the interest of those not at the table or actors struggling for peace.

Multi-level networking

In order to promote sustainable peace, CSSP works with all actors and levels of decision-making interested in making a difference. Furthermore, we have the responsibility to bring together stakeholders from different sectors or levels of governance to encourage information sharing and cooperation. Professionalism

We are committed to a high level of ethical standards, including the philosophy that as external actors our actions and initiatives should do no harm. We treat all parties, actors and organizations with equal respect and dignity and we strive for a high level of professionalism.

Promotion of ADR

In all of our projects we seek the development of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) mechanisms. Furthermore, we aim to support and work with existing mediation mechanisms and actors in countries where we work.

Responsibility

The credibility of the mediation process increases if local parties take responsibility for implementation without being forced by external actors.

Reflecting local realities

Conflict transformation is best served when interventions reflect local realities and are created to adapt as the need arises.

Result-oriented

Integrative Mediation focuses on what can be achieved at a specific level at a specific moment. All of our formats seek to have an outcome which can be followed-up and documented.

Sustainability

We are committed to identifying concrete and measurable standards of evaluation and success. While each mediation session or meeting stands alone we see mediation as embedded in a wider process which develops with the parties. In order to make our work more sustainable all of our projects and processes have a capacity-building component.

Lessons Learned

At CSSP we seek to learn with our partners and to continue to develop. Each project is approached through the lens of two-way experiential learning in order to enhance and develop our work in the field. In this regard, the Integrative Mediation approach is seen as an evolving concept.


[edit] CSSP Services

In recent years despite the gains of globalization, financial and social insecurity continues to rise, especially in countries torn apart by war or political conflicts. CSSP is dedicated to supporting all actors both public and private in their effort to creating value, success and a sustainable future. In this regard we offer a wide variety of market-based services. The funds generated by these services are reinvested in our field projects. If CSSP can be of service to you, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Mediation/Facilitation

If your organization or company is operating in a place in which inter-community conflicts are prevelant, there is no doubt that these conflicts will have a spiller-over effect on your activities. Often projects get delayed, not implemented or ignored out of political reasons. CSSP works with actors on the ground and across the globe to solve problems arising from these types of conflicts. We have extensive experience in bringing key decision-makers to the table in outcome-oriented processes. If you are experiencing a lack of trust, delays in implementation or obstruction, CSSP can support you in your efforts to overcome the stalemate and find winning solutions.

Leadership Consulting

CSSP is known for its discrete and supportive approach to problem-solving. We have experience in coaching political and business leaders to think through their problems and find sustainable solutions to pressing concerns. We work one-on-one with our partners to make sure problem-solving is not only productive but also sustainable in the long-term. We have expertise in gender mainstreaming, diversity management, integration, leadership reform agendas and multi-stakeholder processes.

Conflict/Risk Analysis

Investing in a post-conflict area can be risky and full of challenging moments in which you might want to just pullout and give up. Before entering a market CSSP can work with our team to assess the political situation in the country. In the past we have worked with local leaders and international companies to assess and define benchmarks for moving forward. However, risk assessment is not enough. CSSP also works with you and local leaders to be pro-active in assessing potential solutions and next steps which will overcome or minimize those risks and challenges.

Problem-solving workshops

Over the years our approach has focused on slowing down the process and working on problems in a systematic way. Especially in highly charged conflict situations, there is a need to work on the problem through different formats and with enough time to think through the solutions, the consequences and the implications of the options presented. In our workshop format we bring leaders around the table and urge them out of their comfort zones and into the realm of creativity. We challenge them to turn their perspective upside down and to see things from every angle before making a decision. In the end leaders make decision and take responsibility for their actions.

[edit] Contact

Schiffbauerdamm 15. 10117 Berlin - Germany

Kosovo Coordination Office, St. Gazmend Zajmi no. 20 10000 Prishtina Kosovo

Phone: +49 (0)30 400 006 51-0

Email: info@cssproject.org

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