Mediation Northern Ireland

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[edit] General Information

  • Official name: Mediation Northern Ireland
  • Country: Ireland
  • City: Belfast
  • Type of organization: Independent organization
  • Date of creation: 1992
  • Interests: Mediation - Training
  • Fields of expertise: All types of dispute

[edit] Origin

In 1985, a workshop by the Corrymeela Community about Mediation Skills in Conflict leads to a small group of volunteers within the Christian peace group “Fellowship of Reconciliation”. Out of this group the Northern Ireland Conflict and Mediation Association (NICMA) evolved at a large conference in early 1987. Back then NICMA’s interests were already not limited to the Troubles but also included probation, business and practice in training.

NICMA was subsequently renamed the Conflict Mediation Network (CMN) and in 1992 adopted more of an agency structure when the first two staff were appointed (Brendan McAllister and Clare Morrison). NICMA/CMN had previously depended on international volunteers or interns to staff the office, and training and other work was done by the committee. The organisation was subsequently renamed the Mediation Network for Northern Ireland (MNNI). Recognising a change in the need for the Agency’s service here and in other parts of the world the ‘Network’ part was dropped to arrive at the name still used today – Mediation Northern Ireland.

[edit] Activities

Services of Mediation Northern Ireland are based in Belfast but we work across Northern and Southern Ireland, Great Britain and internationally.

It works with individuals, communities and organisations in the public, private and third sector.

Its work supports people to build relations and to manage conflict in the community, in the workplace and to build local skills, resources and capabilities for mediative work in support of community cohesion and good relations.

Its activities include:

  • Delivery of quality mediation and training services.
  • Building of strategic mediative capacity in organisations and sectors.
  • Providing opportunities for reflective and relational leadership.

[edit] Aims and Values

“Our mission is to contribute to progress by embedding good practice in dealing with change, contention or conflict. We act according to our core values:

[edit] Non-Violence

We view mediation as a tool of non-violence because in situations of conflict or division it serves the expression of a truth that is wider than any one perspective. Mediation is an instrument of compassion, seeking to relieve the suffering of others and treating all people as worthy of human dignity and respect.

[edit] Integrity

Mediation Northern Ireland strives to be accountable and trustworthy. Therefore, we maintain independence from state control or sectional interests. We act impartially and engage with all sides of conflict or division. Funding is accepted if it is in support of our own aims and act with probity.

[edit] Justice

We believe that justice is served by building and maintaining "right relationships". Hence, we take account of power imbalances in conflictual relationships. We serve the work of reconciliation by managing enmity, overcoming estrangement and resolving differences. From our point of view, diversity is the richness of humanity.

[edit] Respect

We believe that respect for people is an important ingredient in the work of mediation and reconciliation. Part of this is our belief in the basic goodness of people and that everyone has an element of good-will and integrity. People, we believe, have the capacity and willingness to address conflict issues. People do have the right to speak, think and decide for themselves about conflict issues that affect them. Moreover, we believe in people have the capacity to develop respect for the other parties in a conflict and, to some degree, understand the viewpoint of the other party.”

[edit] Viewpoint

There are certain Characteristics which are fairly common to the practice of mediation:

  • An impartial third party presence among people affected by conflict;
  • A focus on the human dimensions of conflict (feelings, emotions, etc);
  • Attention not only to the resolution of issues but also to the restoration, renewal or adjustment of relationships affected by conflict;
  • The application of a strategy or design to the activity of conflict intervention;
  • A search for a solution which the parties view as credible or relevant.

There are a number of Functions of Mediation:

  • To assist communication;
  • To improve understandings;
  • To support creative thinking;
  • To explore accommodations;
  • To facilitate agreements.

There are also several Methods of Mediation:

  • Informal Mediation: where the mediators’ role is not formally recognised, an organic process;
  • Formal Mediation: where the mediators’ role is formally recognized and the parties actually meet;
  • Intermediation: where the mediators’ role is formally recognised but the parties do not meet;
  • Mediative behaviour: where the mediators’ role is not formally acknowledged and there is no recognised process, but it is understood that the mediator is in contact with opposing side;
  • Conflict Counselling: where the mediator is in contact with one side, encouraging inclusive thinking, but not viewed as intentionally communicating information to the other side;

Mediation Northern Ireland's vision is of a peaceful society where conflict and change are handled well through evolving relations

[edit] Current Projects

As of 2009 Mediation Northern Ireland is working on these core projects:

[edit] Social Partnership Programme

This project advances community cohesion by using mediation to strengthen social partnerships.

[edit] Policing and Justice

Within this project Mediation Northern Ireland assists the evolution of policing and justice as a shared endeavour between police officers, the legal sector and citizens in order that mediation and mediative approaches will be further embedded in delivery within the sector.

[edit] Work outside Northern Ireland

Mediation Northern Ireland is committed to contribute to the development of indigenous mediative activity in identified areas outside of Northern Ireland. The intended outcome of this programme of work is enhanced local capacity, in specific places outside of Northern Ireland, to respond to conflicted issues of societal significance.

  • MOST Project
  • Community Cohesion
  • Guns & Gangs
  • Republic of Ireland

[edit] Mediation Development

Mediation Northern Ireland develops the practice of mediation and associated disciplines. This will ensure that societal leaders have appropriate skills and mindsets for the challenges they face as well as that awareness and experience of mediation continues to develop.

The work in this area will be delivered through the following series of projects:

  • Supporting Leadership
  • Workplace Mediation
  • Transition Work
  • Practice Growth
  • Mediation and Good Relations Practice

[edit] Organisational Development

This sector of work is to maintain Mediation Northern Ireland as a relevant and effective social enterprise. The aim is to deliver sustainable, high quality mediation practice and development programmes.

[edit] Training & Skills Development

[edit] Promoting Personal and Professional Competence

Mediation Northern Ireland has a variety of courses developed to suit the needs of its clients, from introductory to advanced level courses.

All training is tailored to meet the needs of individual clients and independent accreditation is available for most of the courses if required. Mediation Northern Ireland can also provide additional learning support where necessary.

[edit] Open Access Training 2009/10

Mediation Northern Ireland is currently offering the following courses on an Open Access basis for the academic year 2009/10:

  • Handling Aggression
  • Handling Life's Conflicts
  • Foundation Training in Mediation

[edit] Customised Workshops and Training

Mediation Northern Ireland can provide tailored training to meet individual needs of groups or organisations. Courses may be customised to meet the priorities of your group and to a timescale that suits your training needs. Mediation Northern Ireland can also provide courses accredited by Northern Ireland Open College Network.

[edit] Contact

83 University Street Belfast, BT7 1HP – Ireland

Tel: 44 (0) 28 90 438614

Email: Stefan@mediationnorthernireland.org

Official Website

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