Debriefing Mediators to Learn from Their Experiences

Published: 
March 1, 2010
By: 
Simon J. A. Mason and Matthias Siegfried

This handbook enhances the practice of mediation by showing how lessons from individual mediators can be identified and made available both to their organizations and to a wider practitioner audience. It also gives guidance to staff debriefing mediators who are or have been directly involved in peace negotiations. This handbook is part of the Peacemaker’s Toolkit series, published by the United States Institute of Peace.

Summary

Debriefing Mediators to Learn from Their Experiences examines interviews conducted with mediators to learn lessons about their mediation “method.” These methodological debriefings are typically conducted by individuals who have not been directly involved in the mediator’s work but who want to learn the mediator’s perspective on what was done and why it was done. This handbook enhances the practice of mediation by showing how lessons from individual mediators can be identified and made available both to their organizations and to a wider practitioner audience. It also gives guidance to staff debriefing mediators who are or have been directly involved in peace negotiations.

Outlining a four-step process, this guide details how to

  • Prepare for the Interview
  • Conduct the Interview
  • Structure and Analyze the Experience
  • Disseminate the Knowledge Acquired

Print copies of this toolkit can be purchased from USIP's online bookstore.

About this Handbook

This handbook is part of the series the Peacemaker’s Toolkit, which is being published by the United States Institute of Peace. For twenty-five years, the United States Institute of Peace has supported the work of mediators through research, training programs, workshops, and publications designed to discover and disseminate the keys to effective mediation.

The Institute—mandated by the U.S. Congress to help prevent, manage, and resolve international conflict through nonviolent means—has conceived of The Peacemaker’s Toolkit as a way of combining its own accumulated expertise with that of other organizations active in the field of mediation. Most publications in the series are produced jointly by the Institute and a partner organization. All publications are carefully reviewed before publication by highly experienced mediators to ensure that the final product will be a useful and reliable resource for practitioners.

April 1, 2010