This course introduces participants to dialogue as a practical and effective process for advancing conflict transformation and peacebuilding at the community level. The focus of the course is on designing and implementing a relevant, sustainable and meaningful dialogue process.

Participants in a dialogue.
Dialogue participants. Photo by USIP.

Course Overview

Key Objectives

By the end of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Distinguish dialogue from other conflict resolution processes;
  • Determine when community-based dialogue is an appropriate process to manage a conflict; and
  • Design a community-based dialogue process in their own geographical and social context.

Overview Video

Click on the video below for an overview of the course.

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Agenda

Section 1 - Defining Dialogue

This section defines dialogue and distinguishes it from a discussion and debate.

Section 2 - Models and Principles of Dialogue

This section identifies governing principles and models of dialogue.

Section 3 - Designing a Dialogue Process

This section identifies how a dialogue process is designed and objectives are determined.

Section 4 - Key Stakeholders in Dialogue

This section emphasizes those who participate in dialogue and the motivations for joining a dialogue.

Section 5 - Monitoring and Evaluation for Dialogue

This section explains how learning happens in dialogue and ethical considerations.

Section 6 - Insights Into Dialogue

This section provides examples of real-world dialogue processes.

Section 7 - Quiz

This section assesses your understanding and retention of key terms, concepts, and ideas presented in this course.

Instructors and Guest Experts

Instructors

Guest Experts

  • Sireen Abu Asbeh, Project Officer, Arab Renaissance for Democracy and Development
  • Mark Brimhall-Vargas, Chief Diversity Officer and Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Brandeis University
  • Cate Broussard, Program Advisor, Life & Peace Institute
  • Daryn Cambridge, Professional Development Portfolio Manager (EPIC), Training Resources Group, Inc
  • Rhonda Fitzgerald, Managing Director, Sustained Dialogue Campus Network
  • Tricia Homer, Senior Program Officer, U.S. Institute of Peace
  • Tonis Montes, Program Officer, U.S. Institute of Peace
  • Beatriz Montoya, Founder & Director, Asociación de Mujeres del Oriente Antioqueño
  • Katherine Torres Sánchez, National Coordinator, Puentes Para La Paz
  • Michael Zanchelli, Former Program Officer, U.S. Institute of Peace

Related Publications

Seis formas de ayudar a mantener las negociaciones en Venezuela

Seis formas de ayudar a mantener las negociaciones en Venezuela

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

By: Mark Feierstein;  Keith Mines;  Nicolas Devia-Valbuena

A fines del año pasado, la Asamblea Nacional de Venezuela, controlada por la oposición, votó a favor de disolver el “gobierno interino” encabezado por Juan Guaidó, un proyecto de cuatro años diseñado para sustituir al gobernante del país, Nicolás Maduro. Este voto se produce en medio de un panorama regional cambiante, con gobiernos de izquierda recién elegidos en los vecinos Brasil y Colombia que apoyan una solución negociada al conflicto y un enfoque más moderado por parte de muchos de los aliados tradicionales en el exterior de la oposición. La clave para el progreso en el próximo año será mantener negociaciones consistentes, que siguen siendo el lugar más eficiente para tomar decisiones clave, como sobre el futuro de las elecciones y la relación entre el chavismo y la oposición. Hay varias formas clave de ayudar a nutrir y sostener estas conversaciones, así como parta hacerlas más efectivas en pro de lograr mejoras a corto plazo en la vida de los venezolanos.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Democracy & GovernanceMediation, Negotiation & Dialogue

Six Ways to Help Sustain Venezuela’s Negotiations

Six Ways to Help Sustain Venezuela’s Negotiations

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

By: Mark Feierstein;  Keith Mines;  Nicolas Devia-Valbuena

At the end of last year, Venezuela’s opposition-controlled National Assembly voted to disband the “interim government,” led by Juan Guaidó, a four-year project designed to displace the country’s ruler, Nicolas Maduro. This comes amid a shifting regional landscape, with newly elected leftist governments in neighboring Brazil and Colombia supporting a negotiated solution to the conflict, and a more nuanced approach from many of the opposition’s traditional international supporters. The key to progress in the year ahead will be maintaining consistent negotiations, which remain the most efficient venue for key decisions, such as on elections, and engagement. There are several key ways to help nurture and sustain these talks, and to make them more impactful in achieving short-term improvements in the lives of the Venezuelan people.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

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Colombia’s Renewed Peace Talks with ELN Rebels Provide Historic Opportunity

Colombia’s Renewed Peace Talks with ELN Rebels Provide Historic Opportunity

Thursday, December 15, 2022

By: Steve Hege

As part of its ambitious “Total Peace” agenda, the new Colombian government recently restarted peace talks with the National Liberation Army (ELN), marking the first new negotiations since January 2019. And while this cycle of talks adopted the same agenda and process framework as the previous efforts, current President Gustavo Petro appointed a diverse and broad negotiations team in the hopes of generating early momentum and support. Petro intends to advance on partial accords as quickly as possible — building up to a comprehensive agreement before his brief four-year term in office is complete.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Mediation, Negotiation & DialoguePeace Processes

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