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

  • Alison Milofsky, Director, United States Institute of Peace
  • Ariana Barth, Former Program Officer, United States Institute of Peace Guest Experts

Guest Experts

  • Mark Brimhall-Vargas, Chief Diversity Officer and Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Brandeis University
  • Rhonda Fitzgerald, Managing Director, Sustained Dialogue Campus Network
  • Cate Broussard, Program Advisor, Life & Peace Institute
  • Tricia Homer, Executive Communications Coach & Dialogue Facilitator
  • Tonis Montes, Senior Program Specialist, United States 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, United States Institute of Peace
  • Sireen Abu Asbeh, Project Officer, Arab Renaissance for Democracy and Development
  • Daryn Cambridge, Professional Development Portfolio Manager (EPIC), Training Resources Group, Inc

Related Publications

Could a National Dialogue Solve Ethiopia’s Political Crisis?

Could a National Dialogue Solve Ethiopia’s Political Crisis?

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

By: Emebet Getachew; Mehari Taddele Maru; Yohannes Gedamu

While the recent conflict in Tigray renewed international focus on Ethiopia, more challenges lie ahead, including elections now scheduled for June 5. The state of Ethiopia’s political transition is contested, and the country remains polarized. However, as Ethiopian scholars Emebet Getachew, Mehari Taddele Maru, and Yohannes Gedamu discuss, a national dialogue process may have the potential to address the country’s dilemmas.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Fragility & Resilience; Mediation, Negotiation & Dialogue

Nuclear Diplomacy with Russia: What’s Ahead for the Biden Administration?

Nuclear Diplomacy with Russia: What’s Ahead for the Biden Administration?

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

By: Dr. Donald N. Jensen

With relations between the United States and Russia at a low point, the incoming Biden Administration faces the challenge of finding the right balance between showing firmness toward the Kremlin and engaging on issues of mutual interest, above all arms control. President-elect Joe Biden has indicated he may agree to extend the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) for five years, a decision that could clear the way for further negotiations. But while extension of New START could lead to discussions on other areas of arms control, the potential for breakthroughs in the U.S.-Russia relationship appears dim.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Mediation, Negotiation & Dialogue

Central African Republic: A Role for Religious Leaders in Calming Conflict?

Central African Republic: A Role for Religious Leaders in Calming Conflict?

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

By: Laura Collins

Presidential and legislative elections loom large in the Central African Republic (CAR) amid high tension and spikes in violence. CAR’s religious leaders have been on the frontlines of efforts to calm tensions ahead of polls opening on December 27. From religious leaders in the capital to those at the grass roots, they have made their voices and positions clear. The question, therefore, is not if religious leaders are crucial actors in conflict stabilization and peace efforts in CAR: They already are. Rather, policymakers and practitioners should be unpacking these leaders’ experiences—past and present—and asking how to strengthen their role as peacebuilding partners in the immediate post-electoral context and longer-term.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Mediation, Negotiation & Dialogue; Religion

Nuclear Diplomacy with North Korea: What’s Ahead for the Biden Administration?

Nuclear Diplomacy with North Korea: What’s Ahead for the Biden Administration?

Monday, December 21, 2020

By: Frank Aum; Ambassador Joseph Yun

The Biden administration faces a situation with North Korea similar to what President Obama faced in 2009, with U.S.-DPRK engagement on its last legs. Obama appeared interested in reviving the Six Party Talks, but slow outreach to North Korea allowed Pyongyang to seize the narrative by conducting a satellite launch in April and a nuclear test in May, which doomed engagement for an extended period. Biden will face a similar decision about how to engage North Korea, including whether to move forward with joint U.S.-South Korea military exercises in March, and whether to reaffirm the outcomes of the 2018 joint U.S.-DPRK Singapore Statement, which Pyongyang has yet to renounce but is on life support.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Mediation, Negotiation & Dialogue

View All Publications