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

U.S.-Iraq Dialogue Opens Door To Reset Relations

U.S.-Iraq Dialogue Opens Door To Reset Relations

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

By: Sarhang Hamasaeed

Since October 2019, Iraq has been rocked by multiple crises. Protesters hit the street last fall to demand an end to corruption and foreign interference, an overhaul of the political system, and economic justice, leading to the resignation of Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi in November. Several attempts to form a new government failed until Mustafa al-Kadhimi succeeded in May. At the beginning of 2020, the U.S. airstrike that killed Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani resulted in ratcheted up tensions between Washington and Tehran that largely played out on Iraqi soil. Then the coronavirus descended up Iraq.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Mediation, Negotiation & Dialogue; Fragility & Resilience

Amid Libyan Crisis, Two Hostile Towns Build a Basis for Peace

Amid Libyan Crisis, Two Hostile Towns Build a Basis for Peace

Monday, June 1, 2020

By: Abigail Corey; Esra Elbakoush

Libya’s escalated warfare and the COVID pandemic are hindering formal diplomacy and thus prolonging the risks the conflict poses—from the Mediterranean to Africa’s Sahel region. Yet even as international peacemaking on Libya is stalled, long-time foes in the country’s west have overcome old enmities to cooperate amid the coronavirus crisis. It is the latest of several grassroots advances in Libya that show how local dialogues can build peace amid warfare—even when global diplomacy is impeded.

Type: Blog

Mediation, Negotiation & Dialogue; Global Health

Yes, we can meet on online. But can we negotiate peace there?

Yes, we can meet on online. But can we negotiate peace there?

Friday, May 15, 2020

By: Juan Diaz-Prinz, Ph.D.

The spread of the coronavirus has forced mediators and their international partners to halt the face-to-face meetings typically used in building peace. Feeling a sense of urgency, practitioners have scrambled to upgrade their use of alternatives—notably online consultations, dialogues and workshops. Digital tools are being quickly developed that could provide opportunities for peacebuilding unimaginable just a couple of years ago. How can we ensure that this development, now accelerated by the COVID pandemic, remains viable in practice?

Type: Blog

Global Health; Mediation, Negotiation & Dialogue; Peace Processes

Venezuela: Could the Coronavirus Threat Be an Opportunity?

Venezuela: Could the Coronavirus Threat Be an Opportunity?

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

By: Keith Mines; Steve Hege

Helping Venezuela resolve its political crisis will be vital to containing the potentially catastrophic COVID-19 pandemic there. A truce in the country’s power struggle is urgent, and last week’s U.S. proposal for a transitional government offers useful ideas, even for a naturally skeptical governing regime. Advancing them would benefit from mediation, perhaps by the Vatican or the United Nations, and will require cooperation among the major powers—the United States, Russia and China—involved in the crisis. If Venezuelans and outsiders can join against the common human threat of coronavirus, that could lay foundations for an eventual political solution to the decade of turmoil that has brewed the hemisphere’s worst humanitarian disaster.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Global Health; Mediation, Negotiation & Dialogue; Peace Processes

View All Publications