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

Nonviolent Action and Transitions to Democracy: The Impact of Inclusive Dialogue and Negotiation

Nonviolent Action and Transitions to Democracy: The Impact of Inclusive Dialogue and Negotiation

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

By: Véronique Dudouet; Jonathan Pinckney

Significant dialogue and negotiation processes have taken place in almost all democratic transitions, but these processes alone do not have a significant impact on future democracy. This report presents statistical analysis of all political transitions after nonviolent action campaigns and case studies of transitions in Egypt, Tunisia, and Ukraine to show the importance of inclusion—and in particular the participation of women—to ensure both successful dialogue and that the outcome of that dialogue is a stable democracy.

Type: Peaceworks

Mediation, Negotiation & Dialogue

National Dialogues in Peacebuilding and Transitions: Creativity and Adaptive Thinking

National Dialogues in Peacebuilding and Transitions: Creativity and Adaptive Thinking

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

By: Elizabeth Murray; Susan Stigant; (editors)

At their best, national dialogues hold the promise of adding critical momentum in the drive to transform conflict inclusively. This report examines dialogues in six countries—the Central African Republic, Kenya, Lebanon, Senegal, Tunisia, and Yemen. These diverse processes show the possibilities for fostering dialogue, forging agreements, and driving toward peace; and the report offers extensive guidance on the possibilities and practicalities for those considering convening a national dialogue.

Type: Peaceworks

Mediation, Negotiation & Dialogue

How to calm violent crises? Nigeria has an idea.

How to calm violent crises? Nigeria has an idea.

Friday, June 4, 2021

By: Darren Kew

If U.S. and international policymakers hope to see Africa stabilize amid the world’s crises of violence, record human displacement and the COVID pandemic, Nigeria must be center stage. This demographic giant, home to one in five sub-Saharan Africans, now faces a perfect storm of violent conflicts that pose an existential challenge. Yet Nigeria also offers its own solutions for stabilization—including a low-cost innovation worthy of international support: peacebuilding agencies operated by governments in three of the country’s 36 states. This timely model offers localized approaches to the roots of violence and is relevant to nations worldwide.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Global Policy; Mediation, Negotiation & Dialogue

Nigeria’s State Peacebuilding Institutions: Early Success and Continuing Challenges

Nigeria’s State Peacebuilding Institutions: Early Success and Continuing Challenges

Friday, June 4, 2021

By: Darren Kew

Three states in Nigeria's conflict-prone Middle Belt—Plateau, Kaduna, and Adamawa—have established peace institutions in recent years. Although the young agencies have made strides toward organizing improved initiatives to quell religious, ethnic, and farmer-herder conflicts in the region, all three face daunting funding and structural challenges. This report provides recommendations for increasing the agencies’ financial stability and organizational independence, helping them build peace in their own states and serve as a model for other states to launch their own peace institutes.

Type: Special Report

Mediation, Negotiation & Dialogue

View All Publications