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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Section 1 - Defining Dialogue

Defines dialogue and distinguishes it from a discussion and debate.

Section 2 - Models and Principles of Dialogue

Identifies governing principles and models of dialogue.

Section 3 - Designing a Dialogue Process

Identifies how a dialogue process is designed and objectives are determined.

Section 4 - Key Stakeholders in Dialogue

Emphasizes those who participate in dialogue and the motivations for joining a dialogue.

Section 5 - Monitoring and Evaluation for Dialogue

Explains how learning happens in dialogue and ethical considerations.

Section 6 - Insights Into Dialogue

Provides some examples of real-world dialogue processes.

Section 7 - Quiz

Assesses your understanding and retention of key terms, concepts, and ideas presented in this course.

Instructors and Guest Experts


  • Alison Milofsky, Director, United States Institute of Peace
  • Ariana Barth, 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 Assistant, 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, 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

What Has the U.S. Got Against Peace Talks?

What Has the U.S. Got Against Peace Talks?

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

By: Johnny Walsh

Last month, U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from the Afghan peace process, closing off for the time being a rare opening to resolve a long, stagnant, and unpopular war. Whatever one thinks of the specifics of the deal that the U.S. representative at the talks, Zalmay Khalilzad, had nearly finalized with the Taliban, the episode was a perfect demonstration of the conflicted, often self-defeating view of peace agreements that mires U.S. foreign policy.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Mediation, Negotiation & Dialogue; Peace Processes

View All Publications