Conflict Management Processes
A. Negotiation: A direct bargaining process around differences entered voluntarily by parties who try to educate each other about their needs and interests, to exchange resources, or to address issues such as future relations. The parties themselves decide on the process to be used and maintain control over the outcome. See section below for more detailed explanation
B. Conciliation: A process in which a third party helps parties to collaborate. The conciliation process focuses on strengthening the relationship between parties and promotes communication and understanding in general, more than on generating solutions for specific issues or problems. Parties maintain a high level of control over the process and the outcome. See section below for more detailed explanation
C. Mediation: A structured process, facilitated by an impartial third party, in which conflict parties discuss their concerns and issues and explore possible options for mutually satisfactory solutions to differences. Mediation helps people resolve conflicts by focusing on interests. When this is done, it is more likely that people will be able to find solutions that meet the needs of both parties. See section below for more detailed explanation.
D. Arbitration: A private process conducted by one or more official third parties who hear arguments and decide how the dispute will be resolved. Parties do not control the process or the outcome, which may be binding’ or ’non-binding’/ ‘advisory’.
E. Litigation & other Judicial Approaches: Intervention by a socially recognized authority to decide the issues and enforce the decision. It is generally a public process where parties lose control of the outcome, but may gain from the fact that outcomes are legally binding and enforceable.
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Change Management Processes
F. Facilitation: A process in which an impartial third party manages a collaborative group communication or problem-solving session. Facilitation is not necessarily a structured process, nor does it necessarily involve an identified conflict situation. The facilitator uses a variety of skills to keep the process of discussion fair, balanced and constructive, leaving participants free to concentrate on the important issues and topics they are discussing. Facilitation skills are also useful for all of the other consensus building processes
G. Cooperative Planning: A process usually designed to addresses a specific issue, opportunity or problem with the intent of resolving or addressing it successfully through the collaborative effort of the crucial stakeholders. It’s a way to involve citizens into local decision-making and local actions, managing public disputes and reconciling different local interests.
H. Cooperative Advocacy: A process that builds lasting relationships and coalitions among people or groups in order to jointly influence outcomes—including public policy and
resource allocation decisions within political, economic and social systems and institutions—that directly affect people’s lives
Negotiation means a direct bargaining process among the parties to conflict, conducted with the goal of achieving a solution. Negotiation can also take place between parties who want something from someone else, and have something to offer in return. It is a ubiquitous process in business, personal and political life. The distinguishing characteristic is that the talk involves the parties themselves without the direct assistance of a third party. Negotiation may occur through representatives, such as attorneys. Negotiation is one of the basic processes for resolving conflict. Many of the key terminology, tools and skills required for effective negotiation are applicable in other processes as well.
Approaches to Negotiation: Distributive Bargaining and Principled Negotiation
Typically, parties who want to engage in a negotiation use the classic market haggling approach, making an initial demand or offer that is at or above the upper limit of what the negotiator is willing to accept, and which is almost always unacceptable to the other party. The second party makes a counter-offer which is equally extreme in the other direction, and then these positions are changed through a series of concessions or compromises, eventually meeting at approximately the halfway point. This “distributive bargaining” approach relies on bluffing, delaying and other strategic tactics to maximize one party’s gain and the other’s loss.
A more constructive approach, “Principled Negotiation,” was delineated by researchers at the Harvard Negotiation Project.In this framework, negotiators educate each other about the interests and needs that underlie their positions, and work together to creatively generate solutions that meet the needs of all parties, including strengthening the relationship between the parties for future negotiations.
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Cooperative Planning is a broad term for a number of different processes (e.g. Partners Collaboration Model- PCM; Inclusive Community Change Model- ICCM; consensus-building, policy dialogues etc.) that facilitate discussion among diverse stakeholders to build consensus on how to address concrete issues, such as infrastructure repair, housing, environmental preservation, economic development, educational opportunities, taxation, health standards and pollution, social services and public safety. The process enhances cooperation among the NGO, government and business sectors and creates tangible benefits for communities. It is a way to involve citizens in local decision-making and local actions.
Characteristics of Cooperative Planning
- The process includes representatives of all major stakeholders
- The stakeholders participate in designing the process as well as developing solutions
- The process is appropriate for the context
- A common definition of the problem and goals are developed by the stakeholders
- Leadership is committed and facilitative
- Attention is paid to build and maintaining respectful relationships
- Participants educate each other about the problem, issues and interests.
- Participants focus o their interests, not their positions to find solutions.
- Decisions are made by consensus, when possible.
Why use Cooperative Planning?
- It improves the flow of information
- Minimizes surprises
- Builds trust between diverse stakeholders
- Builds better decisions incorporating more interests and perspectives
- Greater commitment to implementation
- Speedier implementation
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Cooperative advocacy focuses on building lasting relationships and coalitions among people or groups in order to jointly influence outcomes—including public policy and resource allocation decisions within political, economic and social systems and institutions—that directly affect people’s lives.
Cooperative advocacy involves the training of stakeholders to effectively promote their interests while acknowledging the positions of others, and often involves forming advocacy coalitions among groups that differ in their approach to a similar issue. This approach differs from the more traditional advocacy approach, which often identifies different stakeholders as adversaries rather than potential partners.
Characteristics of Cooperative Advocacy:
- Defining and communicating your message and tailoring it to the audience
- Building support networks and cooperating with other organizations
- Negotiating your interests with other stakeholders and with decision-makers
- Asserting your interests and promoting your issues while taking into account the interests and views of others
- Convening and facilitating issue-oriented meetings and processes aimed at raising awareness and advocating for your issue(s)
- Developing an action plan for pursuing your interest in cooperation with other stakeholders
Traditional Advocacy approaches, including awareness-raising, education, use of media, and direct citizen action, are often powerful tools for pursuing citizen interests. However, when dealing with issues that require long-term interaction between stakeholders, cooperation or coordination, the tools that Cooperative Advocacy provides are essential additions to the advocacy toolbox.
The benefits of using Cooperative Advocacy rather than traditional advocacy include:
- Power in numbers
- More and better visibility
- Increase your impact by drawing upon the strengths of the group
- Long-term and stronger relationships
- Allows for more creativity
- Combining resources for greater efficiency
- Overcoming a polarized political environment
- Coping with increased competition between agencies
- Coordinating services for broadest reach, greatest impact
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