Curriculum development for company-community mediators

ACCESS Facility is excited to introduce its initiative to develop the first Model Curriculum for an Advanced Training for Company-Community Mediation in Complex Environments.

Made aware of the need for more and more highly qualified company-community mediators, ACCESS Facility has commissioned the development of a model curriculum for third party neutrals capable of helping companies, communities, and other stakeholders in complex environments reach rights-compatible, interest-based resolution to their conflicts. The model curriculum is now ready for piloting. 

In advance of developing the Model Curriculum, ACCESS Facility also surveyed companies, community advocates, mediation experts and sponsors of company-community mediation processes such as international financial institutions.

The survey found there is demand for more and more highly qualified third party neutrals, but that no training programs currently exist that are geared specifically towards their development. At the same time, there are many organizations in the world that train mediators, as well as a growing number of organizations that provide company-community conflict prevention and conflict resolution services. Furthermore, there are mediation practitioners with experience, skills and perspectives from their community, commercial or peacebuilding work who possess a strong foundation for advanced training in this area.

There is therefore significant potential capacity in every global region to develop more appropriately skilled company-community mediators.

Materials included in the model curriculum include a course developer overview, a facilitator’s manual, a participant manual, extensive exercises and simulations developed specifically for the curriculum, and tools and frameworks that can be taken from the course into mediators’ real world work. These materials represent an investment that should help a variety of institutions develop advanced company-community mediator training for complex environments. The Model Curriculum was developed in partnership with the Africa Centre for Dispute Settlement and supported by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

ACCESS Facility is now piloting the curriculum. The pilot will help improve the course based on feedback from the initial participants in anticipation of its broader dissemination. The pilot will also train trainers from various parts of the globe as well as build institutional capacity in the global south, where these mediations most often take place. Read more about the pilot here. 

Watch the interview below in which the developers of the curriculum, Brian Ganson & Kate Kopischke talk about the purpose of the curriculum, what it looks like and what participants of a training can expect.