Peacebuilding Walkabout: A Journey Across the Globe

For practitioners interested in building a multi method toolkit of local and indigenous practices from around the world

Historically, communities have had a variety of non violent methods for dealing with disputes. They are sometimes specific to cultural and geographic contexts, and others have evolved to be adapted across the world. As a global organization with members experienced in a range of practices, and as a learning community, we are developing this series in response to a discussion that arose in our Climate Change team. This idea then very quickly received  enthusiastic support from members with whom we socialized the idea…. And here we are.  

MBBI is launching a Members-Only webinar series between February and June 2024 for sharing the knowledge and expertise of our members from across the world. MBBI members with expertise in the design and facilitation of dialogue, deliberation, and conflict transformation practices will share their knowledge and skills about indigenous practices, its history, evolution, and applications. These are traditional, community based, judicial and legal decision making mechanisms to manage and resolve conflicts within or between communities and include processes such as Palavers, Majlis, Talanoa Dialogues, Panchayats, Jirgas, etc.

These sessions will provide a space for members to share their knowledge and skills about a range of indigenous practices, and we hope that this is the beginning for some, a deepening for others, of building their multi method toolkits. 

As a MBBI Member, this series is free to you and you can register for the sessions that interest you. They will all be offered under the PeaceConnect umbrella (a virtual 90 minute interactive workshop), but the access is intentionally limited to support the interactions amongst members. These sessions will be interactive to learn about the practices across the globe.

In this context, we share NCDD’s publication from 2010 which remains a valuable resource for those interested in designing space for public engagement. 

One hour before each particular session, you will get the Zoom link. And then afterwards, you will receive the documents and/or slides (if utilized). Click on the hyperlinks to register for each specific session.

The schedule is as follows:

  1. Feb 27th, Somia Sadiq, 7pm ET
    1. Description of the Indigenous Practice. Majlis Somia Sadiq is a Pakistani-Canadian practitioner of conflict resolution. In her varied and global experiences, she has been involved, participated, and witnessed the use of majlis as a conflict resolution tool. There are a few types depending on the nature of the conflict, and they change and adapt to the cultural community as well.  Like any tools there are things to consider – including the role (power, influence) of the host of the majlis. Often the host also carries religious/spiritual standing in the community. Somia will share the many subtleties and unspoken protocols in a majlis that are typically passed on through generations and always evolving, providing a collaborative and dynamic environment. Join us in learning more about Majlis as an effective tool to draw the community together, to honour the humanity and dignity of each person, and to facilitate community lead decisions. 
    2. Brief Bio of Somia Sadiq. Somia is the Founder | Principal Partner of Narratives whichs works with Indigenous communities, provincial, federal, municipal, and territorial governments, and industry to support informed decision-making. With ancestral roots in post-colonial Punjab and Kashmir, Somia brings a strong drive to decolonize our ways of thinking, knowing, and being. Somia is a Certified Environmental Professional (EP) and a Registered Professional Planner (RPP), specializing in Impact Assessment, Community Engagement, and Conflict Transformation informed and inspired by the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), and trauma-based approaches. Her sectors of experience include community development, renewable and non-renewable natural resources, and transportation and infrastructure development. Somia’s portfolio includes: negotiations, strategic communications, project management, environmental permitting, impact assessment, impact benefit, revenue sharing, and/or resource agreements, monitoring and evaluation, socioeconomic assessments, social programming, capacity building, risk evaluation, and development and execution of trauma-informed engagement programs. Somia’s research interests are in the areas of psychosocial barriers to reconciliation, and understanding the role of individual and group identity, Framing, Othering, and Trauma to the nature of relationships between groups.
  2. April 4, MacDonald Rammala and Lencoe Makapan, 10am ET
    1. Description of the Indigenous Practice. The Lekgotla La-Batho Research Project aims to regenerate Community Knowledge for Dispute Resolution in the South Africa Context. The project is based on action research, meaning that research is not only done for the sake of research itself but is conducted in such a manner that knowledge holders from the respective communities are the main participants and beneficiaries from the research. In this regard, the College of Law promotes an “African Harmony Model for Dispute Resolution” that draws knowledge from the African way of resolving disputes in contrast to the typical Western “Dispute Management Model”. Based on the basic principles underlying Lekgotla, the African Harmony Model is directed at an inclusive group process that has as its objective the restoration of the social equilibrium (restorative justice). The Conflict Management Model manages the opposing positions of individuals or groups, normally to the exclusion of third parties. The focus on “African Harmony Model” falls within the scholarly tradition of Pan Africanism, Afrikology and the African humanistic values embedded in Ubuntu/Botho. From a research perspective, it is about rediscovering the distinctly South African way of dispute resolution, learn from it and design specific policy solutions, strategies and projects that would benefit community participants and society
    2. Brief Bio of Macdonald Rammala: Macdonald Rammala is a social sciences and law researcher at the College of Law, University of South Africa. He holds qualifications in Law, Social Science and is currently pursuing a postgraduate qualification in Law with a special focus on African Jurisprudence/African Indigenous Laws. Macdonald has presented in both South African and international academic conferences such as the United Kingdom, China, Ethiopia, and Nigeria. He has been involved with Community Engaged Participatory Research over a period of 10 years and has received multiple awards in the field of research within the context of collaborative community work. Macdonald has several publications on his own and together with established scholars in multi-inter and transdisciplinary fields.
  3. April 30, Luis Ore, 1pm ET
    1. Brief description of the Consensus Building Process. Consensus Building process is a dispute resolution method designed to provide individuals involved in certain types of dispute, access to a facilitated process by which they can resolve their dispute amicably, and sustainably. This process is specifically in regards to the Warintza Project and Shuar Communities in Ecuador. It has several principles and steps. It starts with a stakeholder assessment that provides a shared understanding of multiple and diverse perspectives about the issue at hand and sets the stage for a dialogue process with a mutual gains approach that seeks unanimity but reaches agreement based on overwhelming majority.
    2. Bio of Luis Ore: Former Deputy Secretary of Conflict Management with the Prime Minister Office of Peru during the transition and emergency government of Peru with the Sagasti Administration in 2021. Mediator, consensus building and stakeholder engagement practitioner, negotiation consultant, and conflict coach and trainer. Master in Conflict Management from ICM Lipscomb University and negotiation pedagogy from Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School. Lawyer from the University of Lima. Peace Builder with Mediators Beyond Borders International (MBBI), listed facilitator in the InterAmerican Development Bank`s Independent Consultation and Investigation Mechanism`s roster, Mediator for the Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO), independent accountability mechanism for projects supported by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) – private sector arms of the World Bank Group. Senior Partner with the Consensus Building Institute (U.S.), Latin-American Director with Workplace Fairness Institute (Canada), director of ORASI Consulting Group (U.S.- Peru) & managing partner of Strateus Consultores (Perú). Chair 2010-2011 of the Association for Conflict Resolution’s International Section (U.S.) and Vice-Chair 2011-2012 of the American Bar Association’s International Investment and Development Committee (U.S.). Luis helps individuals, groups, organizations and governments use negotiation and consensus building skills and strategies to advance their interests, improve business and working relationships, and deal with conflict more effectively. Author of books and publications: “Consensus Building: Proceso de Construcción de Consenso”, Extractive Game Triangle: Do we need to change the mining game to achieve the Social License to Operate?, and The Warintza Model: From Conflict to Strategic Alliance with Social Involvement and Consensus Building, and various specialized publications in the field of negotiation, prevention and transformation of conflicts.
  4. May 21st, Ezabir Ali, 10:30am ET
    1. Brief description of the Traditional methods of dispute resolution in Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh. Ezabir will share the traditional methods of these three regions of Kashmir which are very different from each other in terms of traditions, culture, religion.
    2. Bio of Ezabir Ali: Ezabir Ali is a Commonwealth professional and Harvard Alumnae from Kashmir. In the course of her 25-year career, she has served in the public and non-profit sectors in Jammu and Kashmir. For more than two decades, she has done extensive work on the psycho-social healing and economic development of women in Kashmir. Ezabir Ali has documented the impact of conflict on the lives of women in Jammu and Kashmir, including those living along the Line of Control (LoC), Ezabir’s work on the issues affecting half-widows has led to increased support and understanding amongst religious leaders, hard-to-engage groups and society at large, on the rights of women in general and half-widows in particular. Her initial contact with the Ulema (religious leaders) on this issue, led to a ‘fatwa’ being passed to address the ambiguity surrounding the number of years a half-widow must wait before considering remarrying if she wishes. More recently, she has made considerable progress in advocating for the property rights of half-widows. Ezabir Ali has also been working on improving the relationship between polarised communities in Kashmir, using dialogue, active listening and effective mediation as a skill. She has set up SAMANBAL, which is a “safe inclusive story-telling spaces” for women across all divides to dialogue and build solidarity to improve relationships amongst women of three regions, who were deeply divided over a lengthy period of time. Ezabir Ali is the Founder/Secretary of EHSAAS, a Non-Governmental Policy group working on advocacy on rights of women in Jammu and Kashmir State. She is also Board Member, Jammu and Kashmir Voluntary Health & Development Association and Consultant/Partner Conciliation Resources, Gender Project, South Asia. Ezabir Ali completed her basic education in Nyeri, East Africa. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and education from Kashmir, a Master’s in English from Kashmir University and a Master’s in Development Studies from the University of East Anglia, Norwich.
  5. June 26th, Klubosumo Johnson Borh, 2:00pm ET
    1. Brief description of the Palava Hut Program in Liberia, Trauma Healing and Reconciliation. “Palava” is an English-based creole word that translates to “problem” or “issue.” Liberia’s Palava Hut System offers a reconciliatory space for healing through community-based interactions in the wake of conflict.
    2. Bio of Klubosumo Johnson Borh : Klubosumo Johnson Borh is the 2023 MBBI Peacebuilder of the Year for his efforts in Liberia, specifically trauma healing and psychosocial support for Liberian ex-combatants. He has also been actively engaged in the MBBI Sierra Leone project for years and has recently become the Team Leader. Read more here at his award as the 2023 MBBI Peacebuilder of the Year
  6. July 17th, Iryna Eihelson, 11:00am ET
      1. Brief description of the Challenges and Opportunities of the Dialogue Approach Amidst the War
      2. Bio of Iryna Eihelson : Iryna educates adults with various aspects of peace building in identity-based conflicts. This work includes ethnic minorities and cultural sensitivity; conflicts of various ethnic and linguistic groups; the new division in the East of Ukraine and the consequences of war; the reform of decentralization and dialogue and conflict prevention in amalgamated communities; and in general enhancing social cohesion in Ukraine through educational means. She is a trainer for journalists, teachers, police, local and central authorities, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and activists, and community leaders. In training and dialogue work, she touches upon the topics of re-humanization and diversity, memory of conflicts and conflicts of memory, moral dilemmas in conflict, media in conflict and peace building. In addition, she conducts conflict analysis and other related research.