DPACE Initiative Conflict Literacy Framework

Welcome to the Conflict Literacy Framework

A resource created by the Democracy Politics and Conflict Engagement (DPACE) Initiative

This framework is a roadmap for leaders, organizers, activists, conflict practitioners, and peacebuilders within social movements and political organizations. I is designed to build your conflict literacy, develop conflict resilience, and learn tools and skills to engage with conflict creatively and constructively.

Explore the Framework Modules

Conflict Literacy: Understanding and Engaging with Conflict

Foundations for Building Conflict Literacy

Conflict Literacy for Communities and Organizations

Learn the foundational principles and skills of effective conflict engagement. 

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Understanding the Sources of Social & Political Conflict

Understanding the Sources

Learn about why politics and social change are perennial sources of conflict

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Social Justice & Conflict Resolution: An Interest-Based Approach

Social Justice & Conflict Transformation: An Interest-Based Approach

Learn about the relationship and intersections of social justices and interest-based conflict resolution

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Conflict Competence: Build Knowledge and Skills

Mindfulness and Conflict Engagement


Build awareness and skills to manage your mental, physical and emotional states, even in the heat of conflict

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Conflict Competent Leadership

Leadership & Conflict

Develop skills to become a conflict competent leader.

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Trauma-Informed Conflict Engagement

Engaging Trauma & Conflict

Build trauma literacy and explore the intersection of conflict resolution and trauma.

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Designing Conflict Resolution Systems

Conflict Resolution Systems Design

Discover the elements of systems and cultures that addresses conflict early and more effectively

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Collaborative Negotiation and Consensus Building

Collaborative Negotiation and Consensus Building

Understand what it means to "find common ground" and how to go about doing this

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Conflict Sensitive Approaches to Social Media

Conflict & Social Media

Learn strategies for taking a conflict sensitive approach to social media.

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Conflict Engagement Processes and Tools

Dialogue & Facilitation: Generative Conflict and Resilient Groups

Dialogue and Facilitation Tools

Understand how to use dialogue to address conflict, promote healthy communication, and build resilient organizations

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Conflict Coaching: Individuals and Teams

Conflict Coaching

Learn what conflict coaching is and why it is useful for social/political organizations

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Mediation: What It Is and When To Use It


Understand what mediation is, how it works and when to consider use it.

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Ombuds: Using Trusted Conflict Navigators


Learn what an ombuds does, the qualities of an ombuds, how to get an ombuds and/or build the role of an ombuds in your organization.

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Circle Process: Restorative Circles and Community Building

Circle Processes

Learn how circles can be used for restorative justice, community building and processing experiences.

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Conflict Assessment Tools And Surveys

Conflict Assessment Tools And Surveys

Access samples of conflict assessment surveys that you can use to get a clear picture of what's happening in a conflict

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The DPACE Initiative Project

Social movements and political organizations work in an ever-changing environment. In order to achieve their mission and promote positive social change, they need to master a range of abilities, including recognizing the seeds of conflict, learning to manage & resolve disputes, and engage constructively with conflicts. These skills are applicable in their work, in their organizations, and in the communities they serve.

Our goal is not simply to increase civility within those movements and organizations. Our goal is to improve the ability to explore differences without losing touch with our common humanity, directing our passions in the direction of social and political problem-solving. The world is in need of a new kind of diplomacy and social sensibility. We must be equipped to engage mindfully and transform our heartfelt intentions into compassionate actions which support the common good.

The Need

Conflict is a fundamental part of social movements and political life. Debate and conflict within is important at times, but these conflicts are often handled in negative ways that undermine the movements’ aims and values. Conflict doesn't need to be a negative force. When handled with skill and understanding, conflict and disagreement can become a generative and restorative force - bringing forth new ideas and building resilience.

Interest-based conflict resolution and transformation methods provide deeply democratic, citizen-centered approaches that focus on chronic, systemic sources of conflict. Moreover, they are practical tools for not just settling or compromising, but for resolving and transforming conflict.

The Framework

This framework is designed to build conflict literacy and resilience, and provide a suite of available services and resources. Each module includes basic knowledge of a particular subject area as well as tools and approaches for engaging in internal and external conflict. The aim is to invite users to invest in the realization that conflict literacy can be constructive and generative, and will help them better achieve their mission.

The framework includes both researched-based and best/promising practices in the fields of conflict management, mediation, systems design, and mindful awareness. The framework intends to contribute to setting standards and common terminology within these community and social/political spaces.

The work represented in this framework is the work of many conflict professionals whose collective experience is broad and deep, but we recognize that our experiences cannot and do not encompass the diverse cultures of those who use it. We recommend customization of this framework, its tools, and resources in order to meet the needs and interests of individuals, groups, organizations, and communities.

The Team

We would like to thank the Conflict Transformation Fund for their guidance and financial support in the creation of this framework.

We would also like to thank the team of committed conflict engagement practitioners, peace builders, and contemplative practice practitioners who were an invaluable part of the creative design and development of this framework:
Wendy Wood, Kenneth Cloke, Duncan Autrey, Mark Baril, Mary Leichliter, Jessica Bain, Anna Spain, Jarling Ho, Scott Martin, and Rachel Wohl.

The DPACE Community of highly skilled conflict engagement practitioners and peace builders can support you.
For more information and support, or if you are interested in becoming a member of the DPACE team, please contact dpaceinitiative@gmail.com.

Statement Regarding Intellectual Property

As independent consultants, Ken Cloke, Wendy Wood, Duncan Autrey, Jessica Baen, Rachel Wohl, Scott Martin, Jarling Ho, and Mark Baril are the authors of this document (as well as resource links and outside content) and will retain sole ownership over previously copyrighted written materials and information. When using materials in the framework, interested parties and their agents may use written and oral materials provided; however, the independent consultants rights to previously copyrighted materials will be respected and appropriately cited.