Historical tensions between Nigeria’s pastoralist and farmers have intensified in recent years. Dwindling forage resources and water availability greatly contribute to the conflicts. The urgent requirement is to engage the extension specialists with, rather than isolate, pastoralists from the various socioeconomic and environmental management options. This strategy is fundamental to peace and productivity in the rural area. The Extension Specialist need to be trained to better understand both formal and informal governance mechanisms of resolving crises and the measurement of the relative impact on the interventions. The extension approach applied here will examine the existing and potential roles model of various actors from the public and private sector mediators.
- Plan and rehearse Your Conflict Mediation Ethics
- Neutrality- The mediator has no stake whatsoever in the conflict and its outcome.
Impartiality – The mediator shows no favor in process and outcome to either/any of the parties.
Confidentiality-The mediation is confidential and so none of the parties or the mediator should confide the process to any other party during the mediation.
Voluntariness – The parties come to mediation and stay in it by their own will. A party can cease to participate at any stage of the mediation.
Representation – The mediation ensures that all interests are represented in the mediation whether or not they are physically in the mediation – room – .
Self-determination -The parties have control over the outcome of the mediation.
- Recognize the COMMUNITY CONFLICT MEDIATORS and their role Roles
In any community formation, pastoralist and farmers alike, the following categories of actors are identifiable. Such actors should be identified and tagged and assigned responsibility in the group:
- Opener of communication channels: initiates communication or facilitates better communication if the parties are already talking.
Legitimizer: helps parties recognise the right of each other to be involved in negotiation.
Process facilitator: provides a procedure and often formally chairs the negotiation.
Trainer: educates novice, unskilled, or unprepared negotiators in the bargaining process.
Resource expander: offers procedural assistance to the parties and links them to outside experts (lawyers, therapists, technical experts, additional resources, decision makers, etc) that may enable them to enlarge possible mutual outcomes.
Problem explorer: assists people in dispute to examine a problem from a variety of view points and in defining basic issues and interests.
Agent of reality: helps build a reasonable and implementable settlement and questions and challenges parties with extreme and unrealistic goals.
The scapegoat: may take some of the responsibility or blame for an unpopular decision that they parties are nevertheless willing to accept. This enables them maintain their integrity before their constituents and, when appropriate, gain their support again.
The leader: takes the initiative to move the negotiation forward by procedural and – on some occasions – substantive suggestions.
- Develop an agenda for meetings and for Building Mediator Credibility
In setting an agenda for the meeting it is important to draw out lead people that will lead the talks based on the following criteria:
- Personal credibility: mediator – s personal characteristics
Institutional credibility: reputation of mediator – s organization
Procedural credibility: belief by parties that mediator – s chosen process is right and will work
Substantive credibility: Mediator – s knowledge of issues in conflict as area of professional specialization or from experience
- Identify and plan venue for meetings and content of mediation sessions
- Set a good venue for the mediation in a relaxed, informal atmosphere
- Prepare programme for several meetings in succession.
(a) The mediator does it first, stressing his/her qualifications and appropriateness for the mediation while introducing themselves without being arrogant or promotional.
(b) Secondly, the initiating party or the complainant.
(c) Then, the other party/parties
ii. Affirmation of willingness to cooperate
- Explain mediation and the mediator – s role
- Statement of voluntariness, neutrality, impartiality, confidentiality, self-determination, etc.
- Explain that caucuses or private meetings may be resorted to as the need arises
iii. Set ground rules
iv. Ask for and answer any questions.
- Commitment to Begin mediation
- The Stories and Identification of Issues: statement of cases, starting with the initiating party or complainant.
- Setting Agenda and meetings
- Develop Settlement Generation Procedures
- Ratification of status quo
- Development of an objective standard for an acceptable agreement
- Open discussion
- Nominal group process
- Plausible hypothetical scenarios
- Vision building
- Follow-up Specific Duties
(1.) In the Beginning
- Assess whether and how to intervene in the conflict
- Create or redesign an arena for communication and negotiation
iii. Get parties to participate
- Negotiate the purpose, structure, and guidelines of the mediation with the parties
(2.) At subsequent meetings and Throughout the Process
- Help each party to feel heard and hear others
- Identify the key issues that parties need to address and the needs driving these issues
iii. Frame and reframe issues, suggestions and concerns
- Work to create an atmosphere of safety
- Manage emotions and communication
- Explore needs at a useful level of depth
iv. Deal with unproductive power dynamics
v. Help disputants work across cultural, gender, class, and other differences
- Encourage incremental and reciprocal risk taking
- Facilitate an effective negotiation process
vi. Deal with impasses through caucusing and other mechanisms
vii. Patience and Vision