MSP Course 2008 Conflict management introduction

Simone van Vugt Jouwert van Geene Zaina Maimuna Wageningen International


interests. perceptions or values .Definition: conflict  Disagreement between two or more parties resulting from an incompatibility of goals.

wur. with a specific reference to negotiation See also: http://portals. types of conflicts.Conflict assessment & management  Conflict assessment: analysis. phases in the conflict process Conflict management: tools and techniques to handle     http://portals.wur.wi.

Internal elements:     Characterization of conflict and stakeholders (remains constant) Stage in the project cycle (evolves over time) Stage in the conflict process (evolves over time)  External elements. as well as the environment in which these conflicts arise and are dealt with.Conflict assessment  To increase the insight in the nature. describing the context of the conflict:  The legal and institutional context . scope and stage of the conflict at issue.

relationships etc.who. Conflict identification: highlight actual and potential conflicts Conflict typology: define conflict type Stakeholder analysis: individuals and groups involved . how many.    .Characterization of conflict and stakeholders (part 1)  This looks at the nature and origin of the conflict as well as the balance of power among the parties.

.Exercise   Could you please think about a conflicting situation in your work / MSP? Exchange with your neighbour about this conflict and the causes.

Conflict typology Data or fact Needs or interest Relationshi p Value Structura l .

different interpretations of available data.Data or fact conflicts  Caused by:  lack of information. spreading of inaccurate information or misinformation. or different assessment procedures. different views on what are relevant data.  Solution:  reach agreement of which data are important. . agree on data collection procedures. develop common criteria for data assessment.

looking for objective criteria. fees or levies Psychological: eg environmental awareness  Solutions:  focusing on interests instead of on the positions. . hence sharing the benefits of the project. searching for ways of expanding options or resources.Needs or interest conflicts  Due to perceived or actual competition between interests that are:    Substantive: eg the fishing grounds. the stock Procedural: eg incentives. developing trade-offs satisfying interests of different strength. developing integrative solutions addressing the needs of all parties.

physical or environmental factors as well as time constraints that hinder cooperation. the unequal control. . the general set up and role distribution of a situation. relocation of the negotiation platform at a convenient distance from the field. transparent and acceptable decision-making process. reallocation of rights and entitlements.  Solutions: clear definition and acceptance of roles and levels of authority. Caused by:  lack of appropriate procedures and legislation. ownership or distribution of resources.Structural conflicts   Proceed from geographic. negative patterns of behavior and interaction. the establishment of a fair. unequal power and authority in the decision-making process.

Value conflicts    Caused by cultural differences. . Ignoring value differences can cause a great deal of trouble Solutions:  Parties  should agree to disagree on their own values while looking for a common superior goal they can all share. Are part of the indigenous knowledge and at the basis of people choices and priorities.

Solutions:   install appropriate communication channels.Relationship conflicts  Involve strong disagreement between deciders on the basis of strong emotions or dislikes. and repetitive negative behavior. The people with negative attitudes can be removed from their position or made harmless. misperceptions or stereotypes. poor communication leading to an accumulation of wrong assumptions. people to learn to control their expression and build positive perception skills in order to develop a positive problemsolving attitude. .

are likely to require other approaches than conflicts that relate to interpretation of contracts during implementation. .Conflict assessment part 2: stage in the programme cycle  This factor recognizes that conflicts at the project identification stage –when the focus is on identifying and evaluating options.

.Conflict assessment part 3: stage in the conflict process  Understanding the conflict process is intended to be helpful in determining whether a conflict is at a point in time in which interventions may be accepted.

Conflict Process Conflict Intensity Full Fledge Erupting Dormant Stalemat e Resolved Time .

The conflict process: differences over time  Potential or dormant conflicts. Use a range of options. with positions being developed. depending on nature of conflict and relationship among parties conflicts:  Evolving • Evolving towards a stalemate: use mediation or arbitration • Evolving towards a resolution/abatement: no assistance needed  Resolved conflicts: make use of “social capital” gained . Use consensus building or relation building  Erupting conflicts.

Conflict Assessment part IV: The legal and institutional context  The existing institutions (formal and informal. government as well as traditional or tribal) and the manner in which conflicts are resolved through those institutions.  . are also a likely factor in determining the applicability of conflict management approaches. May refer to formal doctrines that are dominant in certain regions of the world. as well as to cultural attitudes such as the importance of ‘saving face’.

Continuum of conflict management and resolution approaches  Two  Left extremes side extreme: private. by parties themselves side extreme: extralegal and/or coercive  Right .

Judicial Legislati Direct Viove strative tion Deci-sion Action lent Decision Decision Action Private. by third party Legal Extralegal authoritative Coercive . by the parties themselves.Continuum of conflict management AvoiDiscuss dance ion Negotiat Mediaion tion Admini Arbitra. or third party Third party Authoritative.

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