CSSP developed an approach of peace mediation and conflict transformation, which addresses the complexities of conflicts in post-conflict and transitioning regions: Integrative Mediation.
Our approach utilises a toolbox of various methods from the fields of peace-building and conflict transformation. These allow custom-made, conflict-sensitive responses to the multiple and complex disputes that arise in societies.
CSSP develops transformative and systemic approaches, specific to the mediation needs in our regions. We find that intra-state and intergroup conflicts are multidimensional, which require structural perspective to be understood holistically. This means, while recognizing issues and actors involved in specific conflicts, CSSP pays attention to the bigger picture, considering the interconnectedness of local problems and regional and national trends. We identify areas of opportunity in this way, supporting established institutions in taking ownership of the transformation and peace processes in their respective regions.
CSSP brings community and local leaders together, facilitating necessary dialogue that builds trust among involved actors. This enables them to jointly establish decision-making structures and conflict transformation mechanisms, which allow all parts of society to equally participate in social, political, cultural and economic spheres. Additionally, we build up local capacities, empowering involved actors of the peace infrastructures (e.g. Local Peace Committees, inter-institutional cooperation mechanisms etc.) to transform negative peace into positive peace. CSSP also helps civil society actors network and cooperate with one another, as well as influence political processes. This fosters transparency and accountability of political leaders and civil society organisations.
Finally, we believe in the transformative power of people and support individuals in becoming change agents in their peace-building processes.
CSSP finds that peace is built through coordinated, cohesive efforts that involve wider society. To ensure sustainable outcomes, we work multi-track, where we engage multiple levels of society and governance.
Horizontally, we integrate a variety of actors, including political bodies, civil society, business community, religious representatives, media, etc. This builds coalitions for peace. Vertically, we connect local and intermediate leaders with the central-level state institutions, and also with actors of the international community who support peace building and conflict transformation processes.
By integrating local peace-building and conflict resolution initiatives into a greater peace process, we draw attention to local developments and peace processes, through which local actors can contribute to state policy-making and peace-building strategies. Thereby, CSSP strengthens transparency and accountability among different actors. This ensures commitment to implementing joint solutions, like national peace treaties.
To achieve non-marginalising, sustainable results, CSSP believes that conflict transformation processes must address the opinions and needs of all groups that are affected by decision-making. To ensure that negotiated agreements are mutually acceptable and implemented in existing structures, we mainly work with stakeholders who have decision-making power. At the same time, we aim to balance power asymmetries by integrating less influential groups into the transformation processes. This includes women, smaller minority groups, youth, socially disadvantaged people, etc. These groups tend to be less vocal and remain excluded from negotiations, although they are affected by their outcomes.
Therefore, Integrative Mediation emphasizes the inclusion of diverse stakeholders. It strives to make peace processes participatory, achieving diversity by empowering disadvantaged groups. CSSP finds that diversity is needed for group creativity, especially in finding joint sustainable solutions to shared problems.
In post-conflict and transitioning regions, issues are manifold and crosscutting. We facilitateinter-community mediation and negotiation between conflicting parties, and are involved with the reintegration of ex-combatants, anti-discrimination, local self-governance, peace education, property rights, proportional representation, return of IDPs, gender equality, conflict resolution infrastructure and insider mediators, participatory decision-making, transitional justice mechanisms, security and economic development.
Depending on a conflict’s context and actors, CSSP uses various tools to design a custom-made approach for creating safe spaces for peace efforts. We want to help local leaders and change agents manage and transform conflicts constructively and non-violently.
Integrative Mediation processes are usually long-term, where we introduce inter-community mediation and combine it with other elements (stakeholder consultation, conflict analysis, interactive training, systemic advocacy and theatre-facilitated dialogue) in order to positively influence conflict dynamics. CSSP projects aim at finding jointly approved, sustainable solutions, institutionalising conflict transformation structures, processes and skills within the communities for the future management of conflicts.