Workshop on Negotiation and Mediation Skills

2 credits / 6 weeks weeks
13 Nov 2017 - 22 Dec 2017

Professor Amr Abdalla
Professor Elshaddai Mesfin

All social interactions, from personal relationships to international arena, experience opposing preferences. Hence an introductory course on the theory and practice of negotiation and mediation is essential for understanding topics as diverse as marital disputes, organizational relations, community conflicts, group decision-making and international relations. It will enhance one's ability to critically review situations in order to find and adopt a mutually accepted solution to a given situation. This course is therefore designed to serve as a broad introduction to the nature, scope, theories and practices of negotiation and mediation. The course will examine the complex and yet essential roles of negotiation and mediation as part of the main procedures of dealing with opposing preferences and as models of constructive conflict transformation. The course will set the context with a discussion on the nature, assumptions, emotions and decision-making approaches involved in negotiations, the dynamics revolving around it and the gender perspective to it. It will also examine the various objectives, considerations, essences and processes of mediation.  The course utilizes participatory and interactive pedagogies.




Amr Abdalla

Dr. Abdalla is the Senior Advisor on Policy Analysis and Research at the Institute for Peace and Security Studies (IPSS) of Addis Ababa University, and the Senior Advisor on Conflict Resolution at KARAMAH (Muslim Women Lawyers for Human Rights). In 2013-2014, he was Vice President of SALAM Institute for Peace and Justice in Washington, D.C. From 2004-2013 he was Professor, Dean and Vice Rector at the United Nations-mandated University for Peace (UPEACE) in Costa Rica. Prior to that, he was a Senior Fellow with the Peace Operations Policy Program, School of Public Policy, at George Mason University, Virginia. He was also a Professor of Conflict Analysis and Resolution at the Graduate School of Islamic and Social Sciences in Leesburg, Virginia. He practiced law as a prosecuting attorney from 1978 to 1987 in Egypt. He then emigrated to the U.S. where he obtained a Master's degree in Sociology and a Ph.D. in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from George Mason University. He has been teaching graduate classes in conflict analysis and resolution, and has conducted training, research and evaluation of conflict resolution and peacebuilding programs in several countries in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Europe and the Americas. He teaches regularly (face-to-face and online) at American University in Washington, D.C., University for Peace, University of Addis Ababa, and Open University of Catalonia. Dr. Abdalla pioneered the development of the first conflict resolution training manual for the Muslim communities in the United States titled (“…Say Peace”). He also founded Project LIGHT (Learning Islamic Guidance for Human Tolerance), a community peer-based anti-discrimination project funded by the National Conference for Community and Justice (NCCJ). In 2011, he established with Egyptian UPEACE graduates a program for community prevention of sectarian violence in Egypt (Ahl el Hetta).

Elshaddai Mesfin

Elshaddai Mesfin is a Research and Policy Dialogues Assistant at IPSS. She is a young and dynamic professional in the peace and security field in Africa based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. With a Bachelor Degree in International Relations and a Master’s Degree in Peace and Security in Africa, she has been putting into practice her acquired research and analytical skills as a Policy Dialogues and Research Assistant at the Institute for Peace and Security Studies(IPSS) of the Addis Ababa University(AAU) for the last two years. She has been working on the notions of African-led Solutions for African Problems (AfSol), their policy implications, as well as the enormous task facing African researchers as well as policy and decision makers and the Africa Union (AU) in particular, in understanding the changing nature of conflict in the continent and coming up with the right mechanisms for its prevention, management and resolution. Her work includes tracking, researching, analyzing and creating policy dialogue platforms on contending peace and security issues of relevance to the continent and the AU. She closely follows the developments on conflict management and resolution mechanisms in the Horn of Africa, in particular the South Sudan Peace Process under the mandate of IGAD. She has strong skills in networking, communication, project management, coordination and planning but most importantly in conducting, writing and analyzing research on contending African peace and security issues, in particular in the IGAD Region.


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