Project ROM/00/002 is aimed at creating and strengthening conflict analysis and resolution capacities within government and civil society in Romania, as well as the SEE region. It is composed of two dimensions: regional and national. Each dimension is comprised of three components: conflict analysis; direct intervention (mediation); and training. Types of disputes analyzed and resolved include labor and employment; public policy; minority rights, civil and commercial fields. The objective of the project is to assist the Government of Romania and civil society to strengthen their capacities to anticipate and respond to crisis, to work within and defuse conflictual situations and to enrich their overall development practice with conflict resolution tools, techniques and planning mechanisms. This is being done by strengthening government mechanisms, institutions and programmes in the management of disputes and by integrating conflict management concepts and tools into on-going governance and development work.
Based on a previous STS, which undertook a preliminary needs assessment to examine the structure and function of current conflict management mechanisms, project ROM/99/008 was formulated, proposing activities to reinforce existing capacities and develop new capabilities through a range of activities, training workshops, institutional support mechanisms and other capacity-building measures. The project is now being co-implemented with SPPD funding from project ROM/00/002 provided by UNDP/Bucharest. UNDESA implements the project and supervises inputs from national and international consultants to the project.
After a thorough bidding process, Partners Foundation for Local Development (FPDL), a Romanian NGO and one of the eleven Partners Centers network organizations established by Partners for Democratic Change, was selected to implement the project locally. The FPDL team brings to the project extensive experience in participatory planning processes, as well as in training in leadership, conflict resolution and mediation in Romania.
FPDL will establish a Center for Conflict Analysis, Prevention and Resolution (CAPR) to provide capacity-building, mediation and facilitation services to promote participatory policy-making and constructive resolution of public disputes. The CAPR will involve both local/municipal and national mediator-trainers and will develop a “took kit” for them in conflict analysis, applied negotiation training, consensus-building and participatory planning, facilitated brainstorming and other informal problem-solving processes and mediation.
The Conflict Management Group (CMG) is providing guidance and training to FPDL to develop the Center’s team of third party interveners and build their capacity to bring conflicting parties together to build consensus on difficult policy issues, and anticipate and help develop solutions to potential conflicts. They will also train to serve as mediators in socially significant disputes that threaten to polarize society. The programme will be expanded to operate regionally in its second year. Work on the project began several months ago with the finalization of the contract with FPDL, during which time they have been engaged in organizational and outreach work. Training is scheduled to commence this July 2002.