Posts Tagged ‘Conflict Resolution’
I had an email exchange with one my clients this week about educational programs for peace. He noted that there has been criticism in the past few years of people-to-people programs because they rarely have a lasting impact. Hence, he said, there has been an increased focus on programs that promote functional collaboration. This theme also relates to a blog I came across recently, which talked about the Robbers Cave Experiment. This experiment was done in the 1950s with a group of boys at a summer camp in the U.S. The boys were divided into two groups and became increasingly competitive and mean. Just being in contact wasn’t the answer. Their relationships did change in a positive direction, however, when the boys had to work together in a cooperative way on “superordinate” goals.
If you take a look at the criteria on the MoU site, I’m looking for case studies where this functional collaboration is happening across divides, i.e. in the form of development projects. Having these criteria makes the models harder to find, but I think they are important because it’s the difference between just bringing people together vs. working together for a common goal and, thus, forming tighter social bonds. This month, I feature a story from Harar, Ethiopia where civil society groups are working across ethnic and religious divides to advance these “superordinate” goals in their community.
I have been remiss and haven’t been posting new updates or case studies to the MOU site lately, but there is a good reason! I have been awarded a Rotary Peace Fellowship and have been immersed in peace and conflict resolution classes (in Bangkok, Thailand) since mid-January. The program lasts until early April. Besides learning a lot, I am making some new connections and I hope this will lead me to finding some great new case studies to put on the site. The Rotary Foundation really wants to promote this program for mid-career professionals. Click on the link above to find out more, and pass the word around!