In recent years, the political process in Burundi has been characterized by stalemates and deficits of leadership at various levels. Women and men alike have lacked the training, experience and political skills to move the country forward. Women have worked to make their voices heard and generally have played a constructive albeit limited role, often as advocates of reform. Women represent an untapped resource for the country at a time when more leadership is needed at all levels, in all branches of the government, as well as in civil society.
The Burundi Policy Reform Program’s second year work plan (under Task 5.2.3) set out a plan to train 160 leading female parliamentarians, lawyers, and representatives of the civil society organizations (CSOs) in conflict management and anti-corruption. In December 2008, the first training was delivered to 17 women lawyers. In March 2009 a series of six trainings in conflict management were delivered to 140 women representatives of CSOs and in May 2009 similar training was delivered to 30 women parliamentarians.
This report reviews the training delivered August 10-19, 2009 for 23 women CSO representatives in communication, facilitation, negotiation and mediation as alternative conflict resolution strategies. Although such training was not initially envisioned under Task 5.2.3, it came at the demand of the participants and as a successful continuation of the previous trainings. At the end of Task 5.2.3, the target of 160 women was surpassed, reaching a total of 210 participants.
The training had two main objectives:
- To improve participant knowledge and skill in communication, facilitation, negotiation and mediation as alternative conflict resolution strategies.
- To facilitate the exchange of experiences and good practices between the participants in the field of alternative strategies for conflict resolution.