Everyone knows their own community best. We know who the movers and shakers are, who can be a problem, signs something unusual is happening. We know who will listen to whom, how we normally talk to each other, what has worked to solve problems before. Why would international peacebuilders know better than local residents?

Collaboration Specialists is dedicated to working alongside local residents, not to bringing in pre-set programs and solutions. We work hard to identify local expertise and practices that are already effective. If those practitioners are interested in learning complementary skills, we offer training and mentoring long enough for learners to become adept. We think through choosing the right tool for the situation, and together we create hybrids of local and international methods when that seems to be the right approach.

We have developed complementary capacity among peacebuilding partners in Liberia, Kenya, and Nigeria. This often takes the form of:

  • coaching on integrating key conflict management techniques into programming or community interactions
  • training in additional conflict management tools such as dialogue facilitation or intermediate facilitative mediation
  • organizational development to help keep their doors open
  • partners gaining facility with data-gathering and analysis, proposals and reporting, and other donor expectations
  • teaching methodology
  • creating access to information sources and international connections

"We have also developed additional conflict management capacity among business professionals, academics, and community members in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Ghana and Iraq.

Monrovia, Liberia (Mediators Beyond Borders, 2011)

After acquiring knowledge from you, we thought
we can really do this. … I found out that I have something unique that I am able to pass on to others. Especially my skills as a dialogue facilitator. For the people, when they had dialogue, it was in the form of argument, but this dialogue, it’s very peaceful. And I think it would work in our own communities

- Garmai Davies, Psychosocial Consortium of Liberia