|Community Participation in Problem-Solving: Managing Conflict (UN Habitat - United Nations Centre for Human Settlements )|
These guidelines (blue) are intended for the trainer only. They explain the rationale for the module and offer some suggestions for using it in training workshops.
This module is one of a series of three on:
COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION IN PROBLEM-SOLVING AND DECISION-MAKING:
1. BASIC PRINCIPLES
3. MANAGING CONFLICT
Ideally, the three should be worked through in sequence; but they are also designed to be used independently, depending on the knowledge and experience of a particular group of trainees.
The first module sets out the basic framework for problem-solving and decision-making. It introduces a number of key concepts related to analysing problem-situations and preparing action plans. It presents a three-stage process of problem-solving and decision-making, which is made up of eight operational steps.
The second module focuses on the problems and potentials of leading project staff members and community groups through problem-solving and decision-making activities.
The third module concentrates on the conflicts that are bound to occur in coping with the problems of human settlements projects.
The models of problem-solving and decision-making that are described in all the modules are drawn from a variety of fields - industry, counselling, community development and social work but they are related to the specific context of the development and improvement of low-income human settlements.
There is a progression in the kinds of task contained in the three manuals.
Since the first manual was mainly concerned to introduce some basic concepts and processes related to problem-solving, the tasks were mainly short reflective ones - designed to highlight a point or test out the participants' understanding of what was presented.
The second manual was focused on leadership, so it introduced some fairly brief role-plays, to give practice in the techniques of facilitating group problem-solving activities.
This manual deals with conflicts that can arise in project work, so it contains sustained and elaborate simulation exercises. These would form the core activities of any workshop based on the text.
Three or four days
(If the participants have not already worked through the first two manuals in the series or if there is a significant time-gap since completing the first two, four days would be necessary.)
If you are not experienced in running such participatory workshops, you might find chapters VII and VIII of Community Participation A Trainers' Manual particularly useful.
1. Introduction - outline of the objectives and methods of the workshop.
2. Presentation - a review of the problem-solving techniques contained in the previous two manuals.
(This will be a reminder of the main considerations affecting participatory problem-solving: the eight-step procedure for problem- solving and decision-making; the characteristics of effective leadership of problem-solving groups; and the values expressed in the "statement of principles".)
3. Activity - Task 1: The "speak out" exercise
(An issue-identifying activity, designed to expose some of the common barriers that prevent community participation. It should help to identify the main sources of conflict which occur in the interplay of agencies and residents engaged in human settlements projects. It is a special kind of introductory brainstorming exercise which encourages participants to express a range of attitudes which will have an important bearing on the way they approach the workshop and their fieldwork. You will find a full description of this exercise in the Toolkit section (Chapter X) of A Trainers' Manual.)
4. Discussion - a follow-up discussion on task 1, concentrating on the questions raised in step 6 and the ideas contained in the Review section.
1. Activity - Task 2: The "unequal resources" game
(This exercise is usually played out in a way which demonstrates the ease with which groups move into conflict positions when they are faced with an unequal distribution of resources that are needed for the completion of a task. There is a description of the exercise in the Trainers' Manual.)
2. Discussion - follow-up of task 2, taking up the "points for discussion" listed at the end of the exercise and the issues raised in the Review section.
3. Activity- Task 3: The "broken squares" game
(This exercise should highlight some contrasting factors to what happened in the previous exercise - because the focus is now on co-operation rather than conflict. Again there is a description of the exercise and some likely outcomes in the Toolkit section of A Trainer's Manual.)
4. Discussion - follow-up of task 3, taking up the "points for discussion" and the Review section.
5. Activity - Task 4: Discovering your own conflict-management style
(This exercise is designed chiefly to identify the five conflict-management styles which become the framework for the themes and activities contained in the rest of the manual. It might be important to point out that, since this is only a "one- shot" indicator of an individual's response to conflict situations, it does not have a definite validity.)
1. Presentation - Conflict-resolution styles
(A review of the five styles described in chapter 11 of the manual.)
2. Discussion - Choosing a style
(An opportunity for participants to comment on the ideas presented in chapter 111, in relation to their own experience of human settlements projects.)
3. Activity - Task 5: Measuring assertiveness
4. Discussion - comments on the results of the questionnaire and a discussion of the issues raised in the Review section.
5. Activity- Task 6: Measuring co-operation
6. Discussion - comments on the outcomes of the reflective exercise and a discussion of the issues raised in the Review section.
7. Activity - Force field analysis
(On their own, participants try out a force field analysis on one of the ideas they have worked on in the previous exercise.)
8. Presentation and discussion - Handling conflict
(The purpose of this session is to clarify ideas contained in the introductory section of chapter V - especially the concept of the "dramatic triangle". This should prove a particularly useful analytical tool in the critique discussions of the role-plays that are to follow.)
1. Activity-Role-play: "Interrupted business"
(The model-building step is an unusual one, but its purpose is to help participants get into the role-play. It ensures that all participants are involved; allows them to identify with one or other of the characters; and makes the selection of the actual role- players a much easier task than normal. Also, when the role-play is over, and the models are then revealed to the whole group, it often provides very interesting material for discussion. For instance, each model serves as an explanation as to why a particular character entered into the role-play with certain feelings or tactics. Sometimes, it demonstrates that the event turned out quite differently from what was expected.)
2. Discussion - based on the questions suggested in the review section.
3. Activity - Simulation: Either "Parties and pressure groups" or "Priorities"
(Which of these similations is chosen - or whether both are included - will depend on the experience and interests of the training group. If the group is a large one and time is available, both - or others designed by the participants themselves - might be tackled, in order to give as many participants as possible an active role in such simulations.)
4. Discussion - based on questions raised in the review sections.
5. End of course review and evaluation