Social MediationSocial Mediation
Duration: Ongoing (since 2018)
Objective: To spread the use of Social Mediation as a tool for conflict resolution.
In May 2018 ICLAIM produced a Handbook for professionals on Social Mediation in Cyprus, which aims to inform and assist practitioners such as public servants, NGO staff and members, community workers, youth workers, teachers, non-formal trainers and educators with the use of Social Mediation as a conflict resolution method in a social or professional setting. In July 2018 a pilot workshop introduced the content of the Handbook to a group of individuals from the education, NGO, and law enforcement sectors. This activity was then followed by four workshops under the Social Mediation in Practice project from November 2019 to March 2020, which were supported by the United Kingdom High Commission in Cyprus. Each of the two-day workshops had a bi-communal character and took place along the United Nations administered buffer zone, at the Famagusta Avenue Garage in Deryneia, the Home for Cooperation in Nicosia, and the premises of UCLan Cyprus in Pyla. This project concluded in September 2020, with the Social Mediation Conference and the launch of the Social Mediators’ Network. Participants included trained Social Mediators from both Cypriot communities, who had participated in the workshops mentioned above. Based on the feedback, the ideas and the areas prioritised by the workshop participants, we produced a report summarising the main points on the conference. You can access the report through the link below.
The Social Mediators’ Network aims to facilitate the long-term communication among trained social mediators. It has a horizontal structure, which allows peer-to-peer collaboration and currently counts about 30 members, from Europe, Africa, and Asia.
In February and March 2021 ICLAIM continued its activities on Social Mediation under the theme of Social Mediation for Social Transitions. The workshops were delivered by ICLAIM with the support of UCLan Cyprus and a grant from the University of Central Lancashire Centre for Sustainable Transitions (UCLan CST). Building on previous experience, the activities trained individuals in Social Mediation through a two-day online workshop, followed by an online Roundtable Discussion, which aimed at bringing together old and new Social Mediators’ Network members, to set priorities and identify useful approaches in using Social Mediation in societies characterised by continuous social, political, economic and technological transitions. The Manual on Social Mediation for Social Transitions, is the result of this project and envisages to expand the contexts within which Social Mediation can be employed as a conflict resolution tool.
From November 2021 to January 2022, ICLAIM and UCLan Cyprus continued their successful collaboration with the British High Commission in Nicosia, and launched a new project on Identity, Culture & Social Mediation for Cyprus. The aim of the project was to build specifically on the project’s potential as a peacebuilding tool. The project took a deeper look on the socio-cultural realities in Cyprus across the continuous division of the island, addressing questions of identity and culture across all Cypriot communities, and religious groups. Following the activities under the project, we published the Social Mediation Manual on Culture in Divided Societies, which was enriched with practical recommendations, theoretical and empirical data, addressed to local and international networks working on Peacebuilding.
The project has enjoyed widespread international recognition for its potential! Following the initial success of the project in Cyprus, Social Mediation in Practice received the 2020 European Citizen Prize from the European Parliament. The symbolic award is given annually to projects and initiatives that facilitate cross-border cooperation or promote mutual understanding within the European Union.
In January 2022, the project was selected as one of five Global Solutions across the world to support the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The project was presented across the globe at the 2022 Global Solutions Forum in Dubai, organised by the the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), following a competition organised during the SDSN Initiatives Lab, co-organised with the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ). GIZ has been supporting ICLAIM’s ongoing efforts to expand the project globally, in collaboration with organisations from across the world.
University of Central Lancashire, Cyprus (ongoing)
The Lancashire Research Institute of Citizenship, Society and Change, University of Central Lancashire, UK (2018)
British High Commission in Cyprus (2019-2020, 2021-2022)
University of Central Lancashire Centre for Sustainable Transitions, Preston, UK (UCLan CST) (2021)
German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) (2021-2022)
ICLAIM Experts participating in this project:
Stephanie Laulhe-Shaelou, Nadia Kornioti, Katerina Antoniou, Pinar Zubaroglu-Ioannides (2020-2021), Zora Kizilyurek (2020-2021)
Project website: www.social-mediation.org.
Handbook on Social Mediation for Professionals
Manual on Social Mediation for Social Transitions
Social Mediation Manual on Culture in Divided Societies
Social Mediation Conference and Network Launch Report
Social Mediation Conference 2020 – Video
For more information, you can get in touch with the project team at firstname.lastname@example.org