Supporting Peace Negotiation and Mediation on Track I: Implementing Comprehensive Peace Agreements

As soon as we have confirmed dates for this course, they will be posted here.

Course description

Application deadline: 03 September 2017

Please note that we require a short motivation letter for this training. For more information, see the section “Application procedure” below.

The international community increasingly tries to assist conflict parties to resolve their disagreements in a constructive manner. By supporting national dialogue processes, carrying out mediation processes and assisting conflict parties with negotiations, international organizations work with conflict parties and societies as a whole to find sustainable solutions that are implementable in the post-conflict context. Supporting such reform processes requires a variety of skills that experts increasingly need in order to work in peace operations, and other international organizations active in crisis areas.

This training course concentrates on Track 1 Mediation efforts that take place in those phases of a conflict resolution process where peace agreements have already been reached and subsequently need to be implemented. The course thus seeks to prepare participants for the challenges that they would typically face in this so-called “implementation phase”.

After the agreement has been reached, a number of imagined solutions exist that need to materialize through further negotiations, which can require third party assistance. Next to that, new bones of contention emerge as perceived risks and stakes for conflict parties are high. Different conflict constellations, actors and issues come into play that will require the mediator to re-assess the conflict on an ongoing basis.  Disputes arising over implementation terms may not just arise between the parties, but also between parties and implementers, and even among implementers. As a result, and somewhat counterintuitively, increased mediation efforts may be required in this phase.

It is therefore essential for any person involved in a peace process, whether as a mediator or assisting to such efforts, to have a good understanding of negotiation dynamics and mediation techniques. These include, among others, communication and interpersonal skills to effectively deal with conflict.

Please note that this course is not an introductory course to mediation and requires participants to already have some knowledge and experience with either mediation or mediation support activities. The course is very interactive and gives participants the opportunity to apply the skills they learn during the course through simulations and practical exercises. The course language is English.

The course was developed together with the Berghof Foundation, which has extensive experience in the field of international mediation and mediation support. The trainers are practitioners and mediators with profound insight in the international crisis context.

Course content and learning objectives

The course is designed around three main components:


  1. Negotiation fundamentals for any stage of a peace process
  2. Mediation principles and techniques
  3. Implementation challenges in theory and practice

More specifically, participants will:

  • Get an overview of the development of peace processes and identify where mediation and mediation support can make an important contribution to the transformation of conflict.
  • Understand which factors can strengthen mediation processes and increase the success of implementation and durability of an ensuing agreement.
  • Develop a stronger methodological focus on mediation and negotiation fundamentals and related dynamics, in order to better strategize and design third party support in the negotiation of peace agreements.
  • Use communication and trust building techniques that are needed to successfully conduct mediation and mediation support activities.
  • Identify the challenges that different conflict dynamics, such as the involvement of (armed) non-state actors, conflict party asymmetry, spoilers, etc., could present for third actors’ support to implementation efforts.
  • Recognize the influence of external factors, such as the framework conditions, on a mediation process and its implementation.



Course audience

The course is open to experts (civilian, police and military) working in peace operations or other international organizations, with experience in the field of mediation or mediation support. This is not an introductory course in mediation and requires participants to be familiar with basic mediation concepts in the international context.



Course fee

€ 750,00 for external applicants
€ 150,00 for members of the ZIF expert roster, mebers of the German Police and German Armed Forces


The course fee covers the cost of accommodation and food during the training. The course program is designed to include informal evening events. You are therefore recommended to stay at the course site. The course fee will not be reduced if you choose not to stay at the official training location. Insurance and travel costs are not included in the course fee and will not be reimbursed.

ZIF offers a limited number of scholarships for national staff of UN, EU and OSCE missions. For more information on those scholarship opportunities, please contact the ZIF Contact Person for this course.


For UN national staff: Please do not direct your application directly to ZIF but contact your training team or line manager.



Application procedure and selection process

Please apply for this course via the ZIFdatabase by clicking on the 'Apply Now' button on the top right corner of this page and following the directions that best match your profile.


Important: During registration, please select the option "Training Only" in the  "Application for:" pop-up menu.

The deadline for this course is 3 September 2017. Participants will be informed about their selection latest by 6 October 2017.

Please note that we require a short (max. 300 words, in English) motivation statement for this course, which you have to upload in the ZIFdatabase. Your statement should refer to the following guiding questions:

  • What are your prior experiences with mediation/negotiation processes and/or mediation support?
  • Why is the course relevant to your current/future work and how can you apply its contents in your professional context?