Final Report: “Responsible Youth: Engaging Young People and Community Members in Conflict Transformation & Social Change”

Narrative and Financial Report

Name of Partner: Wi’am, Palestinian Conflict Resolution Centre

Submitted to: Diakonia


      Date: 17/4/2012

Project Title: “Responsible Youth: Engaging Young People and Community Members in Conflict Transformation & Social Change”

Time Frame for the report(1/7-31/12/2011)

Changes in the conditions for implementing the project:

a) External:

The current political division in the Palestinian context and the stalling peace process is exacerbating intra/inter-Palestinian divisions which, in turn, leads to rising local community conflicts and polarization. The larger, general community and young people, more specifically, from wide areas of the West Bank are feeling this escalating tension, something which jeopardizes civic peace and community relationships.

B) Internal. (Project/Organization)

The project activities were accomplished according to the set action plan with the cooperation of key stakeholders, civic society organizations, and the larger public.

2. Project Analysis

a)    Analysis of outcomes and impact in results

The project focus was on multiplication training and building the capacities and skills of 25 young people (18-25 years old) in areas of conflict transformation and community mediation. The trainees come from different areas in Bethlehem, Hebron and Jerusalem. We reached young people from different universities, such as Al-Quds and Bethlehem Universities, and different villages, such as Sourief, Toqua’, and Batir, and refugee camps, like the Aida and Dehisha camps. The beneficiaries are divided into 45% females and the rest are males.

The training program focuses on building the capacities and skills of young people in areas of Conflict transformation/Mediation and other related interdisciplinary fields that involve:

Strategies for managing conflict

Conflict mapping/real-life case studies/role-plays & simulations

Personal styles of conflict management

Active listening & questioning techniques

Building solutions to conflict situations

Negotiating/problem-solving skills and assertiveness techniques

Advocacy: Campaigning & Networking

Communication strategies

Gender Mainstreaming

Human rights and Democratic participation

Training Outcomes and Achievements:

The participants gained enhanced skills and knowledge as they identified types of conflict and models for managing conflicts, mapped real-life case studies, and engaged in role plays that enhanced their mediation and conflict management skills. In addition, the training for trainers strengthened the capacity of young people in the de-escalation of peer/community conflicts and changed their behavior and practices towards adopting a peaceful resolution of conflicts in their life and community relations. The training helped young people change negative perceptions about the other with more openness to a dialogue of words and rational, thinking approaches to conflicts. The training empowers the participants to recognize how personal values and views influence behavior and identify conflict management styles. They are more able to analyze the needs of each party, develop skills to resolve conflicts in a flexible manner, develop positive influence techniques, and develop negotiating skills appropriate for a win-win solution.

Most of the participants indicate that the training changed their behavioral/attitudinal confidence in nonviolent approaches to transform conflicts. They gain enhanced abilities to manage conflicts and express their opinion more openly in public meetings and social activities. Young people, particularly girls, mention that they were reluctant to speak in front of elders and never attended public and political meetings earlier. However, after taking part in the training, they are now attending the community meetings and public events and can express their opinion confidently. The participants mentioned that the training changed their perspective on community engagement with increased engagement in peace building/reconciliation measures in the community. The participants show more re-enforced commitment and confidence in the mediation work of the ‘Core Group”, and actively engage in the dialogue meetings in a way that promoted civic peace and help, giving them a leading voice in community affairs. In that field, the participants agree that the acquired leadership skills/conflict management skills give them the confidence/know-how to practice what is learned in real world training situations. For example, 20 trainees in 4 groups applied their knowledge and skills in 5 trainings to their peers in three youth centers and two universities, targeting 25 young people (with equal gender balance) from different universities (Bethlehem, Al-Quds, and Hebron) and  surrounding villages and refugee camps. By the same token, young multipliers constitute an added value to the work of the CG in which they join. The mediation team (Core Group) benefitted, with the multipliers help, in its mediation/dialogue work and field visits, consolidating civic peace and social cohesion in a way that promoted peaceful resolution of conflicts.

In addition to the multiplication trainings, the mediation work and the facilitation sessions and community meetings of the Core Group (CG) contribute towards enhancing dialogue and building better relationships between conflicting communities, generating creative options for transforming conflicts. These mediation and dialogue meetings give young people a leading role in reconciliation efforts. The CG organized 8 dialogue meetings between rival groups and constituencies in the Bethlehem, Hebron, and Nablus areas including villages and refugee camps. This time-specific dialogue process facilitates effective communication between opposing groups regarding specific topics in dispute. It fosters mutual understanding, enhances maximum interaction, tackles problems, and yields solutions acceptable to all parties.  The meetings between rival groups were conducted under the supervision and facilitation of the core group. Wi’am staff built trust between community members on both sides of the conflict and brainstormed and presented creative options that address complicated social problems, i.e. rival youth infighting that is based on urban and village rivalry or political affiliation.

The Core Group has successfully reconciled 60 cases of community conflict, reaching ~350-400 beneficiaries from all ages. In general, the work of the CG created a healthy rapport between rival groups, restoring social harmony and creating a “culture of peace” between rival social groups in different areas of the West Bank.  The CG took strides to involve youth in different meetings, conflict prevention activities, and mediations which, in turn, helped to reduce threats to social peace and social cohesion.

In the final analysis, the reconciliation efforts of the CG helped to restore the best possible relationships among conflicting groups in the community and helped the parties handle differences effectively.


Coordination with other Stakeholders


Through our project we have established networks with women and youth organizations, community groups, youth groups, women’s groups, local authorities and decision-makers, the elderly, dignitaries, and religious figures. The purpose of this cooperation is to generate a better, sustained impact and involve as many communities in the project as possible to enhance community ownership/participation in the project.


Result 1: Democracy

The rights-holders have an increased level of both qualitative participation and representation in their communities

Partners and their respective achievements per indicator:


OCI1: Men and women, as rights-holders, have taken initiative of their own volition in 50 communities to advocate in solidarity for core democratic values. *A group of 12 multipliers (4 trainers in each group) with equal gender representation, delivered 5 training sessions in 5 areas in the WB, reaching  30 young people with equal gender in areas of  conflict resolution, mediation, dialogue, communication skills and Gender issues reaching  women and young people  

*The Core Group, with the involvement of young people, organize 8 dialogue sessions in 20 different WB  communises, promoting shared common values of democracy, human rights, participation, mutual responsibility, and dialogue   

*The Core Group transformed 65 cases of conflicts in different communities, decreasing tension levels and re-establishing trust by breaking revenge patterns

*Wi’am and the CG organized  8 community dialogue sessions in 6 areas hosting religious leaders, women, youth groups, political groups, and key actors

*Young people have enhanced confidence/abilities to express their opinion freely in different meetings, highlighting their needs and their aspirations for social unity and peaceful resolution of conflicts.    


OCI 2: Men and women, as rights-holders, are actively participating in decision making at the community level. *20 women and men from the target population are active in advocacy groups, organizing different activities and networking events while actively making collective decisions in their colleges and community centres                 
OCI 3: 50 people from the target marginalized groups (men and women) have reached a leadership position in their communities. *12 women and men are active leaders in different student unions,  youth and women organizations influence decisions and lead activities


Other relevant information/observations from the ‘log’ or partners’ reports, evaluations of case studies, not captured by the indicators.  
Result 2: Gender Equality

The rights-holders, through some partner organizations and local community, have increased awareness of gender inequality and have taken action towards the adjustment of unequal gender roles and for the implementation of women’s rights.



OCI 1: Our partners’ rights-holders, women and men, have organized themselves into groups to promote changed gender roles. * 50 women and men (%65 female) are active members in civic society groups, organizations and students unions promoting gender mainstreaming, and engage in advocating gender equality in community affairs.      

*60 women (40% female) participate in the work of the CG, actively engagig in community meetings and advocacy campaigns promoting gender equality  

 *250 women and men (70% females) mark the “International Women’s Day” on the 8th of March,  promoting gender rights and debating issues related to rape, legal laws, and social practices

*25 young multipliers (with equal gender) are joining Wi’am’s weekly youth and women’s meetings, debating issues such as  gender equality, women’s participation in public/civic life, civic peace, social problems, local reconciliation efforts, conflicts, and health issues     


OCI 2: Community and religious leaders in some communities are taking initiatives for an open debate about how to promote and implement Women’s Rights. *An established alliance of key religious/community actors and figures (part of the CG) are promoting and advocating women’s rights through meetings, social networking, sermons, debates, and advocacy events

*On the 8th of March, Women’s International Day, Wi’am hosted a panel  discussion in the Peace Centre attended by religious figures, a Justice figure, a barrister, a human rights activist, a civic leader  and by at least 250 persons debating women’s, gender, and human rights from a religious/civil perspective

*Religious leaders call for a change in public perception on women rights in their speeches  

Result 3: Partners are using a rights based approach in their work, are actively promoting human rights through targeting rights-holders such as women, children, and youth at risk, as well as the disabled, in their rights based demands towards duty bearers.  


OCI 1: Partners in Palestine have used their acquired human rights knowledge to establish a rights-based strategic approach to their work. *Changing perceptions and strengthening community support for women’s access to education and economic opportunities through training, awareness raising, and sensitization 

*The Core Group advocates human rights and gender equality in their mediation work

* Wi’am organize weekly trainings in human and gender mainstreaming rights at the centre as part of our weekly women’s club empowerment program 

OCI 2: Partners in Palestine have taken initiative to defend and actively promote Human Rights for rights-holders in the fields of education and health. * Networking with 13 women organizations to promote women rights and participation


*Organizing joint Advocacy campaign with women coalitions calling for more punitive measures against perpetrators of rape


OCI 3: Men & women, as rights-holders, take initiative to defend, promote, and demand their human rights. *200 women participate in advocacy activities promoting gender/human rights

*60 women and men engage in public debates with decision-makers and community leaders on issues related to human rights and gender discrimination  

Result 4: Social and Economic justice

The rights-holders are aware of structures effecting economic and social rights and are participating in decision making processes.

OCI 1: Economic and social rights have been promoted to change structures that negatively affect men and women as rights-holders. *30 women and 20 youth are joining women’s forums, weekly meetings and coalitions that actively participate in different activities and trainings

*Trainees are joining human rights groups and civic society organizations advocating human rights and engage in public events that advocate women’s rights  

OCI 2:  Partners have formulated an advocacy strategy to raise awareness on SEJ towards their rights-holders and decision makers. *Ongoing community meetings, networking and advocacy campaigns promote women’s and men’s rights from the base level.   
OCI 3: Partners have implemented their advocacy strategy towards their rights-holders and decision makers. *Advocacy campaign implemented on the rights of women victims of rape and human rights abuses
Result 5: Grassroots movements are incorporating social values in their peace promoting work, using non-violent methods with the aim of ending the occupation.  


OCI1: All partners are promoting and using non-violent methods as they work and dialogue with rights-holders in Palestine through their peace promoting activities. *Increased confidence in the reconciliation work of the CG with more communities seeking our mediation and reconciliation services   

*20 Young multipliers (half of them girls) apply a two-hour training in conflict transformation and the art of  dialogue with their peers

* 3 communities are establishing informal mediation desks to deal with cases of conflict with the help/supervision of Wi’am mediators    

OCI2: Partners are using social work to promote and resolve conflicts in their work with the rights holders  *We are, indeed, reaching the larger community, advocating dialogue, non-violence and peaceful resolution of disputes through Sulha/community dialogue sessions