Making mediation research more useful for practitioners

The Centre for Mediation in Africa (CMA) based at the University of Pretoria held its first Academic Conference on International Mediation on the 02-04 June 2015. In partnership with the Global South Unit for Mediation (GSUM) and the Swiss Peace Foundation, the CMA invited practitioners, researchers, academics and policymakers from different parts of the world to engage in discussions of better understanding and managing mediation complexity. The aim of the conference was to stimulate and disseminate new research on mediation that would make processes of mediation more effective for practitioners. Some of the topics that were presented on were: the Competition and cooperation in international mediation, Mediation in Africa, the religious and cultural dimensions of mediation complexity, the lengths and limits of mediation and so forth. The overall outcome of the conference, achieved the goal of a facilitated discussion (among policymakers, practitioners and researchers) about making mediation research more useful for mediators and for effective mediative practices. Some of these were that:

  • Research needs to be reflective of reality.
  • Transparency needs to occur between practitioners and researchers
  • A continuance of sharing the experiences of practitioners that helps enrich research
  • More research to be done on practice and process design of mediation