Which are the principles that should guide facilitators when planning and shaping participative dialogue spaces? How can they ensure a reflective dialogue mode, in which all participants have a say, especially when the stakes are high in conflict settings?
In Basics of Dialogue Facilitation, Norbert Ropers draws on his broad and deep field experience of conducting constructive dialogues around contentious issues in conflict and post-war settings. It offers support to other facilitators with simple, hands-on advice. The short manual provides guidance, inspiration and practical tools. It addresses those who are engaged in planning and facilitating dialogue processes as well as those who are advocating for dialogue as a means of transforming conflict.
In our understanding, facilitation creates a space that allows for face-to-face interaction between actors/persons/people with different backgrounds, convictions and opinions, yet that respect each other as human beings. In that setting they are prepared to listen to each other closely enough so it may lead to some change of attitudes or learning, necessary for consensus building.
The Arab version of that manual has been adapted specifically for Arabic-speaking facilitators and readers. Thus, the little book eventually/hopefully meets the need for generating inclusive and democratic dialogue processes, on issues ranging from territorial security to governance, in some Arabic countries. Dialogue, many in the region agree, will allow the actors and communities concerned to agree on medium and long-term options.