Zooming in: peace mediation challenges unpacked

A remote exchange in challenging times

Dates: 5 – 30 October 2020, 2 sessions per week, Mo+Wed 16.00 – 18.00 CE(S)T - The exact dates are listed below.

Venue: The training will take place in a virtual classroom (ZOOM)

Application documents: CV + letter of motivation

Course fee(s): ZIF experts: 120 € / External participants: 550 €

Course description

Due to the COVID-19 global pandemic and its various implications, ZIF and the Berghof Foundation have adapted the annual peace mediation training offering to the realities of social distancing. Instead of simply converting existing course content into a virtual format, we have used this opportunity to re-envision a new and dynamic concept that builds on courses from previous years and delves deeper into select topics.

Standard mediation training courses cover significant learning objectives, which leaves little time to delve deeper into specific topics. In this new format we want to create space to do precisely that. Thus, over the course of one month we will facilitate eight remote sessions in a virtual classroom packed with small exercises, reflections and inputs from experienced trainers and resource persons.

The course is not designed as a full-time format. Participants can attend it alongside professional commitments. However, (limited) preparation work will be expected for some of the sessions.


The 8 live course sessions will take place as follows:

  1. Monday, October 5th, 16.00 - 18.00 CEST
  2. Wednesday, October 7th, 16.00 - 18.00 CEST
  3. Monday, October 12th, 16.00 - 18.00 CEST
  4. Wednesday, October 14th, 16.00 - 18.00 CEST
  5. Monday, October 19th, 16.00 - 18.00 CEST
  6. Wednesday, October 21st, 16.00 - 18.00 CEST
  7. Monday, October 26th, 16.00 - 18.00 CET
  8. Wednesday, October 28th, 16.00 - 18.00 CET

Please note: Although this is not a full-time course, some of the sessions will require (limited) preparation work.

This course is tailored for experts working in peace operations or other international organizations with experience in the field of peace mediation and/or mediation support. Ideally, participants have already participated in one of the previous year’s courses offered by ZIF and the Berghof Foundation to further build on this experience.

Please note: we can only accept participants who are available for all the course sessions.


Please note that we require a short (max. 400 words, in English) motivation statement for this course, which you have to upload to the ZIF database. Your statement should refer to the following guiding questions:

  • What are your prior experiences with mediation/negotiation processes and/or mediation support?
  • Which of the thematic focus areas above is especially relevant in your work and what is a related question/dilemma you would like to work on during the course?

We have selected the following five topics to zoom in closer:

  • How to create a more stable table?
    Asymmetry and power in peace mediation
  • How to make inclusivity work?
    Different perspectives on gender and inclusivity in peace mediation
  • Think local!
    Local ownership and international engagement in peace mediation
  • Dilemmas and Strategies
    Dealing with difficult actors and difficult behaviour and tactics in mediation settings
  • Just move online?
    Opportunities and challenges in peace mediation in the era of COVID-19

Learning goal

The goal of this course is not to offer definite solutions but to provide the space to zoom in: to learn more about the topics and related dilemmas, reflect upon your own role and behaviour in the processes you are involved in and – ultimately – to learn how to navigate challenges more effectively in the future.

What you can expect

  • An engaging remote learning environment
  • Going beyond the fundamentals and exploring topics more in depth
  • Peer exchange of experiences and insights
  • Engaged facilitators and resource persons with experience in peace mediation settings
  • A small (12 participants) and diverse training cohort

Application deadline: 6 September 2020

Please apply via our partner ZIF's website: (Direct link to application form)

Note: If you register as an external participant, please use the option: 'Application for: Training Only'