Facilitator's role and function
Facilitators from many organisations combine the roles of a mediator, lawyer, process and quality manager to help parties work towards a solution. To achieve a fair outcome the facilitator has the tasks to:
To carry out his work effectively, the facilitator must be:
Votes at Conference: 15
When you are a facilitator, there are many things that you need to do, or bear in mind:
The mediator’s roles is to assist the parties to conflict to find a solution by themselves through their own will, and to manage the process of mediation to help the two parties participate in the negotiation process successfully. The role of the mediator has two values which must be recognised and made clear to the parties: 1) Neutrality: Mediators must adhere to impartiality principles to ensure the parties believe that s/he is a neutral person. At the beginning the mediators must introduce the parties to his institution, function and role. 2) Confidentiality: Mediators must ensure that all information received must be kept confidential. By doing this it makes the parties feel secure telling the truth, as they know the mediators will not reveal any of the information to other people. If at a later point the case is referred to court, nothing discussed can be used in court. In addition, the mediator must adhere to a set of rules that should be made clear to the parties before the mediation:
Verbal Communication: In Mali and Cambodia, Deme-so and CDRCs respectively, use verbal communication to make sure that both parties know how their process of meetings work. They also emphasize that they are neutral, not on either party's side.
Use of T-Shirts: The facilitators of the OAS in Nicaragua can be recognized by their T-shirts. These are clearly marked and symbolize their neutral role and approach.
Explanation of Aims: In Mae Sot (Thailand), the dispute resolution providers in the Karen refugee camps explain that they are there to help the parties themselves find a solution, rather than to provide a solution.
Tips for the mediator:
Skills of the mediator:
The paralegal practice manual Legal Aid Forum, Rwanda 2009
Operations Manual for Commune Dispute Resolution Committee UNDP Cambodia 2008
The joint use of a rights-based grievance procedure, negotiation training, and an interest-based neutral generate greatly improved outcomes.
Complementarities in Organizational Dispute Resolution Systems: How System Characteristics Affect Individuals' Conflict Experiences, Bendersky, Corinne, Industrial and Labor Relations Review vol. 60 (2007) nr. 2 p.204-224, 2007
Lawyer as Problem Solver and Third-Party Neutral: Creativity and Nonpartisanship in Lawyering, The; Menkel-Meadow, Carrie, 72 Temp. L. Rev. 785 (1999)*Barendrecht, M. (2009). "In Search of Microjustice: Five Basic Elements of a Dispute System." SSRN eLibrary.
Gerard Egan also has a list of 'Essential Communication Skills' for helpers in his 'Skilled-Helper Model':
Egan, G (2007) The Skilled Helper. Brooks/Cole; Belmont CA
P.O. Box 80523
2508 GM The Hague
+31 70 3589221 (phone)
+31 70 3549766 (fax)
Faculty of Law, Tilburg University
Room M 907 (Montesquieu Building)
PO Box 90153
5000 LE Tilburg
+31 (0)13 466 2281 (phone)
+31 (0)13 466 2323 (fax)