The Process Model of Conflict Resolution (Published)
This paper is a contribution to the theory, principles and practice of conflict resolution. It takes on the task of publishing a model – a process model of conflict resolution – developed following a research into the resolution of an inter-ethnic conflict. We discussed the process model in terms of conflict resolution dynamics and practices. The discussion outlined the factors, processes and conditions which make resolution possible using the lessons drawn from our research into how one of Ghana’s most intractable conflicts, the Nkonya-Alavanyo conflict in the Volta Region, was resolved. The paper argued that conflict resolution should be understood as a process involving many dynamics including actors, issues, times, resources (finance) and conditions in the context where the conflict occurs. The model stresses the importance of resolving conflict through community structures, highlighting the importance of careful mapping of the conflict in order to identify the dynamics (issues and the actors) involved. We argued that conflict resolution should be approached as a multi-layered dynamic process where the latencies are interconnected, procedural and parallel. We argued that funding is an essential ingredient in conflict resolution as is timing of resolution efforts, trust building, long term commitment and capacity building (confidence building) and sensitivity to local context issues. We put forward the idea that conflict resolution is a multi-dimensional process involving a broad spectrum of actors, activities, processes, and resources.