HD believes that providing effective support to mediators can increase the chances of successfully preventing, mitigating and resolving conflicts and of sustaining peace after an agreement is signed. HD offers this support by giving mediators access to the latest conflict resolution expertise and experience.

HD’s Mediation Support and Policy (MESU) team is dedicated to enabling HD’s own mediation activities in addition to sharing expertise and experience with other mediators, institutions and organisations working in international mediation.

What is HD’s Mediation Support work all about?

HD aims to strengthen the practice of mediation globally by addressing the current practical issues which conflict mediators and negotiators face –at HD or in other institutions and organisations. HD believes that successful mediation is based on effective mediation support, expert advice, a broad collaborative network, informed policy discourse, insightful monitoring and evaluation, ongoing learning, and strategic adaptation.

Within HD, the team monitors closely the progress of its projects in order to identify where they can learn from each other or where HD projects can contribute to developments in the wider mediation field. The team also supports the organisation’s mediation projects and the efforts of other third-party mediators by sharing information about the management of peace processes, as well as supporting them with advice, expertise and staff where necessary.

In co-hosting the Oslo Forum, HD offers mediators an opportunity to share experiences to develop more effective approaches to conflict resolution. In addition, HD seeks to develop practical written material which offers succinct and hands-on approaches to tackling some of the issues and dilemmas mediators face in peace processes, and to bolster the capacity of organisations and governments in Africa and Asia to engage in mediation.

Providing support and strengthening mediation practice

The MESU team tracks the progress of HD’s own projects and provides advice and expertise as necessary to support its mediation work. To this end, the team has designed new mechanisms for injecting expertise into HD mediation processes and developed innovative approaches to Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) in peacemaking. HD implements a peer-to-peer learning approach across its operations, and successfully generates organisational insight and strategic adaptation.

HD believes that in order to be sustainable, peace processes need to be inclusive. The MESU Inclusion Co-ordinator strengthens the organisation’s approach to inclusion by supporting both HD teams and civil society actors as they build frameworks for broadening participation in peace processes.

Beyond HD, the team provides advice and expertise to other individuals, institutions and organisations involved in mediating armed conflicts. This includes building the capacity of national governments and international organisations to support their own mediation processes. For example, the team has provided extensive support to national dialogue efforts in Yemen and Libya, assisted the EU Commission’s efforts to support third parties involved in mediation, and developed a mediation handbook for the African Union.

Sharing knowledge and shaping policy

The practice of mediation differs widely as each peace process and mediation effort is influenced by a unique set of circumstances. However, there are often common themes across these processes and mediators confront similar types of decisions. HD draws on its own experience and conducts research in order to further the debate on approaches to mediation processes. The MESU team contributes to a number of public events, meetings and workshops which strengthen HD’s relations with other organisations. The organization also produces publications and practical training materials addressing the challenges facing mediators and offering options for overcoming them. These are shared with the wider mediation community in order to contribute to international policy debates.