The HD Centre believes that providing effective support to mediators by giving them access to the latest conflict resolution expertise and experience can increase the chances of successfully mediating current conflicts and of sustaining peace after an agreement is signed.
In 2007, the HD Centre established a dedicated team, now known as the Mediation Support and Policy team, to support its own mediation activities as well as to share expertise and experience with other mediators, institutions and organisations working in international mediation.
The HD Centre aims to strengthen the practice of mediation globally by addressing the current practical issues which conflict mediators and negotiators face – whether they are working at the HD Centre or in other institutions and organisations. Within the HD Centre, the team tracks the progress of the organisation’s projects in order to identify where they can learn from each other or where HD Centre projects can contribute to developments in the wider mediation field. The team also aims to support 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 even staff where necessary. In co-hosting the Oslo Forum, the HD Centre also aims to offer mediators an opportunity to share experiences in order to develop more effective approaches to conflict resolution. In addition, the organisation 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 regional organisations and governments in Africa and Asia to engage in mediation.
The HD Centre’s Mediation Support and Policy team tracks the progress of the HD Centre’s projects and provides advice and expertise as necessary to support the organisation’s mediation work. The team also 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 regional organisations to support their own mediation processes by developing training materials and organising expert workshops for their mediation support staff.
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. The HD Centre draws on its own experience and conducts research in order to further the debate on approaches to mediation processes. The organisation 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 the international policy debate surrounding mediation processes and ways to increase their success.