The report will be in three parts:
1. A conflict assessment to evaluate the appropriateness or feasibility of a second track initiative (diagnosis);
2. Future scenarios, and specific constructive outcomes that might emerge from workshop(s) promoting a favorable scenario as below (prognosis); and
3. Planning and proposed structure for a second or multi-track initiative bringing together influential (if unofficial) representatives of the parties to promote conflict transformation or building toward a preferred scenario (treatment).
Part 1 should assess the dynamics of the conflict and the feasibility of potential second track intervention (diagnosis):
a. What is the conflict about? Place the conflict issues briefly in historical and regional context, noting significant factors driving the conflict. Note what stage the conflict is in now (unstable/militant politics, low-level/escalating violence, war, talk-fight/stalemate, de-escalating/contained, contested settlement, reconciliation—see Gurr and Davies chapter).
b. Who are the parties involved, including states, minority groups, leaders, organizations, factions, alliances, spoilers, regional or international stakeholders? How are they affected, what are their sources of relative power, and what are their agendas or demands (positions)?
c. What are their perceptions of each other, and what information and communication channels are available between or among them? What cultural (and value) contrasts are involved here? To what extent do the groups need each other to achieve their goals?
d. Identify the primary interests of each party motivating these agendas and perceptions, and the (non-negotiable) human needs underlying them. Note which interests or needs are shared, which may be complementary and which are conflicting.
e. What previous attempts to settle the conflict have been made or are being made, by whom and with what results? Reasons for failure or limited success?
f. Are the groups willing to talk with each other? At what level (officials, informal leaders or grass roots)? What factors are pushing them to talk or inhibiting them? Under what conditions and at what level might they be willing to talk?
Part 2 should focus on future scenarios, specific to the conflict situation you are addressing (prognosis):
g. What are some plausible alternative future scenarios, or common futures, for the conflict as a whole? Note the assumptions or conditionalities on which each overall scenario is built (refer to factors driving the conflict as noted in 1a above), going beyond simple war/no-war dichotomies, and not restricting yourself to single issues in isolation from the big picture.
h. Of these scenarios, which is the preferred overall outcome considering the interests of all parties? In contrast, what is the best overall outcome each of the main parties could achieve without negotiating an agreement with the others (“BATNAs”)? This contrast needs to be cleat to motivate the parties to deal.
Part 3 should outline the proposed second/multi-track initiative, including problem solving workshops, and potential outcomes (treatment):
i. What are your organization’s goals in the initiative, who are your (potential) partner organizations, and what representatives of the parties have expressed interest in your assistance?
j. Which organizations would convene and facilitate the workshops and who would represent the parties in such talks? What issue(s) might they be willing to discuss?
k. What specific steps are proposed to prepare the ground for a suitable interaction among the parties as “partners in conflict” or “partners in peacebuilding”? How will participants be selected and agreed to? What prior caucusing with each party may be needed to ensure agreement on an agenda and ground rules?
l. What steps for trust building and skill building are proposed for the participants in the first workshop before focusing on their own conflict?
m. What steps are proposed for facilitating consensus building in the first workshop by the participants toward better understanding and cooperation in seeking common ground?
n. Give examples of specific integrative options for conflict transformation or peacebuilding (sustainable development) that might emerge from the proposed second track initiative, that would promote the realization of the preferred overall outcome. Explain how they address key interests/needs of the main parties, who might implement them, and whether each one represents a short-term response (e.g., threat containment, confidence building), medium-term strategy (e.g., structure for a peace process) or long-term objective (e.g., appropriate new institutions of inclusive democratic governance, power sharing, autonomy).
o. How is it proposed to facilitate action planning, re-entry, implementation and longer-term constructive engagement by participants and other actors in building on the initial workshop?
p. Give examples of expected outcomes, including impact both on participants and on their communities, that could provide criteria for evaluating the success of the initiative. For example, how will the process link into or promote an official peace process or otherwise facilitate constructive official engagement and/or broaden grassroots support for peacebuilding?
q. How will the initiative be evaluated throughout? Include output, impact and outcome assessment.
r. What specific actions or support are now requested from the organization(s) to whom this paper or brief is addressed, in order to help make this initiative happen? (No budget required at this stage.)