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Our Approach to Resolving Conflict

CICR has developed a unique approach to achieve its mission, anchored in a solid foundation of core values and guiding principles. This approach allows for developing and enriching positive and powerful conflict resolution competency for preventing, managing and resolving challenging situations in the most efficient, positive, sustainable, and timely manner.

The Third-Party Neutral (TPN) program and Community-Based Conflict Resolution (CBCR) equip participants to intervene in conflict situations through key interpersonal skills and coaching, mediation, group facilitation, community dialogue and other peacebuilding competencies that help restore dignity and trust, and address the sources of deep-rooted and identity-based conflict.

For CICR, a “community” is where we live, work, and share activities. It gathers people together and brings them into regular interaction to fulfill their individual and collective needs. It is a web of relations that are interdependent and dynamic.


Conflicts are normal within and among communities. Dealt with the right approach, conflicts provide opportunities for growth and creativity.

CBCR invites communities and their members to come together for positively centred activities designed to respond to their motivations and needs, foster mutual respect and dialogue, share resources and experiences, reach common objectives, and restore their dignity and trust. 

Community-Based Conflict Resolution

   CBCR processes and interventions:


  1. Foster dignity and respect

  2. Are inclusive and barrier-free

  3. Are positively centred

  4. Are vision-based

  5. Are timely and sustainable

  6. Acknowledge the complexity of conflict

CICR follows a community-based approach to conflict resolution (CBCR), with processes that foster respect, are positively centred, inclusive, vision-based, timely and sustainable, and recognize the complexity of conflict.


The CBCR approach is valuable due to its inclusion of all stakeholders, the development of peer-based competency building, the understanding of conflict as an opportunity for growth, and the positive and longer-term transformation on the personal, relational, structural and cultural levels. 

CBCR builds competency through intervention so that people can work towards resolving their own differences without further intervention.

Our programs empower community members to define, model and practice together principles, methods and skills that will enable healthier responses to conflict.

The Third-Party Neutral training anchors participants in the culture of CBCR, and in a reflective, experiential and neutral approach to resolving conflict. 

What is a Third-Party Neutral? 

The role of a third-party neutral (TPN) is crucial in helping individuals and groups effectively communicate and reach mutually beneficial solutions. TPNs possess the self-awareness, know-how, skills and commitment to respond in a positive, productive and powerful way to conflict and to intervene promptly. They recognize that assisting people in conflict is very sensitive and seriousespecially when dealing with issues that raise strong feelingsIt is a role that demands dedication and discipline.

As an intervenor, a TPN takes charge of designing and leading the process, creating a framework for healthy communication, and ensuring that all parties involved feel safe, respected, and valued throughout the process. Maintaining dignity and respect is a primary goal of a TPN, and they work tirelessly to ensure that all parties are heard and understood in a fair and unbiased manner. 


The CBCR core values and guiding Principles are key to determining the role and mandate a TPN will ethically take in a CBCR intervention. 

CICR - Spectrum of TPN intervention options.png
  1. Nurture Dignity and Respect

  2. Clarify Mandate, Seek Permission

  3. Space, Place, Presence

  4. Process, Not Content or Outcome

  5. Listen with Ears, Eyes & Heart

  6. Task, Timing, Process

  7. Suspend Judgement, Stay Curious

  8. Trust the Process and the People

  9. Reflect, then Respond

  10. Know & Be Kind to Yourself

The Principles of a Third-Party Neutral

The TPN core Principles can be applied in any circumstance where safe, inclusive, respectful, collaborative restorative and empowering spaces, processes or relationships are required.

Training as an Intervention

CICR’s trainers teach by modelling inclusive, respectful and responsive processes in real-time. They use the participants’ experiences with conflict and the training room as a learning laboratory, intervening as seasoned group facilitators and conflict resolution practitioners. 

The pedagogical model promotes reflective skills practice and integrates the deeper layers of identity-based conflict to generate greater self-awareness, self-confidence, and proficiency “that sticks.”

CICR training serves as an intervention tool, transforming participants and their relationships while “learning” and restoring trust and engagement.


​Training as an intervention is a very effective way of bringing individuals or groups in conflict together in the same training session, not to discuss their conflict, but to enter into a positively centred activity together, which is the training itself. This can go a long way to healing the conflict and provide a common language and a way for the parties to have more positive and fruitful subsequent discussions.

CICR’s experiential learning methodology draws insights from the group’s knowledge and expertise from the field, harvesting collective wisdom and networking with powerful learning communities.

Learning Community

  • Everyone is a teacher and a learner
  • The resources are available to all
  • Learning is adapted to the context
  • Everyone is responsible for their own learning and for the learning opportunities of the group 
  • The space is safe for all to deal with challenging situations
  • Genuine dialogue is encouraged and supported
  • The group reflects on its own learning
  • Learning transcends all other outcomes or results.

The Third-Party Neutral Principles and Community-Based Conflict Resolution Values present a universal approach to transforming conflict: adaptable to any work setting or group circumstance and culture and using the whole spectrum of intervention choices (coaching, facilitation, negotiation, mediation, leadership).

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