Societies like Nepal have always had somebody performing services of resolving disputes. This project helps in bringing justice to all. Prior to being adapted for Nepal the mediation program is the model that have been tried and tested in Srilanka, Bangladesh, and Philippines.
Nepal’s citizens face both a weak and inaccessible formal justice system and inadequate means of resolving local disputes. Mediation is able to fill this void in judicial assistance by providing immediate, affordable, and locally accessible dispute resolution services. Mediation in Nepal offers a space to resolve interpersonal and collective disputes which transforms adversarial tensions into cordial relationships based on mutual respect. A total of 5 organizations; RUWDUC, SUSS, IGD, CeLLrd & Pro-Public has been conducting the Community Mediation Programme in 13 districts of five development region of Nepal with support of The Asia Foundation (TAF).
When the dispute is registered in the mediation center one disputant select one mediator from his/her side and another disputant select one mediator from his/her side and third mediator is selected by VDC secretary or local coordinator. Mediators work as a facilitator in the mediation session by using their mediation skills.
Generally three individuals from within the settlements would be called upon to sit with the Disputants and get them to arrive or facilitate them to arrive at a decision to their own disputes so the facilitators or the mediators do not provide their own solution which is different from other approaches.
There is a great demand for this over the last years , the 5 organizations which are working on this community mediation programs have gone from a lower rate of adoption to a higher rate now reflected in over 18,000 of cases that have been brought into settlements and over 80% have been settled. The readiness in which manner people are accessing the solution shows that when space is provided for people to come and discuss their grivences with each other facilitated by neutral mediators and they can come with a resolution of their own. Mediation has a better chance of success than those settled by people outside of the dispute.
Recent survey showed that 93% of disputants are satisfied, indicating minimum chances of disputes to re- ignite. That is really important in a country where going to courts does not really assure of a durable settlement.
These five organizations which are working on Community mediation have trained 4500 mediators over the last eight years in which a third or more are women and over a half are not from marginalized and disadvantaged community. We feel that having these trained people in place already we are going to find that women and marginalized groups are going to be better advocates for similar groups of Nepalese who were disadvantaged previously.
Building capacity of grass root community on mediation skills so that they can solve disputes within their communities.
The programme is being implemented in the 3 Municipalities and 15 Village Development Committees (VDCs) of the 3 Districts.
In Dadeldhura District it is being implemented in Amargadi Municipality, Asigram VDC, Mastamandu VDC, Navadurga VDC and Samaijee VDC.In Samaijee the project has already phased out. In the year 2012; two more VDCs, Bagarkot and Koteli were added.
In Doti District, the mediation program is implemented in Dipayal Silgadhi Municipality, Ranagaun VDC, Kalena VDC and Mudegaun VDC. In the year 2012; two more VDCs Bhumirajmandu and Durgamandu were added.
In Kailali District it is implemented in Dhangadhi Municipality, Beladevipur VDC, Geta VDC and Shreepur VDC. In Malakheti VDC there was peace building program and In the year 2012;two more VDC s Urma and Phulbari has been added.
Total Solved Cases:
A total of 2,229 cases (on land disputes ,transaction, physical assault, family disputes, verbal abuse, cattle grazing ,accident , community forestry ,marriage ,partition ,crop and theft) has been already solved through this community mediation program in the three districts covered by RUWDUC from January 2004 till December 2012.Among the total 2169 cases , 653 cases were in Dadeldhura district, 860 cases in Kailali and 716 cases in Doti district has been solved through community mediation program.
MTOT for Master Trainers on Mediation by (TAF) the Asia Foundation: A 12-daysTraining of Trainers (TOT) on Mediation was provided to a total of 12 selected Master Trainers of the target districts. These master trainers provided this training to the community mediators of all the target areas.
Basic Training on Community Mediation: 30 persons from each Municipality/VDC were selected and a 8-day Basic Training on mediation was provided to these community mediators. This training programme was divided into 8 sessions. A total of 390 community mediators (men and women) from different ethnic groups participated in the training programs. The trainers also evaluated the capacity of each of the community mediators. The project coordinator from Kathmandu provided backstopping for some of the training programs.
Provide orientation on mediation to district officials of the target areas: A total of 15 orientation programs were conducted for the Municipality/VDC officials, social workers, local political leaders and local NGOs of the programme districts regarding the mediation programme so that the community benefits from their support of the programme. In this program Chief District Officer (CDO), Local Development Officer (LDO), Deputy Superintendant of Police (DSP) , Nepal Bar Association representative also participated. A total of 495 persons participated in the orientation programme.
Social Marketing: Awareness-raising on issue of peace building and mediation were conducted in all of the target areas through 25 street drama performances. Script for the drama was provided to the local drama group to conduct the street plays.
Refresher Trainings: All the Master Trainers were provided with a 3-day refresher training. They then provided this refresher training to all the community mediators.
Advance Mediation Training: 3-day advance mediation training was provided for the existing community mediators of all the target areas by the Master Trainers.
Advance Refresher Training: 3-day advance refresher mediation training was provided for the community mediators of all the target areas by the Master Trainers in each district.
Replacement Training for New Mediators: Over the years the number of mediators in the target areas decreased from the original 30 due to various reasons such as going to work to other district/country, death etc. Thus, selection process was conducted to identify 139 new mediators. These new mediators were provided with a 8 days basic training on mediation.
VDC Level Practice Sharing: A total of 180 VDC level practice sharing were conducted in the target areas for the community mediators, trainers and local officials. This practice sharing was organized so that the mediators could exchange their views, success stories and difficulties encountered during the mediation process. Practice sharing program were conducted in subject such as Human Right, Four phases of mediation, UN security resolution council 1325 and 1820 ,transactional justice, Mediation act, Mediator’s society constitution, preparation for convention according to constitution of society, community mediator’s network constitution, conflict transformation, community mediator’ s manual, social justice, Pre mediation Phase and follow up after agreement.
Intra District Practice Sharing: 3 Intra district practice sharing were conducted in the target districts. These practice sharing were conducted in the Municipalities of these districts. A total of 180 selected mediators from the target area were gathered to share information on types of cases, success stories and difficulties encountered during the mediation process.
Inter District Practice Sharing: A 1-day Inter district practice sharing was conducted in Doti District for selected mediators of Dadeldhura, Kailali, Kanchanpur, Banke and Doti Districts. The mediators of different districts received an opportunity to share experience and exchange views regarding the programme.
Group Mediation Training: A 5-day group mediation training was provided for the master trainers of Dadeldhura, Doti, Kailali, Kanchanpur and Banke districts. This training was provided to handle cases of disputes between two big groups such as community users groups. The master trainers then provided a 3-day group mediation training to 186 selected community mediators from the target areas. The time frame of group mediation is 4 days.
TOT on Mediating Cases related to Domestic Violence: A 5 days TOT on mediating cases related to domestic violence was organized for a total of 30 master trainers of all 13 Districts of the mediation programme in Kathmandu. These master trainers then provided this training to a total of 120 selected community mediators of all the target areas.
Dialogue Session for Community Mediators: A total of 156 dialogue sessions were conducted in the target areas. These dialogue sessions were held with a total of 4,350 community people to advocate about positive thinking and peace building skills required to prevent and resolve small disputes on the spot.
Advisory Committee Meetings: A total of 84 advisory committee meetings were conducted in the target areas. A total of 1680 mediators participated in the advisory committee meetings to provide suggestions on controlling quality of mediation process to strengthen the mediation programme.
Community Initiated Peace Building Activity: A total of 96 activities were conducted at the grass root level to create awareness among the community people especially the youth on issues of peace building, positive thinking and the mediation programme.
Mediator Network Support: District level meetings were held for the target areas to select 3 mediators from each of the target areas to form a mediator support group. These mediators are then a part of the Mediators Network consisting of mediators from all 12 Districts with mediation programs. An initial mediator network meeting was organized in Chitwan for the network members of all 12 districts and the programme coordinators to meet and further plan the mediation programme. District level network meetings were also held with a total of 405 mediators involved in the meeting.
Mediation Cases: A total of 2229 cases have been successfully solved by the community mediators. Most of the issues were related to disputes on land, community forestry, crop distribution, domestic violence, loans, cattle, family disputes etc.
Mediator Award of the Year: Certificates and cash awards were provided to a total of 34 community mediators based on their performance and the number of cases successfully resolved by them.
Endowment Fund: An endowment fund of NRs. 305,000.00 each was provided to the mediators group of each area so they could continue the programme independently. Backstopping is being provided by RUWDUC.
Fund Raising and Management Training: A 3 days training on fund raising and management was conducted for a total of 324 selected mediators to enable them to increase and manage the endowment fund provided to their mediators group.
Village Level Peace Action Group: A total of 150 local peace community members (LPC members) consisting of teachers, political leaders, VDC secretaries etc. were selected from the target districts to participate in a 5 days training programme on peace building and dispute resolution. Action plan for conducting peace initiatives was designed at the end of the training programme. These LPC members then conducted a total of 6 peace initiatives in the areas selected by them.
District Level Consultation on Constitution of Mediator Network & Finalization: Discussions were held with the selected mediators of all three target districts on drafting of constitution for mediator’s network.
District Community Mediator’s Society (CMS) Board Meetings: A total of 18 board meetings were conducted at the target district of the ad-hoc committee. Upon the finalization of the constitution of the Mediator’s Society memberships were distributed to the mediators. The Mediator’s Society was first registered at the central level and then at the district level of the target areas.
District Level AGM: The first District Level Annual General Meeting (AGM) was held in all 3 target districts for the Community Mediator’s Society, Nepal and a District Board was formed through elections/mutual consent.
Newsletter: Newsletters from all the 12 target areas are prepared, printed and distributed in the target areas twice a year to inform the community people about the progress of the programme.
Time Frame : July 2003 to September 2013