Partners for democratic change Serbia have organized a five-day basic training for mediators from 24-28 November 2014 within the project “Peaceful Communities- Local Ombudsman and Mediation”.
The project is supported by the Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands in Serbia and targets five local communities – Backa Topola, Pancevo, Subotica and Belgrade Municipalities of Vozdovac and Vracar. Five local Ombudsmen, their staff and local community representatives will begin offering free mediation services to provide more efficient and cost-effective protection of citizen`s rights. In cooperation with the Municipality of Vozdovac, the Project will also establish a pilot Community Mediation Center, first of this kind in this region.
The training for mediators aimed to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills for conducting mediation and preventing and resolving everyday local community disputes. Furthermore, it will help strengthen the capacity of local Ombudsmen offices and increase awareness of local Ombudsmen as an effective mechanism for citizen engagement.
The training program included following topics: the concept and types of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) techniques; legal framework for the use of mediation (relevant national legislation and comparative solutions); understanding, approaching and analyzing conflicts; communication skills; concept, principles and styles of mediation; stages of mediation and the role of the mediator; the code of conduct for mediators; cooperation with attorneys and legal representatives; negotiation skills; overcoming obstacles; conclusion of agreements; “best practices” of mediators from the U.S. and European practice; practical examples, exercises and simulations; standards of conduct of mediators and ethical issues in mediation.
The training was attended by 18 participants who, upon the successful completion of the training, were awarded certificates.
Lecturers at the training were Dragana Cuk Milankov, Jelena Arsic, PhD, and Blazo Nedic.