German-Ukrainian Research Project: Implementing Mediation & Dialogue in Ukraine
"Implementing Mediation and Dialogue in Ukraine: Cultural and Institutional Impediments and Possible Improvements” is a collaborative project of the Center for Peace Mediation at European University Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder) and Dr Tatiana Kyselova, National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy. The shared observation between Tatiana Kyselova and CPM in 2015 was that efforts to establish domestic mediation (mostly civil or commercial cases) within Ukraine as well as recent dialogue and peace mediation processes addressing the current societal and political crisis encounter considerable and apparently similar challenges, with many of these endeavors simply failing. Putting together internal/Ukrainian and external/international expertise to explain these difficulties proved to be illuminating and thought-provoking for both sides.
The project actively engages Ukrainian and international mediation and dialogue practitioners in the analysis of challenges and strategies to tackle them. The starting point of the project was an Expert Round Table (ERT I) in March 2016 hosted by the Center for Peace Mediation at European-University Viadrina in Frankfurt (Oder). It brought together international experts, who are or have been conducting mediation or dialogue activities in Ukraine, to discuss hypotheses on the reasons for the faced challenges.
For interim insights of the project discussions, see our Discussion Paper in English and Ukrainian.
In 2016 and 2017, Dr Kyselova conducted five focus-groups and 57 semi-structured qualitative interviews with Ukrainian and international dialogue facilitators, dialogue participants and individuals from organizations such as the OSCE and the United Nations and international donor organizations active in Ukraine, to explore possible reasons for challenges dialogue activities on Track III (civil society/grass roots level) are facing.
On 25 November, 2016, members of the CPM and Dr Kyselova met with Ukrainian and international mediation and dialogue experts for an interactive interview session (focus group) and a brainstorm session in preparation for the Expert Round Table II. Subject of the focus group discussion facilitated by Tatiana Kyselova were a series of open questions that came out of the Expert Round Table I in March 2016 and the field interviews carried out in Ukraine in summer 2016.
At a second Expert Round Table on 20 May 2017 in Kiev, a policy paper draft and tentative recommendations deriving from Dr Tatiana Kyselova’s research were discussed with Ukrainian and international dialogue facilitation experts.
The overall goal is to collect recommendations for tackling the found challenges, to identify questions for further research and to find answers that are of benefit for a context sensitive design of mediation and dialogue processes.
The project is supported by the Robert Bosch Foundation. Tatiana Kyselova’s research is funded through an EU Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant.