At its very conception, ACCORD recognised the centrality of education and training in the pursuit of organisational (civil, government and corporate) transformation, development and peace. ACCORD upholds that it is informed citizens who can transform organisations and society, build security and respond to conflict creatively. The Education and Training Unit of ACCORD makes this its rationale for existence.
The challenges at inter-personal, organisational and inter-state levels have become more complex. These relations are complicated by issues of technology, power relations, access to economic resources, gender, race, ethnicity etc. Complexity brings with it the challenge to resolve multifaceted conflicts.
The Unit was established in 1992 to transfer skills in conflict analysis, conflict management and conflict resolution in Africa. We challenge ourselves to meet ACCORD's distinctive purpose of finding African methodologies to meet the demand for African solutions to African challenges.
Focus of our work
Our training builds capacity by training trainers as well as training interested individuals and groups to work effectively to resolve conflict in their work environments, community organisations, inter-group or inter-state relations:
- has been conducted nationally and internationally, in urban and rural areas
- has included decision-makers of the state and leaders of communities
- takes place in classrooms, boardrooms, in halls of power and the African bush
- has involved actors across political divides
- has been collaborative, involving work with United Nation Agencies such as UNIFEM and on behalf on the Organisation of African Unity (OAU)
- International facilitation
The enthusiastic support of both the UN and the OAU has seen ACCORD well received in countries in Africa. Our non-sectarian standing and our passionate belief that civil society must be strengthened to enact its choice for peace has seen ACCORD commit to training in Ethiopia, Sudan, Somalia, Burundi and the SADC countries. Training in Northern Ireland, Cypress, Austria, Sweden and Fiji has extended the reach of our work.
National educational interventions
Within South Africa itself, the Unit's work has two components: a Nonprofit component that seeks to increase the conflict resolving capital of community organisations and public sector organisations in society, and the Fee for Service component that involves equipping companies, corporates and private organisations and individuals with conflict resolution, negotiation and mediation skills.
Experiments in methodology
Regular methodology sessions during which staff experiment with, evaluate and share methodologies are conducted. The objective is to test our approaches, research African methodologies and support the various programmes within ACCORD, which all have a training component to their work. This is an ongoing process.