People in conversation

A Dialogic Approach to Peacebuilding

Essential Partners (then known as the Public Conversations Project) partnered with Interfaith Mediation Centre in Nigeria and UMass Boston to develop a "hybrid" dialogue guide to help facilitators bring together Christians and Muslims in workshops, dialogues, mediations, meetings, interventions or mentoring groups.

The 76-page dialogue guide represents a two-year collaboration between the four organizations and provides a faith-based “hybrid” dialogue model specifically for use in peace building efforts between Christians and Muslims. Funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), it was developed and field-tested in northern Nigeria, a region long plagued by identity-based rifts in its social fabric.

The goal of the hybrid model was to blend peace-building approaches in a way that offers Scriptural inspiration and support for coexistence and community-building. The hybrid model draws upon Scripture, family systems theory and other approaches to offer specific guidelines, techniques and practices that can help bridge divides of religious, ethnic and other kinds of identity.

This hybrid model represents an integration of these two approaches which has been specifically designed for use within the Nigerian cultural context; however, it is intended to be applicable within many other cultural contexts where faith is a critical factor, and identity differences divide a population, resulting in community rupture or violence.

Author(s)

Dave Joseph, MSW

Interfaith Mediation Centre