This manual is a peace building and conflict management working book for field workers in
national and international organisations in Afghanistan. It will support them in their
contributions to a transformation process from a culture of violence to a culture of peace in
It will introduce them to the basic concepts and methodologies of peace, peace building,
conflict and conflict management in order to give people the opportunity to understand peace
and conflict more systematically and to improve their ability to solve problems themselves
using non-violent means.
Besides these concepts for peace building, some basics are needed by a good peace worker:
the readiness to learn, excellent communication skills and the will to bring new ideas to
reality. In the terminology of international aid and development agencies it is called
developing projects and programmes. Such an Action Plan is also necessary for peace
This working manual does not include concepts of Do-No-Harm (DNH), because some
training programmes in DNH are offered and trainers were qualified in Afghanistan. A DoNo-Harm
manual is in the planning process. For that reason this working manual concentrates
on basic aspects of peace building for use by everyone.
As peace building is a very complex issue it requires a lot of time but everybody can start to
contribute to peace building from any point. This handbook seeks to encourage people to
develop their own strategies for activities. At the very least each organization and each
profession should design new peace building activities and conflict management intervention
because their goals, their target groups, the facilitators and their experience and skills and the
social, economic and political environment as well as the security situation of their specific
working field are dependent on such peace building and conflict management intervention. .
The concept of this working manual is that of a developing manual. Do not take the working
manual as something that has to be worked through chapter by chapter. If you have better
ideas, please feel free to improve the manual and adapt it to your needs. This will allow
additions to the chapters or new chapters can be added. The pool of methodologies will
expand as experience grows.
Experienced trainers/facilitators will develop their own methodologies and examples to better
fit their goals or are better understood by their target groups.
This training manual seeks to encourage people and organizations to find their own way to
contribute to the peace building process on the community level in Afghanistan. It is a
working book in the sense that it will need an Afghan “translator” to make it better understood
by local people. It is designed for all those “translators” working as trainers, field staff of
Afghan and International organizations, representatives of communities and administration
working on the non-governmental level up to the governmental level.
In chapter 1 “Open for learning and mutual good understanding” Amanda Benstead shares her
experience as “learning expert” in her contribution “Learning by experience”. “The Square of
Communication” is developed by Prof. Friedemann Schulz von Thun, an expert in
Brinkmann: Steps for Peace, Working Manual for Peace building and Conflict Management 6
psychosocial communication. He kindly gave permission to us to translate and use his concept
for peace-building in Afghanistan. We would like to thank him for this.
Chapter 2 “Basic Elements of peacebuilding” is an introduction to the definitions and
concepts of peace, peace building, state-building, the development of good governance and
Chapter 3 “Analysing conflicts” introduces a definition and aspects of conflict and describes
methodologies of conflict analysis.
Chapter 4”Stakeholders in peace building” shows methodologies, describing different
stakeholders and their roles in peace building, introduces methodologies for stakeholderanalysis
and specifies relations in social power.
Chapter 5 “Conflict management styles” describes different non-formal conflict management
styles, such as negotiation, mediation and arbitration and how they can be used for
confidence-building and facilitating the dialogue processes.
Chapter 3 “Analyzing conflicts”, chapter 4 ”Stakeholder in peace building” and chapter 5
“Conflict management styles” benefit from the training manual “Working with conflict” from
‘Responding to Conflict’ by Simon Fisher. This manual is the result of many training
programmes by practitioners in a number of conflict areas, including Afghanistan. Some parts
were taken from this working manual. Some actual examples and additional methodologies of
how to use them were added. My thanks to Responding to Conflict for permission to use some
extracts from their working manual.
Chapter 6 “Action-plan for peace building and conflict transformation” tries to give support in
how to start with an idea and bring it to action in peace building by showing methodologies of
vision work. It provides ideas of a To-Do list in the planning period and demonstrates how to
evaluate a project to get feed back for improving future projects and to learn systematically
The basic structure of each chapter is a short introduction, the presentation of basic concepts
or methodologies, a section on how to use it in the field, and gives examples to support
The manual contains posters on peace, conflict, conflict-escalation and conflict management
for pedagogical use with illiterate people.
My special thanks go to Suleiman Mohammad of Co-operation for Peace and Unity (CPAU).
He supported peace building training programs with advice with an enormous amount of
handouts in Dari, thereby enabling us to carry out evaluation tests. Many thanks also to
Nasreen Safi and Homayoun Wardak from Afghanaid, who regularly and freely gave of their
advice from their background as experienced DNH trainers on improving peace building
training and how to adapt it to an international aid agency.
Akbar Sarwari, a freelance trainer in peace building, did the translation of this working
manual from English into Dari. Along the way we discussed similarities and differences in the
implementation of peace building issues in the field. Additionally he improved the
understanding of concepts, the adaptation of examples and methodologies for use in
Afghanistan and I am especially grateful to him for his assistance.
Brinkmann: Steps for Peace, Working Manual for Peace building and Conflict Management 7
An advisory group proofread the translation from English into Dari. In the process they
created some new words in Dari to make the topic more understandable by Afghan people.
My thanks also go to Akbar Sarwari and Homayoun Wardak, to Amin-ul-haq Mayel (Oxfam)
and Hamidullah Natiq (freelance expert in peace building).
The posters in the training manual were developed with the support of Florian Weigand of
DED and were drawn by Latif Ghafoori of Sanaye Development Organisation (SDO).
Only with the generous support of the German Development Service (DED) and the never
ending support of the coordinator for the Civilian Peace Service Habib Qayum could this
manual have been realized. Thank you.
The manual is the result of experiences on a six-month peace building training programme for
local staff from Afghanaid and Oxfam working in Badakhshan. It was a learning cycle of
training – reflecting – training – implementation in the work – refection on experience –
improvement of activities – exchange of experience. It was a very fruitful Afghaninternational
co-operation and co-production. I want to say thank you to all of you for your
openness and willingness to share experiences and ideas and your creativity and
encouragement in dealing with peace building on the local level and for the valuable feedback
as social organiser/ community mobiliser. In the six months eleven people talked about peace
and peace building with more than forty different target groups and did conflict management.
In this time they reached more than 3,000 people directly and 17,000 people indirectly. What
a potential for bringing peace to Afghanistan!
Good luck on your contribution to peace building and conflict management in Afghanistan.
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