New events series on National Dialogues

At Inclusive Peace, we give advice on National Dialogue processes in different countries and continue to expand our research and expertise. Following a request from our partners, we have started a series of peer-exchange events to explore different aspects of National Dialogues.

Over the past few decades, National Dialogues have facilitated political transitions in diverse contexts, from Afghanistan to South Africa. These inclusive, multi-stakeholder negotiations are now widely recognised as a useful instrument to prevent the outbreak or recurrence of violence, resolve political crises, and pave the way for political transitions and sustainable peace – if designed and conducted in an effective and inclusive way.

At Inclusive Peace, we support National Dialogues in several countries. Working in these different contexts, we became aware of a general need among our partners to exchange with peers and experts on the process and structural dynamics that determine the pathways to, and outcomes of, National Dialogues. Based on our partners’ request, Inclusive Peace is hosting a series of events on National Dialogues. In this series, our partners discuss specific aspects of and topics related to National Dialogues and share experiences and lessons learned.

The first peer and expert exchange event of the series was held in December 2020. At the event, practitioners, local actors, and experts on National Dialogues shared their experiences on generating support for upcoming National Dialogues in difficult political circumstances, highlighting regional representation and expertise spanning east and southern Africa, the Middle East, and North America.

The event explored how political elites can be convinced that a National Dialogue is a good opportunity to establish the preconditions for a peaceful and inclusive nation. The participants also discussed how fear held by many groups of being marginalised or co-opted through the Dialogue process can be overcome, and if there are conditions in which National Dialogues do more harm than good.

The second instalment in this series is coming up in March 2021 and will focus on addressing politicisation. In this exchange, we will discuss strategic tactics to deal with the inevitable politicisation inherent to National Dialogues.

About National Dialogues

A National Dialogue is an inclusive, multi-stakeholder negotiation in which large segments of society and politics are represented. It is meant to address a broad range of societal, political, and economic issues concerning the entire country. Generally, National Dialogues are formally mandated public forums with a clear structure establishing rules and procedures for dialogue and decision-making.

More about our work on National Dialogues

Learn more about our thematic expertise on National Dialogues


What Makes or Breaks National Dialogues?

This report is based on the National Dialogue research project and its comparative analysis of 17 cases of National Dialogues (1990 – 2014). It aims to contribute to a better understanding of the functions of National Dialogues in peace processes.

October 2017|Anne Zachariassen, Cindy Helfer, Thania Paffenholz,

Briefing Note,

What Makes or Breaks National Dialogues?_BN

This briefing note summarises the findings of a research project on National Dialogues and inclusive peace processes commissioned by UNDPA. It is based on a comparative analysis of 17 cases of National Dialogues (1990-2014).

April 2017|IPTI,