Negotiation Skills Training
a joint activity with the Shared Vision Program (SVP) Coordination
Project, a workshop on negotiation skills was organized
from 12 to 16 February 2006 in Bujumbura, Burundi.
total of 38 individuals participated in the workshop, including
the members of the project steering committee, the Nile
Technical Advisory Committee (Nile TAC), and legal advisors
to the respective ministries responsible for water affairs
in the 10 Nile Basin states.
workshop was part of the project’s legal and institutional
component, and focused on negotiation skills for sharing
transboundary resources and international water law. Brief
theoretic sessions were alternated with simulation exercises
and discussions of relevant case studies.
was presented as a problem solving process in which two
or more parties voluntarily discuss their differences and
attempt to reach a joint decision on their common concerns.
Emphasis was put on understanding and addressing your counterpart’s
problems as a means to solving your own. The workshop built
on the approach developed by the Harvard Negotiation Project
to focus on interest instead of positions. In a series of
exercises, participants were trained to identify issues
where parties differ, educate each other about their perspectives,
generate possible settlement options, and bargain over the
terms of the final agreement.
workshop also discussed the role of facilitation and mediation.
Role play simulations illustrated and practiced the primary
role of the facilitator to design and manage the negotiation
process, and to assist parties in communicating and working
together so that a constructive and well informed outcome
can be achieved.
day was allocated to international water law and the legal
issues involved in transferring an agreement into a clear
legal text that reflects the outcome of the negotiations.
workshop was facilitated by the University of British Columbia
and Pacific Resolutions from Canada, together with the Development
Law Service of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
of the United Nations.