National Dialogue & Peace Mediation Course

Learn from experts in the mediation field how to design and implement effective National Dialogues.

This course is offered jointly by swisspeace and the Berghof Foundation, a non-governmental organization engaged in peace support, peace research and peace education, involved in providing hands-on practical, thematic and technical support to National Dialogues in a number of countries.

Course topic

Today’s peace processes are highly complex, as currently seen in Syria, Yemen and South Sudan. Peace mediation and national dialogue are widely recognized as two relevant avenues for the peaceful settlement of conflicts. Peace mediation processes are assisted negotiation processes, often with limited participation and a focus on questions of power-sharing. National dialogues, in contrast, aim to provide a space to discuss a broader range of issues relevant to the wider society, expand participation beyond political and military elites and rebuild relations among different actors. The two concepts are closely interlinked as national dialogues can be set up before, during or after peace mediation processes.

Program overview 2017
Program overview 2016
Program overview 2015

Your benefits

  • Get insights on how to define, design and support national dialogue processes
  • Hands-on training in dialogue and mediation skills
  • Reflect on lessons that can be drawn from previous cases
  • Exchange experiences and become part of a community of practice


This course is designed for professionals interested or engaged in National Dialogues & peace mediation: stakeholders, practitioners and academics seeking to combine their own experiences with current conceptual insights and practical knowledge.

A minimum of two years of professional experience in relevant fields and a university degree (minimum BA) or an equivalent educational background are required.

The course will be held with a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 25 participants.


Leading scholars and experienced practitioners from swisspeace, the Berghof Foundation, the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue and UNDPA as well as other mediation experts facilitate this course.

Course coordinators:
Corinne von Burg, swisspeace & Luxshi Vimalarajah, Berghof


Faculty list 2017
Faculty list 2016

Faculty list 2015

Structure & methodology

The course consists of preparatory reading and a 5-day on-site training. Course methodologies include expert inputs, peer exchange, case studies, exercises, skills training and self-study


Successful participants are awarded a Confirmation of Participation. This course can be taken as one module (3 ECTS) of the Certificate, Diploma and Master of Advanced Studies in Civilian Peacebuilding programs offered by swisspeace and the University of Basel.

Any questions about this course?

Please take a look at the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ). If you cannot find the information you are looking for, our staff will happily answer your questions (contact us).