Skills for Impact - Turning Conflicts into Collaboration

Graduate Program (& Advanced Certificate) Status

Course Level: 
Course Open to: 
Students on-site
Academic Year: 
US Credits: 
ECTS Credits: 
Course Code: 
Course Description: 

Mandatory Elective for MPA students

MPA students have to complete 10 credits in total over the 2 years of the program; including the mandatory SFI. MPA students have registration priority

MAPP, MAIPA and Mundus MAPP students may choose up to 2 credits of M/E SFI-s if free slots are available

The Skills for Impact (SFI) program is a mandatory, applied element of the MPA program. The program aims to equip students with core vocational competencies that are of high value in the workplace.  The SFI modules complement academic learning in the MPA and provide an important opportunity for practice-oriented learning and broad skills development

Managing conflicts, turning them into collaboration is one of these necessary skills.

Conflicts are  unavoidable aspects of social life, inherent in all human relations. We respond to  a conflict with strong emotions, perceive it as a threat, but it can be turned into an opportunity for individuals and communities.

The purpose of this workshop is to learn principles and practice skills necessary for  preventing and resolving conflicts in two-party and multi-party settings.

Public policy is mostly dealing  with contoversial  issues, addressing tough problems with diverse stakeholders’ perspectives. In order to develop more effective public policy initiatives, people’s conflicting  interests , needs and values have to be taken into consideration. The best way is to do it by engaging them into  identifying issues, generating alternative proposals  to address these issues and finding  a creative way of problem-solving jointly.

In the public policy landscape dispute resolution processes  - such as  mediation and  policy dialogue - are mobilizing resources,  empowering people and contributing to more effective policy implementation.

The workshop is taylored to explore techniques for collaborative processes and to develop awareness of process manager’s role.

During the workshop simulations, case studies and questionnaires will be used, followed by  discussions  and theoretical inputs.

Learning Outcomes: 

By the end of the workshop, students will

  • be more aware of the causes, dynamics and consequences of a conflict situation;
  • learn how to reformulate offensive messages helping people to take personal responsibility for their feelings;
  • develop  skills  of reframing - turning  the negative presentation of a conflict  to a  constructive one while preserving the content, contributing to clarification and  de-escalation;
  • understand the role of a neutral process manager;
  • be familiarized with the collaborative approach of preventing and resolving conflicts;
  • learn about the concept and steps of mediation;
  • be able to adapt these principles  for designing inclusive  public processes.

The seminar’s credits are earned on a Pass/Fail basis. Students pass the module if they attend and participate in all three days of the course and complete an assignment by time on the most important lessons learned.

According to the CEU Student Rights, Rules, and Academic Regulations (Annex 1.), in case of a 2-credit course, students are expected to spend 40-50 hours on non-classroom, autonomous, self-directed learning (homework, consultation with the course instructor or preparing for classes).