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The Resource Conflict Triangle

This tool was submitted by Regina Salvador-Antequisa on behalf of Ecosystems Work for Essential Benefits, Inc. (EcoWEB) Iligan City, Philippines. Its purpose is to give a framework for Transforming Resource-based Conflicts.

This framework is useful for mediators acting as ‘third party’ in transforming community resource-based conflict, whose aim is to resolve the conflict through a participatory process.

The framework shows the integrated approach used in addressing 3 major elements of a resource-based conflict, namely:

  • Space.
  • Time.
  • Relation.

The framework enables the practitioner to identify critical issues in the conflict and provides ideas what issues to focus on, where to start and how to proceed.

Triangulation of the 3 elements

We have invented the word ’triangulation’ to describe our approach that integrates the information that is acquired through analysis of the role of space, time and relationship in conflict. It provides insights on how Relationships within a particular Space change over Time and how the over-all societal context impacts the conflict. This also gives insights on how positions, interests and needs of conflict parties change over time in a particular space in conflict in relation to a changing context. This then enables the facilitator or mediator of the conflict transformation process to determine the appropriate intervention and approach.

Useful in which stage of conflict

This framework could be used at any stage of conflict. It may help prevent the escalation of a local resource conflict that is still in a latent pahse and may also help de-escalate and resolve conflict already involving violence. The approach and the specific tools to use may vary according to the level of violence, the characteristics and the complexity of the conflict.

Role of the facilitator

The conflict transformation process requires a ‘third party’ facilitator/mediator composed of committed peace practitioners that could endure the long process of conflict transformation. It presents the ideal composition of a tri-partite body as facilitator/mediator composed of :

  • Government to include the representatives of local government unit and national government agencies, and as legitimizing structure to the process
  • Civil Society Organizations as an objective facilitator/s
  • Representatives of and elected by the affected community and conflicting parties to ensure ownership over the process

Facilitators need to provide a safe Space and enough Time to conflict parties for self-expression, reflection, revelations, dialogues, and negotiations.