From January 20-22, 2011, The Wilson Center held its final workshop at Thinkers Village in Paynesville, Liberia. The focus of this workshop was to review the tools and skill-sets provided to the participants; apply those to specific conflict situations they currently face; identify ways in which they can continue to utilize the tools to effectively resolve conflicts or disputes in the future; reaffirm the network of growing peace builders involved in this project; and explore ways in which that network can continue to reinforce itself and expand its impact.
One of the key goals of this last meeting was to strengthen the network of participants, as well as provide the opportunity to convene a planning session that will give guidance as to how this project can be strengthened and expanded to ensure a stable and peaceful transition for Liberia in the future.
The participants were highly pleased with the tools and skills which the workshop provided them and with their applicability in real life. They recommended that the program expands their audience to include leaders of multi-national corporations, district commissioners, and union leaders, as they are all decision-makers within Liberia. They would like to see a greater Training of Trainers where the participants would become the facilitators and therefore, take ownership of continuing the process.
At the formal closing of the workshop, Dr. Momo Rogers, Chief of Cabinet and Special Assistant to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, said that President Sirleaf fully supports the continued work of the Woodrow Wilson Center.
The WWICS conducted the workshop in partnership with CMPartners, a Boston-based conflict management group, and AlterNego, a Paris-based conflict management group. The West African Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP) has worked closely with us on administrative and logistical issues. The funding was provided by the United Nations Peace Building Fund through the UNDP.