Online Toolkit

Part 5 - Modules

The Conflict Tree

MAIN THEMESConflict analysis.
DURATION1 h - depending on the length of the discussion.
- To stimulate discussion about the key issues in a conflict.
- To identify the causes and effects of a conflict.
- To help a group to agree on the core problem.
- To assist a group to make decisions about priorities for addressing conflict issues.
- To relate causes and effects to each other and to the focus of the organisation.
Before starting, divide participants in small groups (3-4 participants each).
Draw a picture of a tree, including its roots, trunk and branches (You can do it on a blackboard or a flipchart).
Ask participants to brainstorm within their groups and write down what they consider as the key issues in the conflict. Give them small pieces of paper (post its) where they can write those key issues, and invite them to attach their papers to the tree:
- On the roots, if they think it is a cause of the conflict.
- On the trunk, if they think it is the core problem.
- On the branches, if they think it is an effect.

Encourage participants to add new ideas as they think of more conflict situations!

Now it is necessary to choose someone to facilitate a discussion where the cards are placed. Try to come to an agreement on where the issues belong, especially when it comes to the core problem.

Once you reach a widespread agreement on what the causes, effects and core problems of the conflict are, the group can then begin to discuss which issues should be handled first in addressing the conflict.

If you are working with organisations, ask them to place themselves on the tree in a way that represents which part of the conflict they are addressing through their work.

Is the organisation working mainly on the causes, the effects or the root problem of the conflict?

Gather the participants to discuss about the activity with the following question.
- What did you learn from this activity?
- Did you understand the conflict better using this tool?
- How?
HUMAN RESOURCES NECESSARY4 to 16 participants, 1 facilitator.
MATERIALSBlackboard, coloured pens and paper.
METHODOLOGY USEDBrainstorming, discussion.