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New Paper Explores Community Mediation Research in Nepal

January 11, 2012

Nepal Community Mediation ReportFor poor and rural Nepalis, the formal judicial system is of little value and largely inaccessible. With a diverse ethnic and linguistic population, Nepal’s different regions and groups have had their own unique and indigenously evolved customs for resolving disputes. Over the past decade, community mediation has emerged and developed in Nepal as a dispute-resolution alternative for local communities for whom the formal legal system could be prohibitively costly and unmanageable. While community mediation today is quite distinct from the older, traditional “councils of elders,” it also appears to be different in real-life applications from the descriptions first offered by professional mediators and NGOs.

In this just-released paper, “Staying True in Nepal: Understanding Community Mediation through Action Research,” the 10th in The Asia Foundation’s “Occasional Paper” series, John Paul Lederach, Professor of International Peacebuilding, University of Notre Dame, and Asia Foundation Senior Program Officer Preeti Thapa explore the use of participatory action research as a method to deepen the practice of mediation at the village level in rural Nepal. The paper looks at how mediation has evolved through practice and as a response to daily conflict during and after the nation’s civil war, and includes discussion of how participatory action research has affected the practice of community mediation. Download paper.

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