||The Mediation Process Matrix was developed by swisspeace on the basis of several brainstorming sessions within the Mediation Program and with selected mediators and mediation supporters. swisspeace trainers have used the matrix in coaching workshops and training courses, presenting it to a wide range of audiences including mediation donors, practitioners and academics and seeking their feedback on it. As such, the Matrix is a ‘living document’ that stands to be completed, improved, or modified.
Overall, the aim of the Matrix is to provide mediation practitioners with a tool that allows them to think systematically about the challenges of formal mediation processes and about strategies for dealing with them. These challenges pertain to (A) the structure of the talks, (B) the role of the mediator, and (C) the engagement of the mediator with the parties. Within these broad themes, the Matrix differentiates a set of process dimensions and key questions with corresponding process design options, considerations, and a list of examples and references for further reading. The Matrix lists 25 peace process dimensions altogether.
As mediation practitioners apply the Matrix, it is important that they have the following caveats in mind:
• The Matrix does not replace a thorough conflict analysis and an appreciation of the specific challenges of a given process. Particularly important is an assessment of the nature of the conflict, the parties, previous mediation efforts, and the timing/ripeness question.