Project Design

Alternative Dispute Resolution Manual: Implementing Commercial Mediation, IFC, 2006

    The manual is primarily directed at project managers and practitioners involved in projects related to resolving commercial disputes. For the purpose of this manual, the term 'project manager' refers to any person who manages or is part of the team that manages the project. The manual is designed to be particularly helpful to task managers running projects with a mediation component.

    An ADR project's broad goal is to improve the business environment by providing a business-friendly dispute resolution mechanism. To achieve this goal, an efficient (appropriate) dispute resolution system must be introduced, and must also be sustainable over a long period of time. The best way to ensure sustainability is by building the capacities of local stakeholders. Therefore, an ADR project's goal goes beyond just "introducing mediation" to the court system, and focuses more on building capacities of local stakeholders to establish mediation mechanisms that can be sustained over a long period of time.

    Mediation is both a science and an art. The science of mediation consists of many academic disciplines, such as: legal theory, game theory, economics, and psychology. The greatest challenge in introducing mediation is the art of applying this broad and interdisciplinary body of knowledge to the dispute resolution system in a given country and later to a particular dispute. For the end users of mediation - parties to the dispute - mediation is largely about the art of effectively and efficiently resolving their conflicts. Therefore, ADR and particularly mediation should serve as tools for behavioral changes of the parties to help them more effectively resolve their disputes. This manual takes this practical approach of applying best practices of mediation to help the parties achieve their goals.

    Data used for the research and subsequent conclusions in the manual come from various sources:

    - General Dispute Resolution theory.
    - Analysis of case-studies of mediation methods introduced in other countries.
    - Analysis of how mediation works in developing and developed countries.
    - Interviewing parties involved mostly in projects in the Balkans and other WBG employees.

    This manual is general enough to be used in many countries with different legal systems, cultures, and preconceptions about mediation and dispute resolution, and various sets of incentives for the parties involved. The manual often suggests what the dominating strategy or choice would be (if any), but this is meant to be only a presumption that can be rebutted by a set of particular conditions in a country. A strong prescriptive advice to that is to 'listen to and learn from your local partner' to make the general advice presented in the Guide better fitted to particular circumstances.

    Thus, the general advice and suggestions presented here can be accommodated to specific conditions. On the other hand, it is important to educate the local partner about the variety of possibilities and best practices existing elsewhere. It is particularly important for any project design to be based on a detailed assessment of the country's needs and tailored to its unique environment, not replicated from any other system or this manual.

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    Synthesis documents
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