Peacebuilding Manual/Problem Solving
Problem solving is a technique that encourages individuals in conflict to jointly define the conflict or problem, analyse its causes, suggest various options for solving the conflict, and then select and implement the preferred solution. It is a five step process in which a group: (i) defines the conflict; (ii) analyses causes of the conflict; (iii) generates or brainstorms options for resolution; (iv) selects the preferred option; and (v) implements the solution.
Problem solving is often used in small groups to permit analytical thinking. It is a skill that can be extremely useful in conflict, especially for jointly defining the problem or conflict. Usually, not all groups agree on the causes of the conflict! Problem solving is not necessarily useful in restoring relationships. Another similar methodology is called appreciative inquiry. Appreciative inquiry takes a more positive approach and analyses and appreciates the capacities that exist, rather than looking at the deficiencies or problems. It discovers and appreciates the best of what is, dreams about what might be, and envisions possible impact, designs and creates what should be, and finally, takes steps to make these processes sustainable.