Mediation is an important part of building community resilience and promoting communal harmony in any context. It is particularly important in Timor-Leste, as the formal court system struggles to deal with its case load, and community members must wait long periods of time to have their case heard in the courts. The National Directorate for the Prevention of Community Conflict, under the Ministry for Interior in the Government of Timor-Leste, provides mediation services across all thirteen Municipalities and Regions in the country, to assist people in resolving their conflicts.
Building on research conducted by Bridging Peoples in partnership with UN Women in 2018, the purpose of this project was to support DNPCC in formalising and streamlining their processes, so they can provide better, more consistent services to different sectors of the community.
The project was conducted in partnership with JU,S Jurídico Social Consultoria, Direisaun Nasional Prevensaun Conflitus Comunitario (DNPCC) and UN Women in Timor-Leste. The team worked together to understand and streamline the various mediation processes that were taken by mediation teams in different parts of the country, build on this to create the necessary legal frameworks for DNPCC to fulfil their mandate, and provide guidance and training for community mediators. The guiding principles were that the work should reflect the Timorese community context, incorporate best-practice mediation principles and practices, and be inclusive of traditionally marginalised groups including women, people with disabilities, and others.