Insider Mediation Initiative

Under the project "Restoration of Governance and Reconciliation in Crisis-Affected Communities of Ukraine"



Infrastructure for peace (I4P) is a concept endorsed by UNDP, SDC and the EU, and increasingly used in contemporary peacebuilding. In broader sense, it is a dynamic network of skills, capacities, resources, tools and institutions that help build constructive relationships and enhance sustainable resilience of societies against the risks of relapse into violence. In narrower sense, I4P is everything that generates favorable conditions for the violence prevention.

Insider mediation is one of the shapes infrastructure for peace can take. Ultimate goal of insider mediation is to restore broken relationships between or within communities, ethnic and social groups. Insider mediators are individuals, groups, entities or institutions, able to directly and indirectly influence the conflict parties’ behavior and thinking. As of 2016, insider mediation has been implemented in twelve (12) conflict-affected countries in two (2) continents.

In 2017, Ukraine joined the number of states adopting the newest approaches to peacebuilding by supporting insider mediation. Prioritizing sustainability and continuity of the interventions done, the concept has been proven to sustain and thrive without funding. UNDP Ukraine will identify and empower individuals as insider mediators in regions directly affected by the conflict, improving community security in short-term, social cohesion in mid-term, and reconciliation in long-term.


The activity is aimed at improvement of social cohesion by reducing amounts of conflicts/hostilities at community-level. The reduction is achieved via selection, training and oversight of 15 insider mediators from different hromadas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions.


15 representatives of communities (hromadas) of Donetsk and Luhansk regions. Hromadas that have shown significant progress in amalgamation process and highly-motivated local activists will constitute core pool of candidates for the selection.

For optimizing available resources and maximizing cost-efficiency, 10 roles of insider mediators will be offered to suitable members of community security work groups/active members of hromadas UNDP has productive experience working with.

Expected outcomes

  • Enhanced community security;

  • Increased mediation capacity and conflict resilience of community members;

  • Rebuilt trust between community members;

  • Improved knowledge and understanding of conflict dynamics in the region.

Expected outputs

  • 15 semi-professional mediators are trained and operating;

  • 4-days training for 15 mediators conducted;

  • 15 roundtable discussions with insider mediators conducted;

  • Quarterly analytics on pressing local conflicts & their causes composed;

  • Evaluation paper “Experience of Insider Mediation in Eastern Ukraine”.


UNDP provides:

Insider mediators deliver:


Conflict mapping/update on conflict risks


Direct mediation

Access (information/focal points)

Advocacy for marginalized groups


Building consensus/solving problems


Constructive negotiations

Long-term sustainability

Opportunities for formalization. Insider mediation could evolve into full-fledged Peace Committees – collective bodies, main agenda of which is peacebuilding, conflict resolution and restorative justice at grassroots level.

Opportunities for institutionalization. Insider mediation could expand to distinct Peace Secretariats or may be incorporated in existing state structures.

Opportunities for replication. If successful, the activity has potential for being replicated in other areas of Ukraine, including non-government controlled. It will foster reconciliation, return of IDPs and refuges as well as fracture hostile myths and mitigate security dilemma.

UNDP’s long-term involvement includes additional capacity-building trainings over the pilot period (2017) as well as specific trainings of higher quality in 2018. The trainings will be organized in accordance to feedback (resolution of specific conflicts or sensitive areas) received over the pilot period. The feedback is to be structured and measured in conflict mapping and quarterly-prepared analysis.

In a long-term, range of tasks for the insider mediators could be extended to:

  • Resolving of land and ownership conflicts by the return of IDPs and refugees;

  • Ensuring peaceful elections and breaking political deadlocks;

  • Establishing platform for formal peace negotiations between belligerents.


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