Episode 009 - Loretta Raider

Interventions to Quell Election-Related Violence in Sierra Leone

Episode Summary
Loretta Raider: Interventions to Quell Election-Related Violence in Sierra Leone

Susan interviews Loretta Raider, a seasoned practitioner of organization development, conflict resolution and large group processes. In response to severe election-related violence, Loretta gives a detailed account of a multi-faceted approach to working throughout Sierra Leone using parts of Future Search, Open Space, conflict resolution and other methodologies to pre-empt future violence. Subsequent elections were peaceful and, while it is hard to be sure of the reasons, it is easy to assume that Loretta and her partners’ work contributed to that outcome. Loretta also talks about more recent initiatives to build positive change and peace in communities throughout Sierra Leone during the Ebola crisis and recovery period.


Loretta’s Bio

Loretta Raider is principal of The Raider Consulting Group, a global firm focusing on organization development and peacebuilding. She works with organizations to develop and implement effective strategies focused on their goals and preferred future. In 35 years of consulting experience, Loretta has provided a wide-range of expertise to all levels within an organization, in both the public and private sectors. Loretta’s international activities include fifteen years of experience with United Nations staff around the world in Vienna, Geneva, Addis, Nairobi, Rwanda, Santiago, Bangkok and New York delivering programs on Collaborative Negotiations, Global Diversity, Mediation, Team Building and Ethics. Throughout Europe and the United States, she trained and coached over four hundred AstraZeneca executives in state-of-the-art global leadership development programs. At the International Center for Cooperation and Conflict Resolution (ICCCR) Teachers College, Columbia University, Loretta taught over 500 students playing a significant role in preparing them for careers in peace building. Loretta leads the Sierra Leone project team of Mediators Beyond Borders International. After building unity for peaceful elections in 2012 through coalition building, dialogue and conflict transformation training the elections were peaceful. The international team including local partner NGO’s are currently building sustainable peace in Sierra Leone through leadership development and conflict transformation. Programs include a leadership/empowerment program for women political leaders and aspirants, mediation training for tribal chiefs, training of trainers for community leaders and a leadership/empowerment program for youth. Having worked in twenty-five countries worldwide, Loretta brings a strong knowledge of group dynamics and organizational behavior that enables transformative change within multicultural environments. She is a founding member of the Future Search Network. Loretta is the current president of Women International Leaders (WIL), of Greater Philadelphia, Women Empowering Women as Leaders Globally.

Show Notes (See below for links to resources and topics mentioned in this podcast)

* Background

o Principal of Raider Consulting Group, a global firm that focuses on organization development and peacebuilding

o Leads Sierra Leone project of Mediators Beyond Borders

o Founding Member of Future Search Network

o President of Women International Leaders of Greater Philadelphia, a volunteer organization that works to empower women leaders globally

o 35 years of organizational development consultant

o Experience at the United Nations training individuals mediation and collaborative negotiation

o Teacher at Columbia University

* Career focuses: Leadership development, team performance, negotiation and conflict resolution; large group processes

* John Lederach’s definition of peacebuilding: a comprehensive concept that encompasses, generates and sustains the full array of processes approaches and stages needed to transform conflict to more sustainable peaceful relationships

* The Sierra Leone

o In 2009, student unrest, violence, Mediators Beyond Borders was called in to assist in development skills

o In 2012, the project expanded from the university to a country-level project

* Students began to build a coalition of people who supported peaceful elections

* MBB delivered large group dialogue sessions and conflict transformation training

o Returned in 2013 to work on sustainable peace in light of Ebola outbreak

* Conclusion: focus on training leadership in conflict transformation skills for 4 populations: Tribal chiefs; Women in politics (30% quota system); At-risk youth; and Training for trainers for community leaders

* In terms of training for trainers: this was done over the internet; seven sessions of two hours each, handling the challenges of internet connectivity, internet cafes, lack of personal computers

* Group dynamics, how to facilitate large and small group meetings, how to facilitate dialogues, trauma and reconciliation, training others in conflict transformations skills, presentation

* A learning coach was assigned to each region

* The regions are poised to continue but the funding is not there,

* About $50,000 required

o A case study for building peace

* Peace starts from within; we have to work on ourselves and then we have to work with each other

o Draw on your own experience and expertise, use what skill sets you have to help create peace

* Links to Resources and topics mentioned in this podcast

o Raider Consulting Group: http://www.lorettaraider.com/

o Mediators Beyond Borders: http://mediatorsbeyondborders.org/

o Future Search Network: http://www.futuresearch.net/

o Women International Leaders of Greater Philadelphia: http://www.wil-gp.org/

o John Lederach is the author of the Little Book of Conflict Transformation: http://www.amazon.com/Little-Book-Conflict-Transformation-Peacebuilding/dp/1561483907

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