Who is this website for?
Why develop this website?
This resource has been developed by the Irish Traveller Movement in response to our members’ needs to develop resources to build the capacity of Traveller Groups to understand the root causes of conflict and develop appropriate responses. Our long-term aim is that this resource will support healthy, vibrant communities by improving communication and building relationships
What is in it? What will it do?
The website is a dynamic resource developed so that Traveller organisations can
- A shared understanding of conflict
- Build awareness or raise awareness
- Understand conflict and relationship dynamics
- Understand the range of roles and interventions that can be taken
- Look at power
- Take practical steps to build their skills but using specific Tools and practices
What do we want ITM members to have achieved having used the website?
There are a number of specific goals that we in ITM have for this website
- We want it to be a website that staff, management and community members use on a regular basis.
- We want Traveller groups to actively use this and own the information
- We want Traveller groups to develop their own analyses based on what has been developed and incorporate conflict management strategies into their work
- We want Traveller groups to see conflict not only as violence, but as a healthy response to people and groups with differing ideas, needs and opinions. What we want to shift is that conflict is not the issue, but how we respond to it can be a problem
- We want Traveller groups and Travellers to be more confident in talking about conflict, about being aware of conflict and
The ITM Conflict Management website is not a finished piece of work- but will be updated on a continual basis to reflect improvements and expansions of our collective learning. We will ask members to contribute to the website by sending in their views on the conflict management website which we can post to encourage discussion among the membership on how this website has changed Traveller groups’ approach to conflict, what challenges this has brought, what successes there have been and what we need to work better on.
Who is it for?
This website has been developed for members of the Irish Traveller Movement. As you will see, we believe that specific individuals in the organisation need to be designated to take a lead in using this website but any member of ITM will benefit from this resource, whether staff (paid or unpaid), management or community members. Organisations will need to look potential practitioner roles and recognise that while one key person can be the driver of developing an organisation response, it is impossible for one person to take on all roles that may be required.
For example, some Travellers prefer to talk to Travellers. However, due to family connections, some Travellers may not want to work with Travellers from another family- can the project facilitate that? What about gender issues- some Men prefer to talk to men. Immediately we can see that only having one person who “works” on conflict is a strategy doomed to failure.
Whoever is best placed to take on the role to be the driver for the development of conflict strategies within local Traveller organisations, it is someone who needs to have certain skills.
What Benefits will this website have?
A greater understanding of conflict, improved communication and improving relationships can benefit anyone who uses the website (directly or indirectly)
The multilevel benefits are:
Worker/individual (self): Individuals who use this will have a greater understanding of:
- The specific nature of Traveller/Traveller conflict
- The importance of inner work
- A greater personal understanding of their responses in conflict
- A greater confidence to talk about, create spaces and generate discussion within group about conflict
- Be confident to play a number of 3rd party roles in relation to conflict
- Be a driver for conflict management strategies within the group
ITM Member/Traveller Project:
- A designated lead on conflict who has the capacity to deliver training within the organisation
- Collective shared understanding of conflict
- Collective shared understanding of the role of the project in relation to conflict (and specific roles within that)
- Clearly communicated messages to community and service providers on role of project in relation to conflict
- Designated a number of 3rd party roles to different members of the organisation, who are trained and confident in their roles
- Demonstrated interventions in conflict to increase communication
Traveller Community in your Area
- Travellers have confidence in the role of the local Traveller project
- Travellers engaged in and have greater understanding of conflict and their own roles within it
- Travellers engaged in discussions about managing conflict in healthy way
- Travellers recognise role of project in working with individuals and families in reducing tensions to deescalate conflict, reduce tensions and move away from violence as a response to conflict
- Travellers commit to pathways to reduce violence and realise impact of new non-traditional ways that conflict can escalate (such as social media)
Relationships with state agencies
- Clarity and certainty on what role of Traveller group is in relation to conflict
- Improved relationships specifically in relation to conflict Travellers have confidence in the role of the local Traveller project
- Reduction of incidents of violent conflict, and damage to Traveller-specific accommodation will reduce tensions between Local Authorites and Traveller groups
- New framework for Traveller groups to use in terms of relationship building with regard to difficult discussions with State agencies
- Analysis of triggers/intention/power/stakeholder mapping etc which is applicable to developing strategies with State agencies
- Reduction in visible violent incidents reduces negative stereotypes of Travellers
- Conflict analysis and awareness gives Travellers and Traveller groups framework to engage with non-Travellers
- Spaces for Travellers to look at intent and impacts can be used to look at how relationships between two communities can be improved
Recognising the limitations of the ITM Conflict Website
The website cannot be definitive. Conflict is a human interaction and hence learning about conflict introduces learning from psychology, sociology, group dynamics, power and anthropology. Each of these fields contributes to a relatively new discipline that can be studied at an academic and practical level to accredited standards. We need to recognise that this website does not claim to have all the definitive knowledge on the subject, but represents learning brought into ITM over the years of looking at Conflict as a subject and trying to define what our role will be.
What this resource aims to do for the Movement is to develop a collective framework for ITM members to grow a shared understanding of what conflict is, how it is created and defining what our role as Traveller organisations will be to improve communication, to build healthy communities, which focus on reducing violence and increasing safe, peaceful communities.
This will provide a series of models from conflict management studies- yet it does not claim to be definitive. The ideas presented are not complete as research will lead to new ideas in conflict management emerging constantly. ITM will strive to update the website based on new, relevant learning, especially from ITM members using this resource in relation to Traveller-specific conflict. The frameworks presented in this website are just that, frameworks, approximations of life. Life is always messier and more complicated than any sociological or anthropological theories and models which attempt to provide an explanation for social interactions. But a shared framework, even if it is limited, gives us a sense of how to explain things, and also to look at what we can prioritise in our work.