Eastern Mediterranean University (EMU) Cyprus Policy Center (CPC) and EMU Political Science and International Relations Department organized a conference titled “Peace Engineering in the Field, Challenges in Post-Conflict Governance”. The conference moderated by EMU-CPC Chair Prof. Dr. Ahmet Sözen hosted speaker Graham Day, who has great experience in peace processes as an official of both the British and Canadian Navies and international organizations such as the United Nations.
“The Cynefin Framework Should Be Adopted as a Guide”
Day started his speech by explaining that there are different types of practices that require different approaches and a flexible operational understanding to run the peace process. Day added that said the “Cynefin Framework” provides both conceptual and operational guidance, helping leaders and decision makers divide problems into four areas—obvious, complicated, complex and chaotic—and then respond appropriately to those areas. Stating that all four areas of the Cynefin Framework contain some kind of limitation, application and guidance on how to respond to a situation, Day mentioned that guidance in that area can be used to act according to the specifiec area to which the conditions are related.
“Chaotic Area Should Be Avoided”
Day pointed out that the open space for situations with known outcomes is for knowing the facts of the situation, categorizing accordingly and responding with best practices, while the complex area involves gathering, examining and reacting to incoming data. Day added that in the complicated area where there is no clarity in the cause-effect relationship and where legitimacy is very important, it is necessary to try different things by breaking the problem into pieces, and that the chaotic area that includes events such as conflict must be avoided in order to maintain the peace process.
“Not Every Problem is Complicated”
At the end of his speech, noting that peacemakers spend most of their time in open or complicated areas of the Cynefin Framework, Day stated that not every problem is complicated, but should be treated as a complex adaptive system that evolves. Day pointed out that there are some steps to overcome difficulties in managing the peace process, that these steps are not absolute laws, but heuristics or contingency guidelines that save the situation and resources.