Resolving Land Use Disputes Decisions about community land use
Land Use Lexicon
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)
The processes used to resolve disputes that would otherwise be litigated. ADR processes include mediation, arbitration and various hybrids.
The resolution of a dispute by an impartial party granted the authority by the participants or another decision making entity (such as the legislature or the courts) to hear evidence and then render a decision. Arbitration may be binding (the parties decide it will be the forum of last resort) or non-binding (the parties retain their right to go back to court).
A catch-all term for processes that use a neutral, such as a facilitator or mediator, to assist participants involved in negotiations aimed at settling a disagreement or resolving a conflict.
Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement (BATNA)
The best alternative a party in a negotiation is likely to have if they cannot reach agreement via a specific negotiation. For instance, if a settlement negotiation fails, a party will be forced to live with the outcome of litigation. Their BATNA in the settlement negotiation is the most likely outcome of litigation.
Collaborative Problem Solving
A learning process through which a group of people share knowledge and ideas on a face-to-face basis. The premise of collaborative problem solving is that if you bring people together in a constructive dialogue with good information they will produce a workable solution to whatever challenge or disagreement they may face. A collaborative problem solving process may or may not result in consensus.
A procedure by which the true scope of a conflict or a agreement and the prospects for successful mediation can be ascertained. Confidential interviews with key stakeholders must be undertaken by a neutral party. Based on the results of the interviews, the neutral prepares a draft report mapping elements of agreement and disagreement and spelling out how an assisted negotiation effort might proceed. Based on a review of the draft by the stakeholders, the neutral can make an informed recommendation to the convenor about the appropriateness about whether or not to proceed with mediation. Such assessments are sometimes called stakeholder analyses.
In the context of public dispute resolution, the term consensus is used in a number of ways. As a decision-making tool, consensus refers to a collaborative process in which all people who have a stake in a particular issue jointly decide how to address the issue and resolve whatever disagreements they may have. As a decision-making outcome, consensus typically refers to overwhelming agreement (as contrasted with majority rule). To consent typically means that the stakeholders can “live with” a final package of proposals even though they may not all be equally satisfied with every component of an agreement.
The set of techniques used to help diverse stakeholders reach agreement. Non-partisan neutrals typically facilitate this process.
The person or group responsible for organizing a collaborative problem solving, consensus building, or dispute resolution effort. The convenor typically initiates a conflict assessment as a first step.
The use of an impartial individual or team to promote effective information exchange, negotiation, and group decision-making. A facilitator must remain non-partisan throughout any joint problem-solving effort. A facilitator typically works with all of the parties on a face-to-face basis, but does not shuttle back and forth among them. A facilitator has no decision-making authority. A facilitator manages meetings.
Interests are the underlying needs that a person or group brings to a negotiation. Interests are typically contrasted with (stated) positions, particularly demands that a party enunciates in the course of a negotiation.
The use of an impartial individual or team to assist parties in resolving their differences or in finding common ground. A mediator must remain non-partisan throughout any joint problem-solving effort. A mediator typically meets privately with all of the parties prior to any negotiation and often shuttles back and forth among the parties throughout the problem-solving process. A mediator has no decision-making authority. Mediation, in contrast with facilitation, is typically used when the parties seek a resolution to their differences and not just a constructive dialogue.
The act of two or more parties voluntarily coming together in an effort to meet their interests through a process of give and take, trading across various issues or items that they value differently, and ultimately seeking some form of resolution that leaves them both better off than if they had pursued their interests through unilateral action.
A position is a favored method of meeting an individual’s or a group’s interests. Positions are often expressed as “I want, I don’t want, I will or will not.” Positions tend to narrow the focus of a dialogue, force people into the mindset of having to compromise, and often get in the way of creating value or inventing ingenious solutions.
Public Dispute Resolution
The theory and practice of negotiation, facilitation, mediation, and collaborative problem solving applied to public issues (i.e. when at least one of the stakeholders or parties is a public official or a unit of government).
Any process aimed at engage citizens in governmental efforts to make public decisions (i.e. allocate public resources, set public policy, or formulate standards). The objectives of public participation may be to inform and educate, seek input and advice, build agreement, and/or resolve disputes.
A method of drafting a written agreement. Rather than each “side” or party advancing its preferred solution in a written form, a neutral – after meeting separately with each party – produces a unified draft that the parties continue to modify until agreement is reached. The common draft is revised through several iterations managed by the neutral.
The individual, group, or organization that is considering initiating a dispute resolution or a consensus building process. Same as a convenor.
Individuals or groups with an interest in or who are affected by a decision-making or problem-solving process. In a public disputes context, this would include government agencies, legislators, and other decision makers with the authority to implement any agreement that is reached as well as individuals and groups who may later seek to block or support such an agreement.