chapter  13
16 Pages

Positions and values

Social Analysis CLIP looks at how factors of power, interests, legitimacy and histories of conflict and collaboration affect a given situation or the possible outcomes of a planned action. The software CLIP (www.participatoryactionresearch.net) adds two other variables to the equation: the positions and the values that stakeholder express in relation to a situation or action and that may or may not coincide with their interests as they perceive them. The notion that overt positions (in favour or against an observed or proposed action) may not reflect underlying interests is part of mainstream conflict management theory and practice. It is a reminder that stakeholders can make rigid demands or major concessions that leave no room for compromise and lead to win-lose solutions that produce poor results and may not last. Interest-based analysis and discussions are more effective because they encourage the parties to think of the concerns, fears and expectations that are important to each side in a conflict. The approach promotes thinking about trade-offs that can be made across multiple issues and measures that can be taken to share the pie fairly or enlarge it to everyone’s benefit.