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FAQs on Community Organizing

5) What is a conflict situation

So it means in a conflict situation, we have to understand where the power is, and in most countries, power is in the hands of the few, since this is the case, many have no power. So to equalize the situation, we have to confront and as you confront, you also must be thinking of how the conflict must be resolved.

In a situation where the injustice exists, conflict situation also exists – there is injustice and there is someone oppressing someone else. For many people conflict exists not only because of actual fights but also because of injustice. In the process, the people act because there are issues and process that you have to explain. When people act they can do it in two ways :

  1. Mobilize their own resources and the problem is resolved - e.g. the people continue to suffer the problem of having to walk in wet soil because they have drainage problem, the conflict lies in the fact the government does not provide them with wooden bridges. So what can the people do: mobilize their own resource and put up the foot bridge themselves or…
  2. Negotiate with the government - if they take the option of going to the government to ------- holds the resource (government, two things can happen – the government can agree to provide them with what they need or it can refuse to act on their request and pressure them to leave the area. In this situation conflict heightens and --- therefore have to apply conflict-confrontation-pressure tactic, which usually happens when we are doing with land issues. In our experience, it does not stop there, in most cases the resources holders,---- we continue negotiations and principled negotiations based on mutually acceptable solutions. The result of this process can either be a mutually acceptable solution based on fairness and principle or the continuing search solutions.

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