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Seven Steps towards Reconciliation

Seven Steps toward Reconciliation is a conflict transformation tool developed by Olga Botcharova meant to facilitate the healing process of individuals and communities affected by violent conflict and, thus, foster sustainable conflict resolution.

Botchatova developed the tool based on observations she made while working with the Washington D.C-based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)´s preventive diplomacy project in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, and Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro), as well as other projects focusing on the Israeli and Arab conflict, Turkish and Greek Cypriots conflict and Crimea Dialogue [1].

Thus, the tool was developed to be used to promote reconciliation in conflicts that emerged from or resulted in deep social divisions, broken relationships, and distrust amongst individuals and communities, such as is seen in the case of the 1990s Bosnia-Herzegovinian war.

This bottom-up approach towards reconciliation complements official diplomacy efforts, which tend to focus on creating peace at the macro-level, by working to foster individual-level forgiveness and reconciliation by addressing trauma at the micro-level (individuals).

[1Botcharova discusses how she developed this tool in a chapter she wrote in this book. Olga Botcharova: “Implementation of Track Two Diplomacy.“ In: Tutu, D.: “Forgiveness and Reconciliation.“ Region, Public Policy and Conflict Transformation, Philadelphia: Templeton Foundation Press, 2002.