Dr. Jim Robinson

Areas of expertise

I have worked on land, property, conflict, peacebuilding and related projects for over 10 years - for UN agencies, International NGOs, development and security consultants, and in academia.

I have particular expertise in:
• Housing, Land and Property (HLP) challenges in crisis (humanitarian, conflict)
• Rule of law, non-state actors and legal systems
• Peacebuilding, International Relations, conflict, post-conflict
• Dialogue, mediation processes and plural legal systems
• Displacement, forced migration, informal settlements
• United Nations system
• Complexity and systems approaches
• My PhD (Law) focused on mediation processes, land and rule of law in the context of violent conflict.

I have significant experience in:
• Multi-stakeholder facilitation
• Analysis of complex, multi-party conflicts
• In-depth qualitative research, analysis and communication
• Training and teaching – adults and young people.

Languages

English

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Professional Memberships

I received my mediation accreditation in 2017 from Regent’s University, London, School of Psychology and Psychotherapy. My PhD (Law), focussed on mediation and dialogue processes in situations of violent conflict in Africa, particularly land disputes and the role of UN agencies, other international actors and local community actors and interests.

My professional memberships include:
• Civil Mediation Council (Civil/Commercial) - Registered Mediator
• Community Mediator – Bristol Mediation
• Board Member – Bristol Mediation
• Mediators Beyond Borders International, Member
• Civil Mediation Council, Member
• Association of South West Mediators, Member
• ADR-ODR International, Training Faculty Member

Professional Experience


I am an accredited mediator and independent research and policy consultant, working internationally and in the UK on conflict, land, housing, peacebuilding, law and education. As an analyst and researcher of mediation, conflict and disputes for many years, I am a committed advocate for the power of genuine dialogue to unlock even the most intractable of disputes.

As a consultant for UN agencies, international organisations and NGOs, I have led on complex, multi-stakeholder projects including UN Peacekeeping Corruption Risks; Integrating Housing, Land and Property issues in Humanitarian, Transition and Development responses; Water and Violent Conflict in Somalia; Land and Agenda 2030 – Sustainable Development Goals; Locally-led development and peacebuilding. I have worked with lawmakers, policymakers, community members and leaders, business, activists, academics and government officials.

Having taught on both Law and Politics degree programmes at the University of Bristol I combine the knowledge of the legal terrain with an outsiders’ critical attention to detail and ability to see beyond mainstream perspectives. This has been invaluable in navigating the junctures between policy, practitioner, community and academic perspectives in much of my subsequent work. As with mediation, my approach to conflict transformation and education, is that the parties are best placed to develop their own solutions, to lead on their learning, and it is my role to support and enable that process.

My PhD (Law, 2016) research on mediation processes, land disputes and the rule of law in situations of violent conflict in Africa (DR Congo, Sudan, South Sudan, Liberia, Somalia), highlighted the need for understanding complex multi-interest situations and the possibility for innovative solutions in the most intractable of situations. This informs my mediation practice and my belief in the possibilities for breakthrough using dialogue processes.

My professional experience includes consultancies and employment with:
• Global Protection Cluster and Solutions Alliance:
o UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees),
o UNDP (United Nations Development Programme),
o IOM (International Organisation for Migration),
o UN-Habitat,
o ICRC (Red Cross)
• Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC)
• Peace Direct
• Transparency International
• Wasafiri Consulting
• UN-Habitat
• World Habitat
• The University of Bristol
In the UK, I have been active in supporting community-based mediation and engagement programmes amongst diverse communities. I have worked to support refugees and asylum seekers as well as several years as a DJ and sound engineer. I currently sit on the Board of Bristol Mediation, working across the South West of the UK.

Style

I combine the rigour and analysis of an academic researcher alongside an ability to listen and engage with people across cultures and circumstance. I am a committed advocate for the power of genuine dialogue to unlock even the most intractable of disputes.

I have developed the discernment and sensitivity to create safe and held spaces, whatever the dispute, whatever the setting.

I thrive when making connections - bridging disciplines, perspectives and specialities – have worked across law, politics, development, humanitarian and peacebuilding sectors, with business, academics, government officials, activists, lawmakers, policymakers, community members and leaders. I am equally comfortable working in the UK, Europe, Africa, and North America; from board rooms, the UN and online, to remote villages, conflict situations, community space, and family homes.

My belief is that mediation offers the parties the chance to understand their position, to seek solutions and to walk away having explored every possibility open to them. I bring a straight forward, empathetic and calming influence to any dispute situation.

Client Feedback

Those that have hired me have commented on my:
• Capacity to listen, reflect and facilitate solutions
• Ability to make connections and generate possibilities
• Thoroughness and attention to detail
• Professionalism and responsiveness
• Enthusiasm and positivity
• Impressive and valuable insights
• Quality of writing and analysis
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