JAM | Mar 25, 2023

UCC launches alternative dispute resolution programme

/ Our Today

Reading Time: 3 minutes
The Worthington Avenue, St Andrew campus of the University of the Commonwealth Caribbean (UCC) in Jamaica. (Photo:

The University of the Commonwealth Caribbean (UCC) has launched an alternate dispute resolution programme in a bid to help Jamaican communities build and create a more peaceful and just society.

Launched on Tuesday (March 21), at the university’s Worthington Avenue campus, the Quelling Disputes Igniting Solutions (QDIS) programme is designed to provide effective solutions to the problem of unmanaged conflicts in Jamaica.

The programme combines teaching and practical activities and simulations to create an interactive and engaging environment and provides a unique opportunity for the UCC to bring together staff, students, corporations and community members to gain knowledge on the importance of alternative dispute resolution and its positive impact on society.

QDIS will promote awareness and education on the principles and practices of alternative dispute resolution with the aim of helping individuals and groups to develop an understanding of the underlying causes of conflict and to garner skills to effectively manage and resolve them.

On a practical level, QDIS will also train participants/QDIS ambassadors in alternative dispute resolution techniques, skills and strategies for use in communities, connect the ‘ambassadors’ to communities to facilitate understanding and build relationships and promote peace and constructive collaborations.

Speaking at the launch, UCC president Dr Haldane Davies noted that “issues of conflict have been with us from the beginning of time. Even the Bible references conflict. As individuals, we all have different genetic make-up; we may see things differently at times, have disagreements, but there is no reason why this should result in violence.” 

“At the UCC, we believe in resolving issues in an amicable way and we are sharing our knowledge and research through QDIS with communities, schools and corporations so that we can all have the tools to resolve issues, peacefully,” mused Davies.

Marcella Reid, records officer at the Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA), said that while conflict management strategies in Jamaica must include strengthening the rule of law “it must also begin wherever citizens live, work, raise families and do business and the UCC through QDIS, is embracing its role in the community”.

Dr Haldane Davies, president of the University of the Commonwealth Caribbean (UCC) speaking with The Queen’s School students at the launch of the Quelling Disputes Igniting Solutions (QDIS) programme on Tuesday, March 21, 2023. (Photo: Contributed)

She noted further that “A large number of our people have limited access to basic education, healthcare and employment and this creates Inequalities which often lead to frustration, resentment, and competition for limited resources and can eventually lead to conflict. The ability to manage such conflicts is essential in order to ensure a peaceful and prosperous society. Conflict management helps reduce the severity of disputes, helps parties find common ground and promotes social and economic development”.

For her part, psychologist Kerri-Anne Freckleton noted “we have conflict around us every day, it can be two meetings scheduled for the same time and we resolve that by shifting one or asking someone else to fill in for us”.

“Similarly, a conflict due to a difference of opinion does not have to lead to a fight. Our negotiating skills are key in conflict resolution, as is actively listening to another person’s point of view, respecting each other. QDIS will be an effective tool in helping our students understand the value of building relationships and using their language skills and knowledge to prevent and reduce heated arguments and violence,” Freckleton added. 

The QDIS launch was also addressed by guest presenter Cleon Williams; UCC bachelor’s student Ricardo Richards; and Gary McKenzie from the UCC’s Department of Student Services who shared conflict resolution techniques with the audience.


What To Read Next