Public Education and Capacity Building

Public Education and Capacity Building

Four advocates seated around a table at a conference.

Anyone who works in the public sector—whether public officials, planners, land managers, resource users, environmental advocates, justice advocates, technical experts, or others—will have to work with stakeholders with different perspectives and interests. They will also run into situations of conflict, perhaps even full-blown disputes. Unfortunately, conventional decision-making processes often fail to effectively address different stakeholder interests. As a result, many people who are concerned about the fairness, efficiency, stability, and wisdom of public sector decision-making are searching for better ways of addressing public policy conflicts. Fortunately, mutual gains negotiation, alternative dispute resolution, and consensus building techniques hold great promise for supporting more collaborative and effective public sector decision-making and helping all involved parties meet their needs.

To foster and support collaboration and alternative dispute resolution approaches throughout Utah and the Mountain West, the EDR Program offers trainings and conflict coaching. Our staff members also give invited talks and presentations. To further our mission, we also host the Utah Program on Collaboration and the EDR Blog. To learn more about these public education and capacity-building services, click on the links below.


The EDR Program provides a variety of trainings designed to help participants learn the theory and skills of conflict management, negotiation, collaborative problem-solving, leadership, facilitation, and mediation.

As part of our Utah Program on Collaboration, we offer the semi-annual Short Course on Effective Natural Resources Collaboration, which teaches the art and science of collaborative problem solving around environmental and natural resource issues. Learn more about the Short Course here.

We also design specific trainings to meet the needs of organizations. Each training is designed intentionally to accomplish the goals and needs of participants and the organizations they represent. Examples include:

  • Mutual Gains Negotiation 101 Training, designed for Training Resources for the Environmental Community
  • Beginning Facilitation Skills Training, designed for Salt Lake City Corporation
  • Advanced Facilitation Skills Training, designed for Salt Lake City Corporation

To learn more about our trainings or to request a training, please contact us at:


EDR Program staff members provide developmental partnering and coaching to assist stakeholders and organizations in productively convening and engaging in collaborative efforts, as well as in managing and resolving conflicts.  Coaching provides an opportunity for the coachee to confidentially work with a neutral third party/credentialed coach to better understand sources of conflict, consider options for managing the conflict and negotiating mutual gains solutions, and design an approach for proceeding. Coaching can be provided for organizations as well as for individuals.

To learn more about conflict coaching or to request coaching assistance, contact us at:

Talks and Presentations

EDR Program staff members regularly give talks, lectures, and conference presentations on topics related to collaborative problem-solving, conflict resolution, negotiation, facilitation, mediation, and leadership. Examples of talks and presentations include:

  • Collaboration and Partnerships around National Parks. Qinghai Administration for Sanjiangyuan National Park: Short Course on Managing Outdoor Recreation and Tourism, Salt Lake City, Utah. D. Rumore.
  • Collaboration 101 for Planners. Utah American Planning Association Conference (keynote), Hurricane, Utah. D. Rumore.
  • Collaborating to Create Disaster Resilient Communities. Building Resilient Communities Conference, Utah. D. Rumore.
  • Collaboration, Leadership, and Effective Risk Communication for Climate Change Adaptation. Utah Climate Action Network (keynote), Salt Lake City, UT. D. Rumore.
  • Collaborative Planning in the Zion Region. Women in Transportation Seminar Retreat, Springdale, UT. D. Rumore.
  • Water Diplomacy: Theories, Tools, and Techniques. Oregon State University Water Cooperation and Peace Seminar Series, Corvallis, OR. D. Rumore
  • Collaborative Planning: A Tool for Helping Gateway Communities Thrive. Utah Outdoor Recreation Summit, Cedar City, UT. D. Rumore.
  • Best Practices for Communicating about Risk and Vulnerability and Engaging the Community in Planning. Cape Coastal Conference, Hyannis, MA. D. Rumore.
  • Negotiation and Dispute Resolution for Planners. Utah American Planning Association Chapter Conference, Lehi, UT. D. Rumore.

If you would like to learn more or to invite us to give a talk, please email us at:

Utah Program on Collaboration

Collaboration conference at the S.J. Quinney College of Law in 2019.

The EDR Program hosts the Utah Program on Collaboration to foster and enhance a culture of collaboration throughout the State of Utah. The Program includes a semi-annual Forum on Collaboration for high-level state and federal agency personnel working on environmental and natural resources issues; twice-a-year Dialogues on Collaboration that engage the public in learning about environmental and natural resource issues in Utah and exploring collaborative solutions; and the Short Course on Effective Natural Resources Collaboration professional training, which teaches the art and science of collaborative problem solving. Read more about the Utah Program on Collaboration here.

The EDR Program has hosted the EDR Blog since 2012. The Blog publishes articles on topics related to EDR and collaboration every other week. Our guest authors include leading mediators, facilitators, and collaborative professionals nationwide, as well as EDR Program staff and graduate students. EDR Blogs address topics such as:

  • Best practices and lessons learned for dispute resolution and collaborative problem-solving
  • Opportunities for collaborative problem-solving around current controversial issues
  • Examples of successful collaboration and dialogue

Join our community of more than 400 subscribers! Sign up to receive EDR Blog notifications and email us at if you would like to guest author an EDR Blog.