BATNA, WATNA & ZOPA.

 by Emma Hodder, New Zealand 

After a full day simulation on Tuesday it was nice to have a day of academics today. We spent the morning brainstorming the key aspects for a successful negotiation with Wilburt Perlot from Clingendael in The Netherlands. Such key components included commitment, respect, analysis, communication, power, cultural awareness, and planning. We learnt some nifty acronyms, such as the BATNA (Best Alternative To the Negotiated Agreement), WATNA (Worst Alternative To the Negotiated Agreement), and ZOPA (Zone of Possible Agreement), to help with negotiation strategy. Incidentally, BATNA is also a brand of candy.

We were then split into six teams to prepare a simulated negotiation between the World Bank and the Government of Uganda on a loan scheme. It was interesting to try and apply the negotiation strategy we had just been discussing and come together on what our respective ZOPAs might be.

In the afternoon we had the privilege of listening to Dr William Zartman, pioneer of the conflict resolution field. Again very practical, Dr Zartman’s presentation was peppered with real life examples of successful and unsuccessful negotiations around the world. He also discussed his theories of a ‘hurting stalemate’ and ‘ripeness’ for intervention, which, as staples of conflict management theory, were amazing to hear about straight from the mouth of the man who created them.

2017-01-27T18:55:37+00:00