This 19 minute film documents the first Iraqi women's leadership training program organized by USIP's Iraq Program in 2010. 100 Iraqi women local and national government officials, leaders from civil society, as well as, academics and judges from all over Iraq participated in the program, entitled Toolkit for Collaborative Problem Solving.
The Toolkit for Collaborative Problem Solving is a 3-phase approach providing collaboration, negotiation and conflict resolution skills. Phase 1 focuses on WHY collaborative problem solving is essential. The Strategic Economic Needs and Security Exercise (SENSE) which is an interactive workshop was used to allow women to play roles in a virtual country. This process allowed women to network and interact with people they wouldn't normally meet or even agree with. This workshop was held in Beirut, Lebanon to take the participants outside of their usual setting and for logistical and security reasons. Iraqi women got the opportunity to interact with their Lebanese counterparts and exchange experiences. They synthesized a list of statements they came up with into a declaration of 10 priority issues.
A month later, Phase 2 took place in Baghdad where the same participants went through a visioning/strategic planning process and clarified WHAT issues and challenges are obstacles for women's leadership in Iraq. They narrowed down the priorities to women's mentorship and apprenticeship.
In Phase 3, a smaller working group honed on the priority issues and determined an action plan on HOW to address them strategically. In the end, all the participants gathered again to distill the various solutions towards a comon goal of a women's leadership mentorship program, matching young women leaders with experienced women leaders.