Document Type

Research Report

Publication Date



This report presents a study of community mediation commissioned by the Massachusetts Legislature in July 2011. The study was conducted by the state office of dispute resolution now known as the Massachusetts Office of Public Collaboration at the University of Massachusetts Boston. The office has been serving as a neutral forum and state-level resource for over 20 years. Its mission is to establish programs and build capacity within public entities for enhanced conflict resolution and intergovernmental and cross-sector collaboration in order to save costs and enable effective problem-solving and civic engagement on major public initiatives.

The report is based on a literature review of research publications on community mediation from nationally recognized scholars and on new research conducted through surveys administered by the National Association for Community Mediation and the University of Massachusetts Boston. In addition to describing community mediation and highlighting evidence of its effectiveness, the report outlines the history and current state of community mediation in Massachusetts and offers recommendations for a university-based state funding framework for sustainable community mediation programming in the Commonwealth.



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