The Equity, Diversity and Interdependence Framework-A Framework for Organisational Learning and Development

Karin Eyben, Duncan Morrow, Derick Wilson, Billy Robinson

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The genesis for the Equity, Diversity and Interdependence Framework (EDIF) emergedfrom the different practices and experiences of Counteract and Future Ways. As an organisation committed to challenging sectarianism in the workplace, Counteractwished to acknowledge, in some manner, those organisations that were consistentlychallenging intimidation. This early vision was driven by workplace experiences of resolving often dangerous and hreatening disputes fuelled by:• The failure to acknowledge difference and fairness in workplace relationships.• An avoidance of the reality that an organisation is made up of people who are shapedby the fears and tensions present in wider society.In 1991 Counteract and the ‘Understanding Conflict’ Project (University of Ulster),which evolved into the Future Ways Programme, began working together on seminarsand training events to support Counteract’s workplace initiatives. In 1997, FutureWays published a report entitled ‘A Worthwhile Venture? Practically Investing inEquity, Diversity and Interdependence’ which reframed community relations work interms of the three principles of Equity, Diversity and Interdependence. It was obvious that unless workplaces found ways of dealing with these fears and divisions, the long-term future of both workplaces and the region was at risk. It is now clear that as one of the few places where people meet across lines of division, the workplace carries a potential for change absent in many other areas in society.Whether they are ‘For-Profit’, Public or ‘Not-for-Profit’ organisations drawing onpublic resources or sentiment they carry a governance or citizenship role in contributingto building an inclusive society.This framework emerges out of these understandings. It is underpinned by ourconviction that a sustainable and prosperous society is underpinned by fairness(Equity), an acknowledgement of our differences (Diversity) and a relationalunderstanding of the ways in which we live and work together (Interdependence).The framework has been developed on the basis of an internal-external dialoguebetween an organisation and an external critical partner. The role of the externalpartner is to be the ‘grit in the oyster’, raising issues critical for the organisation. Thisrole may also be played by an internal group of staff mandated by the formal leadershipof the organisation.The framework can be used by small groups, teams and organisations committed tonurturing ‘good relations’ whether through legislative demands such as Section 75 ofthe Northern Ireland Act (1998), internal developments or community changes.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherUlster University
Number of pages112
ISBN (Print)1-85923-160-8
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2002


  • Equity
  • Diversity
  • Interdependence
  • Organisational Learning
  • Reconciliation


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