An effective mediation program requires careful planning. Specific steps are: 1) Identify types of conflict to address, 2) Decide when to use mediation, 3) Recruit mediators, 4) Train mediators,
5) Identify disputants, and 6) Select a neutral location for mediation hearings. To sustain a mediation program, it is necessary to recruit new mediators on a periodic basis, provide on-going training, and demonstrate and share program successes. Challenges faced by a mediation program concern the ability of disputants to compromise and the need to be flexible in working out a reasonable solution. Evaluation of a mediation program should assess whether participants were satisfied with the outcome, what participants learned, whether mediator was successful in helping participants find an acceptable solution, mediator strengths and weaknesses, and whether disputants would participate in mediation again. A sample mediation session is included.