An alternative dispute resolution is a group of methods, which avoid court proceedings to resolve a dispute. There are three popularly used methods, which are mediation, conciliation and arbitration.
Mediation involves a third party, which helps both parties of the civil case come to a resolution or agreement. This is a voluntary method, which requires both parties to consent to this process.
Conciliation is also voluntary but differs from mediation in that the conciliation may be asked by the parties to provide a settlement proposal that is non-binding in nature for both parties to consider.
With arbitration, this is also voluntary, but this usually is the recommended process if the parties contract includes an arbitration clause in their contract. The main difference with arbitration is once proceedings are initiation, a party is not entitled to withdraw from the proceedings unilaterally, and the decision that is made is final and enforceable.