OTPIC Officially Retired

As of December 2, 2005, the Online Training Program on Intractable Conflict (OTPIC) has been officially retired, and is no longer open to new registrations.

The successor to OTPIC is a course called Dealing Constructively with Intractable Conflicts (DCIC). The new curriculum is built around one of our major projects, Beyond Intractability, and offers a much more extensive and informative set of learning materials than that available through OTPIC.

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International Online Training Program On Intractable Conflict

Conflict Research Consortium, University of Colorado, USA

Joint projects

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One technique that stimulates peacebuilding and reconciliation is to engage in joint projects with people on the other side of a conflict. If opponents can be brought together in some cooperative endeavor, they tend to break down their negative stereotypes, begin to depend on each other, and start building normal, positive relationships which can later be extended to issues in conflict.

Examples of such projects include rebuilding war-damaged houses, buildings, or roads, or developing joint educational efforts (for example, a group of Palestinians and Israelis are currently working together to create a joint production of the children's educational television show, Sesame Street).

The advantage of such projects is that people can interact without necessarily having to confront the most difficult aspects of their conflict which they still may not feel comfortable confronting. Yet they can begin the process of building trust and understanding with people on the other side, while they focus on an external, clearly mutual problem. Once they learn to work together, and learn that they can, indeed solve problems together, then they are in a better position to redefine (or reframe) their fundamental differences in terms of common problems and begin to work together in a cooperative way to solve those problems too.

 

Links to Examples of Joint Projects:

Rebuilding Communities Devastated by War
This is an article about peacebuilding efforts in Bosnia that involved work on joint rebuilding projects.
 
Bruce Hemmer -- Bottom-up Peace Building in Bosnia
This is another article about joint projects in Bosnia, including development of a multi-ethnic community center, joint social activities, and conflict resolution training.
 
Bringing Croats and Muslims Together
This article also discusses joint projects in Bosnia.
 
Sustaining Peace in Angola
This article explains that joint projects are necessary for peacebuilding, but are impossible to implement in Angola, since free movement between the territories is prohibited.
 
Stephen Ryan--Peace-Building and Conflict Transformation
In this chapter, Ryan discusses alternative peacebuilding.  One strategy which he has found to be quite useful is the development of joint projects between disputing groups.

 

Links to Outside Sources of Information on Joint Projects

Which comes first -- mended relationships or restored houses fields

 

Links to Related Approaches:

Finding Commonality

Reconciliation

Peacebuilding - Official Efforts of UN and Regional Organizations

NGO Humanitarian Aid

Citizen Diplomacy

Establish Personal Relationships

Establishment of Civil Society

 

Links to Related Problems:

Distrust

Integrative System Does Not Exist or Is Very Weak


Copyright 1998 Conflict Research Consortium  -- Contact: crc@colorado.edu