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.
International Online Training Program On Intractable Conflict
Conflict Research Consortium, University of Colorado, USA
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We live in an extremely complicated world in which it is impossible for average citizens or even government leaders to fully comprehend the technical aspects of many public policy issues they need to address.. As a result, both decision makers and the public have to rely upon experts to tell them what the problems are and what solutions are likely to work best.. Without such expert analysis, the parties are doomed to make bad decisions because they simply don't understand the situation. Still, in most cases, it is not appropriate to turn decisions over to the experts. While experts can tell the parties what will happen if they do various things, it is the parties' (or the decision makers') responsibility to decide what it is that they want to happen.
To use technical information effectively, technical primers are needed for explaining the essential elements of technical issues to interest group leaders, decision makers, and the general public. This requires an ability to distinguish what is truly important from unimportant technical details. It also requires an ability to explain concepts in ways which non-technical readers can understand. In addition to technical skills, this requires an ability to overcome basic communication problems as well. Also critical are credibility-building programs to assure that the explanations are both trusted and worthy of the public's trust.
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