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

Poor Process or Structure

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Sometime negotiation fails because the process was badly designed or implemented. Countless mistakes can be made-the wrong parties can be at the table, important parties might be missing, the issues can be misidentified or dealt with out of order, the process can be too complex with too many steps, or so short and simple that important facts or opinions are not considered. If goals are unclear, the process can wander from one topic to the next, without reaching closure or coming to any decisions. The process might be so inflexible that it cannot be adjusted to fit changed situations. Or it might be so flexible that parties can do anything they want to delay it, thus allowing a disputant who would prefer that nothing be changed to delay the decision making process indefinitely so that the do-nothing option is chosen by default.

When the process is poor, decisions, if made at all, are likely to be poor as well. They may not reflect the interests or needs of the parties in the dispute, or they might not be technically, economically, socially, or politically feasible. More often, however, the negotiation or mediation effort will simply break down, and no decision will be made. This forces the parties to pursue more risky and costly options if they want to continue confronting the dispute, to start negotiating all over again with a better process (which is costly in terms of time at least) or to abandon efforts to obtain a decision which improves their situation.

Links to Possible Treatments:

Treatments for Process Problems (all)


Links to Related Problems:

Procedural Problems (all)

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