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

Credibility Demonstrations

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If fact-finding efforts are to be of any value, then the parties must believe them. In the absence of believable or credible facts, the parties will simply believe what they want to believe and make uninformed decisions which often fail to achieve the desired results. To avoid this problem, successful credibility building efforts are essential. These efforts must do three things. First, fact-finding efforts must be honestly conducted and produce reliable results which are worthy of the public's trust.They must be done by competent, qualified experts, who use accepted methods of data collection, analysis, and interpretation.  Second, some mechanism is needed for demonstrating this trustworthiness to the parties.  Although the personal credibility of the experts is one approach, this can be supplemented with a variety of credibility-building procedures such as  oversight, joint fact-finding, or data mediation.  Finally, some mechanism is needed for explaining the information in ways which allow it to be understood and sensibly used to make wise decisions.

Links to Examples

Barbara Gray -- Three Mile Island Citizen Radiation Monitoring Program
This is a description of the aftermath of the accident at the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania (U.S.) Residents' fears about potential risks of cleanup activities were high due to distrust of the plant operators and regulators.  The described Citizen Radiation Monitoring Program solved the credibility problem and allowed the clean up to go ahead as planned.
Willard Chappell- The Smuggler Mountain Technical Advisory Committee: A Prototype Procedure for Resolving Some Superfund Conflicts -
Smuggler Mountain is a housing development in Colorado that was contaminated with lead from past mining activities. This paper describes a conflict resolution process undertaken to resolve a bitter conflict over appropriate levels of and techniques for hazardous waste cleanup.

Links to Related Sections


Joint Fact-Finding

Data Mediation

Technical Primers

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