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

Grassroots Process Design

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While approaches to conflict can be developed and imposed by outside "experts," such strategies are more likely to inspire resentment and resistance from the parties involved. To avoid this, it often helps to turn as many of the process decisions over to the participants--and to do this as quickly as possible.   For example, a convenor might contact the primary parties with the idea of opening negotiations or dialogue, and, if they are interested, get them to assist in deciding who else should participate and how the process should be structured.  Some of these decisions can (and should) take place before discussions get underway; others can take place as the discussions occur.  The more control the participants have over the process, the more likely they are to trust the process, and the more likely the process is to work for them.  Also, if participants can work together effectively to make procedural decisions, this can be a good first step to take, making later cooperation on substantive decisions more likely.

Links to examples of this approach:

This paper was written by Sallyann Roth, one of the team members on the Public Conversations Project in Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.A.  Their extremely successful dialogue process relies heavily on the parties themselves being involved in designing the details of the process--as is described in this article.
Developing a Process for Siting Hazardous Waste Facilities in Canada - The Swan Hills Case
In this case the public was involved in a mapping process to determine the best place to site a hazardous waste facility. While the public did not design the process, their active involvement throughout was key to success.

Links to Related Approaches

Consensus Rule Processes

Pre-negotiation/Negotiation of Process Issues

Public Participation Mechanisms

Links to Related Problems

Meaningless Public Involvement

Poor Process or Structure

Third Party Not Effective or Credible



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