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

NGO Humanitarian Aid

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    Providing humanitarian aid to people who have been struck by disaster--either natural or social (for example, war)--is one of the long-established activities of NGOs (non-governmental organizations).  Such aid can help mitigate the effects of protracted intractable conflicts, or it can actually make those effects worse.   Humanitarian aid usually does help insofar as it provides the most basic human needs of food, shelter, clothing, and medical care.  It can also help empower a group of people, enabling them to better deal with their own problems by giving them the strength to address those problems in a coherent way, without having to put all of their energy into simply maintaining themselves.

    Yet, humanitarian aid can make a conflict worse if the aid becomes a source of contention, or provides resources to further fuel the conflict.  At times, it can also lead to dependency--discouraging people from becoming independent, rather than empowering them as is intended.  Thus, NGOs must be very careful about how, where, when and what kind of aid is provided, and must help the people receiving the aid work toward eventual independence from it.


Links to more information and examples of NGO Humanitarian Aid:

Pamela Aall -- Nongovernmental Organizations and Peacemaking
This article discusses four roles that NGOs play in the peacemaking process:   humanitarian relief, monitoring of human rights abuses, providing early warning of potentially violent conflict, and conflict resolution.  While NGOs can be effective in all four of these areas, Aall warns that each of the four activities must be kept separate to be effective.
John W. McDonald -- Further Exploration of Track Two Diplomacy
This article discusses the role and limitation of NGO humanitarian aid in intra-national conflicts.

Links to Outside Information about Humanitarian Aid

Information about UN Humanitarian Efforts

Link to the United Nations "ReliefWeb"

IGC Headlines "Zambia:   Government Goes on Offensive Against NGO"s

Bjorn Moller UN Military Demands and Non-Offensive Defense Collective Security Humanitarian Intervention and Peace Support Operations


Links to Related Approaches

NGO Peacebuilding



Links to Related Problems

The Denial of Other Human Needs

High Stakes Distributional Conflicts

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