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 Peacebuilding

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Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) are doing even more peacebuilding activities than are official governmental agencies. They have a long-term presence in many of the areas of the world which are afflicted with intractable conflicts and are in an excellent position to engage in a wide variety of peacebuilding activities. In addition to providing humanitarian aid and mediation, they also are well positioned to engage in empowerment and capacity-building among the local population and to get the population involved with the adversary in a variety of joint activities. As is true with official governmental peacebuilding efforts, the goal of NGO efforts is usually conflict reduction and/or resolution, not just between official actors, but among ordinary citizens.

Many peacebuilding efforts, especially those carried out by the peace churches, such as the Mennonite Conciliation Commission, try to foster reconciliation through apology and forgiveness. Other organizations work for mutual understanding and prejudice reduction by developing joint projects and confidence-building activities involving adversaries. Projects and strategies vary as much as the people involved, but almost all encourage increased contact and cooperation between people on all sides of the conflict. Examples of NGO peacebuilding are listed below.


Links to Examples of NGO Peacebuilding:

Rebuilding Communities Devastated by War
This article describes several NGO peacebuilding projects operating on the community level in Bosnia.
Bruce Hemmer -- Bottom-up Peace Building in Bosnia
This article describes several other NGO peacebuilding projects in Bosnia.
Bringing Croats and Muslims Together
This is a short article describing NGO peacebuilding activities in the Balkans.
Sustaining Peace in Angola
This article describes the NGO role in Angola and the limitations the political situation places on peacebuilding activities there.
Mohamed Sahnoun -- Managing Conflicts in the Post-Cold War Era
This article examines military and humanitarian interventions in communal conflicts. Sahnoun compares official peacebuilding with NGO efforts, observing that NGOs can often be more successful at peacebuilding because they are more flexible in the kinds of activities they can undertake.
Harold Saunders -- Prenegotiation and Circum-negotiation: Arenas of the Peace Process
Saunders views peacemaking as including four activities: official governmental negotiations, quasi-official negotiations such as track two diplomacy, public dialogue, and civil society efforts. NGOs tend to be active in all of the last three, which, Saunders argues are as essential to peacemaking as official diplomacy.
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 conflicts, 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.
Stephen Ryan--Peace-Building and Conflict Transformation
In this article, Ryan discusses the role of various forms of peacebuilding in conflict transformation.

Links to Outside Sources of Information

International Guide To NGO Activities in Conflict Prevention and Resolution - December 1996

US Institute of Peace Special Report-The U.S. Contribution to Conflict Prevention, Management, and Resolution in Africa

NGOs and the Peace Process in Angola--United States Institute of Peace - Special Report

Nigeria's Muslim Women

Linda Groff and Paul Smoker--Global Cultures of Peace
This article focuses on alternative definitions of peace and the implications of those definitions to actual peacebuilding activities.

Jan Øberg--Conflict Mitigation in Reconstruction and Development

Peace Building in a Political Impasse Cross-Border Links in Ireland
This is a summary of a book put out by the Centre for the Study of Conflict, University of Ulster.

Elise Boulding--Introduction to  Rethinking Peace

Kevin Clements--Peace Building and Conflict Transformation

Eirwen Harbottle--The Two Faces of Peace Building

Alberto L'Abate--Non-Violent Interposition in Armed Conflicts

Rebuilding Communities Devastated by War


Links to Related Approaches:

Peacebuilding - Official Efforts of UN and Regional Organizations

Trust Building


Re-establish / Empower Traditional or New Conflict-Management

Joint Projects

Establishment of Civil Society


Links to Related Problems:

Integrative System Does Not Exist or Is Very Weak

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