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.

usiplogo.gif (1499 bytes)

International Online Training Program On Intractable Conflict

Conflict Research Consortium, University of Colorado, USA

Telecommunications Based Communication

Opening Page | Glossary | Menu Shortcut Page

Efforts to improve communication are often limited by the fact that good communication takes time. There are many instances in which it would be desirable for the parties and constituency groups to engage in lengthy conversations, yet they do not   have the time to do so. Nor do they have the money to travel the distances they need to in order to talk face-to-face as often or as extensively as they would like.

Telecommunication technologies can, in large measure, reduce these problems by providing efficient mechanisms of communication which are very quick, easy to use, and inexpensive.  While they are not face-to-face, and therefore are not as personal as a face-to-face conversation, electronic communication is far better than no communication at all, which is often the alternative. By encouraging greater communication, telecommunication can improve interpersonal and intergroup understanding which is likely to   increase the constructiveness of the overall conflict. Specific areas in which the electronic media can make important contributions include:

These are just a few examples. The potential of these new technologies is expanding almost daily, and the global reach of the technology is spreading rapidly as well.

Links to Examples:
Information Technologies Can Help
This is a summary of a conference on "virtual diplomacy"--diplomacy carried out through or assisted by telecommunications--held by the U.S. Institute of Peace.   The full text of the article summarized can be found at U.S. Institute of Peace PeaceWatch - June 1997

Links to Outside Sources of Information on This Topic:

Designing Effective Action Alerts for the Internet
This article describes how to get people to work for your cause over the Internet.
Managing the Community Impacts of Large Scale Development:  A Participative Approach  by Desmond M. Connor
This paper summarizes the main elements of the participative social impact assessment and management program commissioned by Howe Sound Pulp and Paper Limited for the greater Gibsons, British Columbia community.  Cable television and phoned-in questions and comments were a major part of this public participation effort.
USIP-Managing Communications:   Lessons from Interventions in Africa
This article discusses the use of a variety of telecommunications technologies to enhance the work of peace keepers, NGOs providing humanitarian assistance, and others working to restore peace and security in Africa.
Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution in the Information Age
This site contains all the conference papers from the United States Institute of Peace conference on Virtual Diplomacy which focused on the use of telecommunications to improve diplomacy and conflict resolution.

Links to Related Approaches

Opening Lines of Communication

Constituent Communication

Links to Related Problems

Lack of Communication Channels/Avoided Communication

Inadequate Information Gathering/Time Constraints

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