Selected Issues in Dispute Resolution: Ombuds

This course will explore the theory and practice of ombuds and ombuds programs. These programs are being created at a quickening pace. Our goal is to provide a thorough background that could be used in making a decision about establishing an ombuds program or in examining ombuds practice as a personal career direction. This course is organized around a series of questions:

  1. What is ombuds? (a general overview of the concept and its evolution)
  2. Why does ombuds work? (a review of the theory of third-party intervention in conflict)
  3. How does ombuds work? (a survey of ombuds practice with opportunities to try it out)
  4. How can ombuds get wide institution/constituency support? (an exploration of best programmatic practices for building strong and enduring programs)
  5. What are the issues that arise in ombuds practice? (an open-ended discussion of the current opportunities and challenges in the profession)

Time will be spent in a variety of activities: presentation, discussion, brainstorming, and skills practice.