October 18, 2012

Online Dispute Resolution Treatise Includes Chapter on Ombuds

In anticipation of Cyberweek 2012 (October 29 - November 2), the National Center for Technology and Dispute Resolution has posted its new book, Online Dispute Resolution: Theory and Practice, for free. The seminal text includes a chapter, "Online Dispute Resolution and Ombudsmanship" by the former ICANN Ombudsman, Frank Fowlie.

Fowlie's chapter focuses on the applicability of ODR for Ombuds and draws on his work as the Inaugural Ombudsman for the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers.  In addition to summarizing the different types of Ombuds practice, Fowlie addresses the relevant issues for Ombuds considering ODR as part of their professional services:

5.2 Factor Two – Criteria to Determine Whether ODR Fits into an Ombudsman Practice

Ombudsmen may wish to consider a number of criteria when planning to implement ODR as a tool, or when considering the scalability of their ODR programs. Consideration of these criteria will inform Ombudsmen about the level of technology they will require to conduct a successful ODR-assisted practice.

The criteria that Ombudsman may wish to consider include:
– Geography;
– Legislative requirements;
– Case management users and complaint volume;
– Literacy and language;
– Internet connectivity;
– Time zones;
– Service requirements;
– Client or audience characteristics;
– Synchronous and asynchronous usage, and
– The socio-cultural context.

ODR is destined to be an important dispute resolution tool, so there's no reason for Ombuds to put off thinking about these issues.  (ODR.info News.)

Related posts: Trendspotting: Ombuds Not Exempt From Influence of Internet; International Forum on Online Dispute Resolution; Army Launches Online Ombuds Program;ICANN Ombuds to Explain Online Dispute Resolution at USOA ConferenceOmbuds Perspectives on Buenos Aires ODR Forum.

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