Sunday, July 3, 2011

Spring 2011 Projects

 

This spring, HNMCP worked with four wonderful clients. All of this spring’s projects focused in some way or another on the evaluation or construction of dispute management systems, from the development of a strategic and long term growth plan for an Ombuds Office (American Red Cross), to a conflict management system for a congregation (First Unitarian Society in Newton), to an evaluation of court-annexed mediation programs across the EU (Regional Court of Sofia, Bulgaria), to a review of a federal ADR system (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission). Each of HNMCP’s four projects has provided students with a unique set of challenges.

In 2007, the American Red Cross launched a new Ombudsman Office, which has enjoyed a steady increase in usage ever since. Today, the Office is turning its attention away from the management of its initial growth to develop a more strategic and long-term plan that builds the practice, scope, and quality of the program. The Ombudsman asked HNMCP to research what different stakeholders need and expect from the Office, and how to measure systematically whether it is meeting those expectations.

To read more specifics on this project, click here.
 

This project partnered HNMCP students with a Unitarian Universalist congregation in the greater Boston area to design a new conflict management system for the congregation. The First Unitarian Society of Newton works hard to create a spiritually nurturing and socially responsive environment and as such, leadership wanted to deal more proactively with conflict. HNMCP used focus groups and one-on-one interviews to understand the narrative of how the congregation experiences and deals with conflict and presented a training on how to approach difficult conversations.

To read more specifics on this project, click here.
 

The Regional Court of Sofia is the largest and busiest court in Bulgaria. In 2009, the Court launched an effort to develop a court-annexed mediation program that would help alleviate the court’s backlog. To address concerns about quality assurance and professionalism in mediators, HNMCP conducted a comprehensive survey of court-annexed mediation programs in other EU countries and the United States and worked with stakeholders in the Sofia court system to design a mediator quality-control system to be managed by the Court.

To read more specifics on this project, click here.
 

Since 2003, the EEOC has been promoting the use of its one-stop ADR program for the resolution of a variety of workplace disputes. The EEOC engaged HNMCP to find out if its staff are using the program as much as they could be, if the program’s outreach efforts are effective, and if staff understand the program’s role.  Our students conducted an assessment to generate proposals for how to improve the system in line with the EEOC’s institutional priorities.

To read more specifics on this project, click here.