- Jane Meyerding
For Peace and Conflict Resolution Organizations
In addition to the free access we provide to our Knowledge Base system and the opportunities we provide to participate in the various activities of our Collaborative Learning Community, the Conflict Information Consortium (the operator of Beyond Intractability and CRInfo) offers a variety of affordable services that are designed to increase the visibility and effectiveness of organizations working in the conflict and peace field. These include: 1) a Sponsorship program with associated publicity opportunities; 2) an Affiliate program that creates a nested website within Beyond Intractability or CRInfo that features the work of specific peace and conflict projects; 3) custom instructional materials and courses based on Beyond Intractability / CRInfo, including rights to reprint our materials, and 4) a publication program.
Need for Core Support Funding: While we try to fund as much of the system as possible by providing valuable and affordable services to those working in the field, there is a critical need for additional Core Support Funding to finance major updates and improvements to the system.
The new Beyond Intractability / CRInfo Sponsorship program (similar to National Public Radio's Underwriters program) provides a mechanism through which we conspicuously acknowledge financial support from organizations that make modest contributions to one or both systems.
Under the program, organizations and individuals who support us at the $250/quarter level are acknowledged on our Sponsors page. Sponsor logos or graphics are also featured, on a rotating basis, in the right-hand column of both the Beyond Intractability and CRInfo websites (where they will be viewed approximately 10,000 times each month). In addition to a logo or graphic, the Sponsors page also includes a paragraph that describes the Sponsor's activities and contains any desired links. This material can even be updated occasionally to highlight changing information, and may be used to publicize several different organizational activities.
Combined with the fact that all users have easy access to information about our Sponsors from the main menu bar and from the right-hand Sponsor boxes, this makes our Sponsors very visible to the over 120,000 unique users who typically access our systems each month.
Please contact us for more information about this program.
Our Affiliate program allows organizations that are making significant contributions to the peace and conflict fields to be deeply integrated into the Beyond Intractability / CRInfo framework, such that users interested in their areas of expertise can more easily find out about their work.
The cornerstone of this program is a series of Affiliate sites created within the Beyond Intractability / CRInfo structure. Each nested website is a largely independent website within the main content display area. It can have its own "look and feel", menu structure, and collection of subsidiary pages. It can serve as a primary Web presence for a project, or simply as an adjunct to an existing website that furthers integration between your program and Beyond Intractability / CRInfo.
For example, Beyond Intractability has a a partnership with the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University and the Fetzer Institute to produce a site focused on Love and Forgiveness in Governance. This site documents "exemplary efforts to move beyond hate and the unrightable wrongs of the past in ways that build a positive future." Our Affiliates page has examples of other affiliated projects as well.
In producing Affiliate sites, we work with Affiliates to identify and implement capabilities that will do the best job of advancing their interests. Features that may be incorporated into the design of specific Affiliate projects include:
- Custom "Site-Within-a-Site" with the Affiliate's "look and feel" (which may be synchronized to their main website) and may include as many system features as desired (including, for example, custom banners/mastheads, menu bars, rotating picture banners, rotating quotable quotes sections, search, browse, audio, video, comments, and Web forms);
- Initial Setup and Continuing Operation handled by the Beyond Intractability / CRInfo staff;
- Routine Updating by members of the Beyond Intractability / CRInfo staff or by Affiliate program staff members trained in using the system;
- Listing in the Beyond Intractability and/or CRInfo Rotating "Affiliate Box" that appears in the right-hand column of the Beyond Intractability and CRInfo websites;
- Listing on the Beyond Intractability and/or CRInfo Affiliate Page, which is accessible from our ever-present menu bar and homepage navigational graphic;
- Prompt Integration of Affiliate Publications into the Beyond Intractability Knowledge Base, where they can be accessed through our Search, Browse, User Guides, and Education sections, with Affiliate or Beyond Intractability / CRInfo staff handling entry into our bibliographic database;
- Featuring of Affiliate Programs on Search Results Pages for topics that fall within the Affiliate's areas of expertise;
- Creating User Guides and Educational Resources that highlight an Affiliate's perspective on conflict topics within their area of expertise; and
- A Custom Knowledge Base "Information Finder" that adapts — depending on the needs of Affiliate — the tools used by Beyond Intractability / CRInfo to identify resources to consider including in the Knowledge Base.
Another major advantage of our Affiliate program is that it provides a mechanism for publicizing and integrating the results of particular projects into the field's larger knowledge base. This can be a particularly attractive and cost-effective addition to the dissemination component of a wide range of peace and conflict-related projects.
Pricing: Since we currently have no independent source of funding for this program, we ask those who participate as Affiliates to pick up the cost of integrating their work into the system and a small share the overall cost of maintaining Beyond Intractability (and/or CRInfo, depending upon Affiliate preferences). Please contact the Consortium for more information about the costs associated with various options.
The Beyond Intractability / CRInfo platform provides a basis for constructing powerful, inexpensive, highly-customizable education and training materials for use in a wide range of settings, including:
- Primary and supplemental online texts;
- "Look-up" resource packets for distribution to training program participants, providing a continuing reference source with more in-depth information that can be covered during inevitably short training programs; and
- Distance education courses and training programs offered in a variety of formats with different types of evaluation and instruction.
By drawing upon the existing Beyond Intractability / CRInfo library of thousands of pages of content, plus the 17,000+ publicly accessible Web resources cataloged in our Knowledge Base, we can draw most of the content for custom instructional materials and courses from low- or no-cost sources. These materials can then be supplemented with custom, written guides, which explain how everything fits together to address the specific needs of those who will be using the materials.
This approach has huge cost advantages over writing custom training materials from scratch. In turn, this allows us to do a much better job of focusing materials on the needs of specific constituents. Another advantage of this approach is that it allows for the creation of "multi-threaded" materials that — unlike traditional, "one-size-fits-all" texts — can offer students the option of pursuing their interests along a variety of different pathways. While some up-front investment is required to put this together, the cost of producing such materials can be recovered by charging students small amounts (generally much less than a comparable textbook).
Affordable reprint rights are also available to those who would like to republish Beyond Intractability / CRInfo materials in books, articles, or on other websites. We do, however, charge a small royalty fee for this privilege. We do not want to make reprints/republications prohibitively expensive; however, royalty fees provides funding that helps us to keep the systems available for all.
Please contact us for more information about this program.
Another major service offered by Beyond Intractability / CRInfo is the opportunity for members of our "Learning Community" to publish their contributions to the field's knowledge base here. This is an especially valuable opportunity (which is explained in the "Write & Edit" section of the website) for graduate students whose skills are just developing to the point where they can make a valuable contribution. The faculty who have worked with us report that their grad students really appreciate the opportunity to spend this time writing something that contributes to the field's knowledge base, rather than just writing papers for classes that get graded and forgotten. By contributing their papers to Beyond Intractability / CRInfo, they become integrated into the field's larger, collaborative learning community (and they get a vita entry, as well). It is a program that we would like to expand to include high-quality work produced by students in more of the field's graduate programs.
This program is not restricted to graduate students, of course. It also offers practitioners and researchers a powerful new avenue for contributing their insights to the field's knowledge base.
Those who write and contribute materials are, obviously, making a major "sweat equity" contribution to our systems and should properly be thought of as providing a service to Beyond Intractability / CRInfo (not the other way around). There are, however, unavoidable costs (editor and administrative staff time and computing resources) associated with this program. We therefore believe that the publication program, on the whole, should also be thought of as a contribution from Beyond Intractability / CRInfo to the field.
The continuation of this program is dependent upon receiving financial contributions from supporters. We are, therefore, asking that educational and practitioner organization that take advantage of this program find some way of helping defray its costs, perhaps by contributing to one of the above programs.
We have a continuing need for more major, core support funding. Such funding can allow us to complete important upgrades to the system that we would not, otherwise, be able to afford. These include, for example:
- Implementing major upgrades to the computer hardware and software platforms to allow us to take advantage of the many opportunities associated with rapidly advancing technology. Priorities include the completion of a mobile-friendly version of the system and upgrading the entire system to Drupal 7;
- Converting Beyond Intractablity and CRInfo into multiple-language platforms, translating existing English content into other principal languages and translating content written in other languages into English;
- Providing honoraria for individuals who are writing materials that fill in key gaps in the system. (Such honoraria were crucial to creation of the original system);
- Actively networking to develop new partnerships and strengthen existing ones within our Collaborative Learning Community. (We currently have no budget for the travel needed to attend conferences, visit key organizations, and facilitate the development of innovative new projects.)
Additional detailed proposals on any of these projects are available upon request, and we would obviously welcome inquiries from potential supporters.