The National Center for Technology and Dispute Resolution (NCTDR), chaired by Ethan Katsch, Professor Emeritus of Legal Studies, and co-chaired by Leah Wing, Senior Lecturer II in Legal Studies in the Department of Political Science, played a key role in the development of the policy of the Government of India on the adoption of online dispute resolution. The Republic of India has become the first national government to publish a comprehensive whole-of-government policy on online dispute resolution.
The new policy was developed in consultation with the National Center for Technology and Dispute Resolution and its member organization, the International Nonprofit Council for Online Dispute Resolution (ICODR), also led by Katsch and Wing. The policy refers to the scholarship of several NCTDR fellows. The policy incorporates the online dispute resolution principles of the NCTDR and the online dispute resolution principles of the ICODR standards and guidelines.
The National Center for Technology and Dispute Resolution supports and supports the development of computer applications, institutional resources, and theoretical and applied knowledge for better understanding and management of conflict. The NCTDR was founded in 1998 by Ethan Katsch and Janet Rifkin, former dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, with a grant from the Hewlett Foundation; it was also funded by the National Science Foundation.
The New Indian Policy, developed with NITI Aayog, an Indian government public policy think tank, specifically recognizes the contributions of NCTDR and ICODR, noting:
“… An international institution worth mentioning is the National Center for Technology and Dispute Resolution (NCTDR), University of Massachusetts-Amherst. Since its inception, the NCTDR has led the ODR movement with constant efforts to develop the processes and systems that form the basis of ODR. In 2017, members of the NCTDR created the International Council for Online Dispute Resolution (ICODR) to promote ODR and promulgate standards and best practices for ODR.145 ICODR has since published ethical standards for the design, structure, practice and implementation of the ODR, 146 ODR training standards147, guidelines on video mediation148 and guidelines on video arbitration149 to guide the development of the ‘ODR in the world. While these open standards are not binding, they encourage ODR platforms and ODR service providers to constantly strive to achieve a set of ambitious standards and best practices for efficient operation. In the long term, this approach aims to stimulate continuous innovation. The Committee has engaged extensively with ICODR to better understand the main ODR practices in force around the world (p.53).