Digital Narratives: Indigenous Economic Development

Research Area(s): Social Innovation | Funder: NSERC | Program: CCSIF
PI Name: Audrey Wubbenhorst | Faculty/Department: Faculty of Health Sciences & Wellness

The global effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have abruptly shifted the Ontario Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) sector towards the use of online dispute resolution and virtual platforms for courts, tribunals, and other dispute resolution hearings and processes. The ADR Institute of Ontario (ADRIO) is a revenue-generating non-profit industry association for practicing and aspiring practitioners of ADR. With a membership of over 900-strong across Ontario, ADRIO strives to enhance the quality and standards of practice in the provincial ADR sector by supporting accreditation and professional development of practitioners, including Mediators, Arbitrators, Adjudicators, Facilitators, and ADR students. ADRIO's current database management system (DMS) has limited functionality to provide client relationship management and related client-practitioner engagement identification. The technical challenge experienced by ADRIO is their limited resources and expertise to change the existing DMS into a more intuitive and accessible customer interface. The goal of this project is to transform how ADR practitioners interact with their clients, better understand the needs and challenges experienced by ADR practitioners; and identify new evolving practices. The Engage Grant will enable research, identification, and pilot testing of an online digital tool for data management, which will make ADRIO's processes more efficient, while addressing the emerging needs of Ontario's ADR sector.