NCSC Releases Evaluation and Performance Measures Framework for Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) Programs
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, state courts accelerated efforts to implement online dispute resolution (ODR) programs that offer litigants a software platform in which to resolve legal problems, including negotiating settlements or exchanging information in preparation for in-court hearings. ODR programs are intended to increase access to justice, especially for self-represented litigants, through increased convenience, case processing efficiency, and awareness of litigant options while decreasing costs. With a grant from the State Justice Institute, the NCSC has issued a new report describing a framework for program evaluation as well as ongoing performance measures for ODR programs. The framework employs a “balanced scorecard” approach to ensure that evaluation and performance measures take into account perspectives of important stakeholders, including courts, litigants, access-to-justice advocates, and funders of ODR programs. All of the measures address the same underlying primary question: to what extent does the ODR program improve access to justice? The report is available here. The NCSC project team is also available to provide technical assistance to courts implementing new ODR programs.