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Functional Model
of the
U.S. Department of Peace and Nonviolence

A DOPN Functional Model has been proposed that would simulate the operation of the DOPN on a small / local scale. 

This working model can help demonstrate to our Colorado Congressional Delegation that the DOPN will provide value to each Congressional District by addressing a real local issue in their district. 

Example:  The Sheriff of Larimer County has identified an alarming increase in gang violence recently.  He indicates that he is also dealing with over crowded jails.   Given this issue, how would the DOPN help Colorado Congressional District 4 deal with gang violence?

A Functional Model of the DoPN would help illustrate the specific resources that will be available to the Sheriff.

Traditional Role Play Model

The Project Team will conduct a traditional "Role Play" Modeling exercise, where volunteers take on the responsibility of specific stakeholders, apply the blue print provided by H.R. 808 that establishes the Department of Peace and Nonviolence and enact a working model of the Department of Peace.

An excellent example that illustrates this mode of modeling is the Model United Nations .

"Model United Nations is an authentic simulation of the UN General Assembly, UN Security Council, or other multilateral body, which catapults students into the world of diplomacy and negotiation. In Model UN, students step into the shoes of ambassadors of UN member states, from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe to debate current issues on the Organization's vast agenda. The students, better known as "delegates" in Model UN, prepare draft resolutions, plot strategy, negotiate with supporters and adversaries, resolve conflicts, and navigate the UN's rules of procedure-all in the interest of mobilizing "international cooperation" to resolve problems that affect almost every country on Earth.

"Before playing out their ambassadorial roles in Model UN, students do research on the particular global problems to be addressed. The problems are drawn from today's headlines. Model UNers learn how the international community acts on its concerns about

· peace and security
· human rights
· the environment
· food and hunger
· economic development
· globalization
· and more.

"Model UN "delegates" also look closely at the needs, aspirations, and foreign policy of the country they will "represent" at the event.

"The popularity of Model UN - ing has contributed to the rapid growth of this activity over several decades, and today upwards of 200,000 high school and college/university students participate in a Model UN each year. Some are classroom exercises, others school-wide, and still others regional, national, or international. Those in the last group are called "conferences" because of their larger sizes bringing participants from all over. Many conference participants are "repeaters," since the spirit and substance of these simulations create an appetite for this activity more commonly known as "MUN Fever". Those with MUN Fever may continue on as adults to seek out "intergenerational" simulations.   For more...

Wouldn't it be interesting if we had a similar opportunity for youth to hold Model DoPN conferences around the country?    The "template" for such conferences is already in place - it just needs to be adapted to the DoPN application.  

The original idea was to use the Colorado Campaign Volunteers as "acting" DOPN staff members, volunteers from local Universities as well as local Peace & Justice Organizations to play the role as "acting" Practitioners, and Volunteers to be "acting" Service Recipients.

At a mini-conference, we would give the group a real isue to consider (e.g. gang-related violence, bullying in school,...).  Using the Mission of the DoPN, the Model Team would simulate the function of the Regional DoPN, draw on the resources of Partner Departments and agencies to construct effective wholistic intervention programs that not only relieve pain and suffering, but also address systemic issues and "root causes"  The resulting program would include appropriate deterence / prevention measures (penalties for violent behavior) as well as consideration of restorative measures and additional opportunities.     The resulting interaction would be documented to assist in constructing the "virtual model" of the DoPN.  

Virtual Model

In addition to the traditional role play modeling effort, there will be a parallel effort, where the Project Team creates a "virtual model" for the Department of Peace using state-of-the-art commercial modeling and simulation tools to assist in this modeling effort.  This Team will apply "System Development" methodology and tools commonly used to understand and develop complex organizations / systems.

In the process of learning how to carry out the complex human endeavor of peacemaking using a wholelistic approach, it will be necessary to coordinate activities and facilitate effective communication.   We believe many of these tools and techniques have already been developed and can be incorporated into this DoPN Model Project:

1) Start with a vision, a dream, and continue to describe it until it becomes an idea. Describe the idea until it becomes a possible concept.  Record it so others can review and comment and contribute their perspectives. Continue to add detail to this concept until it becomes a viable "design" or blueprint that can be constructed. Build a working model and test it. Build the real thing and test it. If it works, put it to use.

2) Given a complex situation, you can divide it (break it down) into smaller parts that can be accomplished by small groups and/or individuals. Plan, sequence, and schedule each smaller activity so that all pieces come together to form a larger part in a timely manner

3) If a complex systems is divided into smaller elements, it is then critical to describe / document how each smaller work product fits together with other pieces to form a larger piece.     Tools and techniques are available to assist this process

4) Complex systems involve a complex interchange of information / data.   Tools are available to help collect this information, analyze it, store it, retrieve it and pass it along to others who need it.

           Specific Tools for Virtual Modeling

We are currently exploring "system development", "system analysis", "object oriented analysis" and similar methodology for application to this Model Project. Fortunately each of these methodologies include "tools" to facilitate the development process.    A few examples are provided below.

--- CRADLE ---

Recently NASA has selected a tool called CRADLE to assist them with their renewed effort to return humans to the Moon and eventually to Mars. We intend to explore the feasibility of using this or a similar tool on the DoPN Model project.
For details on CRADLE, see

--- TAU ---

A tool with extensive application and proven to be useful for developing complex systems is Telelogic's TAU.
For more details see:

Telelogic supports a number of other related products that can also be considered for this project.

          Specific Tools for Collaboration

Several WIKI tools are being used to assist in documenting the day-to-day activities of the Model Project    As individual work products are completed, the information is documented using one of the WIKI tools.   The WIKI tools also facilitate "Peer Review" Final results are summarized and published on the Model Project Website.

--- WikiCODOPN ( ---

This Wiki tool uses the same open source engine as Wikipedia.   It is intended to be the primary "library" for interim work products. 

--- WikiMoodle  ( ---

This WIKI tool (Moodle) is structured to display Educational Resources for on-line instruction.   Because a key aspect of the DoPN is to provide educational resources, Moodle can be used for this DOPN simulation as well.

To implement any intervention program effectively and with a high probability of success, the practitioners must be fully trained, certified, and coordinated in their efforts.  As a result, the educational / training program required to support the DOPN must mirror the actual intervention programs.

Thus a simulation of the operation of the DOPN in the case of reducing gang violence in a local community must include a parallel (and concurrent) education / training program for the practitioners.  The learning objectives of the Education/Training program must replicate each step/activity within the intervention program.