These challenges might be easier to acknowledge than overcome. Our primary focus in this chapter is providing a comprehensive picture of the status quo of ODR in North America from the perspective of North America-based service providers, institutions and governments. Our review of service providers and institutions shall be exclusive to US and Canada, as the chapter on ODR in Latin America addresses initiatives in Mexico and Central America.
In the following pages, we shall commence by mapping out the state of ODR private market services. Subsequently, we look at the federal government and its potential roles as a major provider, and user, of ODR services. Thereafter, we shall address ODR professionals and providers, looking at organizational and structural themes as well as the nature of the services they provide. The US and Canada not only spear-headed the offering of ODR services; North American institutions were also the first to set up research institutes in this area of dispute resolution, as well as to incorporate it into academic curricula, as we shall discuss. Finally, we shall shed light on the prospects of the existing combination of practice, research and institutionalization in order to try and determine which trends might provide a trajectory for ODR in North America over the coming few years.