I began publishing the Ombuds Blog
in November 2006, shortly after began working as an ombudsperson for UCLA. I had previously worked as an attorney, handling attorney discipline and legal malpractice cases, and I was familiar with rich array of resources for attorneys. I quickly realized, on the other hand, that the organizational ombuds field was still evolving into a profession. Although the field had developed significantly in just a couple of decades, it lacked many of the features of an established profession, such as a defined body of law, a certification process, peer-reviewed scholarship, or even a directory of practitioners. I decided to publish a blog to fill some of the gaps that I perceived.
The goal of the blog was to collect news and information about organizational ombuds, including news of jobs, programs in transition, and other opportunities for practitioners. Since then, the blog has posted over 1,500 items. Readership has increased steadily and the blog now has about 200 subscribers and draws about 10,000 page views a month. Most readers are practicing ombuds or people looking into the field.
In addition to topical posts, the Ombuds Blog also collects links to other information about the field. It has the most comprehensive list of ombuds offices divided by sector: higher education, private industry, government, health care, NGO and nonprofit, and K-12 education. There are links for organizations for ombuds, within the U.S. and abroad. In addition, the site offers links that define prevailing best practices for ombuds.
Since the Ombuds Blog went online, I am happy to report that the primary organization for practitioners, the International Ombudsman Association
has created additional resources for the profession. There is now a certification program (Board of Certification for Certified Organizational Ombudsman Pract...
) and a peer-reviewed journal (Journal of IOA
). More developments are certain and I am dedicated to chronicling the history. As a blogger for ADRhub, I'll give updates from the Ombuds Blog and offer my perspectives on other ADR issues.