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The main objective of this study was to explore indigenous knowledge for conflict management of some communities in southwestern Ethiopia and develop a web-based system for its preservation and dissemination. The study employed a qualitative research approach for exploring IK using focus group discussion, interviews, and observation. Questionnaires were used for quantitative data collection. In this study, the target populations were from Mana and Mareqo Woreda. The study‟s findings showed that there is a long time trend among Mana and Mareqo Woreda people to manage their conflicts mostly through traditional mechanisms such as „Jaarsummaa‟ and “Raga-Mara.” The communities believe that traditional mechanisms are much better than the
modern court procedure. It can produce a win-win result that is influential for dispute parties‟ future-friendly and family relationships, easily accessible, time-saving, less costly, no perjury tolerated, and vital for social stability. Data collected during the study from local organizations‟ employees indicated that out of the total respondents, 94 (96.9%) of them were familiar with the practices of such indigenous knowledge, but 91 (93.8%) of them indicated that they had never
used traditional manner of conflict management web-application system. The study revealed that the traditional manner of conflict management plays a vital role in settling a peaceful environment within the communities of southwest Ethiopia. Since such essential indigenous knowledge is in danger of being lost, a system that uses new technology for its preservation and dissemination, as a web-based application, is recommended, especially for the youth.
Keywords: Traditional manner, indigenous knowledge, social capital, conflict management