Digital Adaptations & Technological Innovations in Peacebuilding

Digital Adaptation and Technological Innovation

In collaboration with Build Up, a leader in the peacebuilding and technology space, we are excited to announce the launch of our new campaign, “Digital Adaptation & Technological Innovation in Peacebuilding.”

Technology can no longer be seen as an option for our field- it is both a driver of conflict and essential to building peace. We aim to address the urgent need to reshape practices and programming, in response to COVID-19 and technological advancements. With the help of Build Up’s technological expertise, we will update the sections below with innovative learnings that address peacebuilding’s current, digital needs.

You will find resources that highlight innovative uses of technology in peacebuilding and development, best practices and thought leaders in this space, and ways to utilize technology to transform our field. We also aim to shine a light on peacebuilding pioneers who are using technology to create cutting-edge forms of interaction between stakeholders, responses to digital human rights issues, and innovative solutions to some of the world’s most pressing issues.

Featured Blogs:

Blog post: Virtual Reality and the Future of Peacemaking by Julie A Gregory: “As a visually, auditory, and movement immersive medium, virtual reality (VR) offers the peacemaking field transformative opportunities unparalleled to date. Notably, it provides a unique capacity for the sharing of perspectives. VR could bring the buried reality of a conflict to the forefront of dialogue, creating greater opportunity for leading conflict actors (e.g. conflict party leaders and representatives) to experience a mindset shift.”

Blog post: Digital Inclusion in Peacemaking: Opportunities During and After COVID-19 by Andreas Hirblinger, CCDP: “Mediating conflict and building an inclusive peace in the middle of a global pandemic is no small thing. Against the backdrop of COVID-19, and the far-reaching travel restrictions and lockdowns that came with it, the peacemaking community has been challenged with maintaining the inclusivity of peace processes. For instance, how can mediators avoid that current restrictions favor elites who are able to assert their influence on peace processes, while others are shut out? And how can peace processes that are “taken online” still promote meaningful participation?”

Blog post: More Women in Tech Means a More Peaceful World by Quratulain Fatima, Co-Founder Women4PeaceTech: “Pakistan ranks 148 out of 149 countries on the gender inequality index (WEF). Women empowerment is essential to gain generational equality. Technology has emerged as a tool that can help people gain access to better economic opportunities. Unfortunately in developing countries like Pakistan, women are restricted from accessing economic opportunities due to patriarchal structures of resource allocation that manifest themselves in exclusion of women from economic opportunities.”

Blog post: Maskani is Our New Normal- Exploring Digital Peacebuilding in Kenya, Working from Home by Fredrick Ogenga, Ph.D.: “Social media technologies have given birth to digital peacebuilders in digital forums, which will forever change the peacebuilding landscape in Africa and elsewhere in the world. Maskani, a Swahili word for “dwelling,” is used by tech-thinkers from Kenya and the USA to define the most ambitious digital peacebuilding initiatives, and we have chosen it as the name of our pilot study in Western Kenya.”

Highlighted Resources:

Policymakers Guide to AI (by AI for PEACE, 2020): Using a human-centered approach, and explained in an engaging way, this guide teaches AI basics to an audience of non-technical policymakers. It offers explanations and additional resources, videos, articles, papers, and tutorials, to help demystify AI and prepare policymakers for current and future AI developments and impacts. It also serves as a useful resource for all peacebuilders wanting to know more about AI!

Ongoing Initiatives:

Online Course (by Build Up & Shift Power for Peace, 2020): FREE & Self-paced Digital Peacebuilding 101: Introducing Technology for Peacebuilding: What is possible to do in peacebuilding with technology? Who else is doing it and where? Is technology also a space for conflict prevention and transformation? An introductory course aimed at inspiring you to think about what digital peacebuilding can look like for you.

PeaceTech Lab is utilizing social media, technology and cultural influencers to help promote the World Health Organization’s (WHO) prevention guidelines for COVID-19 in vulnerable regions. Most recently, they partnered with renown Lebanese singer-songwriter Assi El Hallani to spread the message throughout the Middle East. Watch the campaign video in English or Arabic

M&E Thursday Talk Webinars: 

  • This is the M&E Thursday Talk from July 30, 2020, when Branka Panic of AI for Peace and Laura Clark Murray of Omdena led a discussion on “Using AI to Create Lasting Peace.” Access the recording here.
  • This is the M&E Thursday Talk from July 16, 2020, when Professor Fredrick OgengaFounding Director of the Center for Media, Democracy, Peace & Security at Rongo University, led a discussion on “Understanding Online Polarization in Kenya: A Digital Peacebuilding Perspective.” Access the recording here.
  • This is the M&E Thursday Talk from June 18, 2020, when Sarah GuthPresident of UNICollaboration, led a webinar discussion on “Online Learning & Virtual Exchange: During Covid-19 & After.” Access the recording here.
  • This is the M&E Thursday Talk from June 4, 2020, when Waidehi GokhaleCEO of Soliya, led a discussion on Online Dialogue Facilitation: Tips & Tricks.” Access the recording here.
  • This is the M&E Thursday Talk from May 14, 2020, when Build Up led a webinar discussion on “A Framework for the Functions of Technology in Peacebuilding.” Access the recording here. 

We are always looking for more insights to share, so if you are interested in showcasing your work as part of our campaign, please email us at dme@dmeforpeace.org.