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Peacebuilding and digital technologies: online consultation

March 17 @ 12:00 am - March 19 @ 11:59 pm

New technologies have become increasingly ingrained in people’s day-to-day lives, connecting people worlds apart and dramatically changing the way information is accessed and communicated. Indeed, they have the power to fundamentally shape social and political narratives worldwide, empowering marginalised voices to shift social norms for the better.

While they can be a power for good, new technologies are also becoming more and more a factor in violent conflict. Whether this is by providing a mechanism for recruitment into armed and/or extremist groups, being a channel for the spread of rumours and false news, or encouraging division and polarisation. At the same time, these technologies can provide opportunities for new, innovative, and different approaches to prevent violent conflict and build peace.

Furthermore, while the use of new technologies for peacebuilding has shown much promise, but there are still many ethical and operational issues to consider in the sector when it comes to doing no harm in our peacebuilding work.

To tackle these questions, Peace Direct is convening an online consultation to broaden the conversation on this topic. Peacebuilding and digital technologies, scheduled for 17 – 19 March, will be a global conversation between practitioners and peacebuilders to explore both the impact technology is having on conflict dynamics and the effective and ethical use of digital technologies for peacebuilding.

Over the course of the week, participants will analyse and discuss a range of topics related to technology and peacebuilding. The consultation will ask participants to consider both the impact technology is having on conflict dynamics and the approaches civil society actors are using to use technology to build peace.

Ahead of the consultation we will work with partners and participants to define the areas of discussion, examples of questions participants may be asked to explore could include:

  • How is the prevalence of rumour and misinformation on social media influencing conflict dynamics?
  • How are activists impacted by state efforts to shut down civic space online?
  • How are new technology platforms bypassing traditional methods of conflict prevention or early warning?
  • What work is taking place to counter polarisation?
  • In what ways are peacebuilders taking advantage of decentralised communications platforms to organise more effectively?
  • Can the data being generated online be used for conflict early warning?
  • In the rush to work with the latest and most exciting technologies, do we risk ignoring more tried and trusted technologies (such as radio) that may be more effective and inclusive?

Please register your interest by filling out this form by 04 March at the latest. If you have any questions or problems with the form you can contact Joel Gabri at Peace Direct, on joel.gabri@peacedirect.org. Please note that spaces are limited, and you will receive a confirmation message to confirm your participation.