digital-peace

One-quarter of humanity lives in fragile, violent, and conflict-stressed environments. These people’s lives are often characterized by the starkest of realities: undernourishment, illiteracy, short life spans, displacement, and lack of access to basic sanitation and clean water. Destroyed and diminished infrastructure, weak institutions, and endemic mistrust and suspicion characterize conflict-affected areas.

The UNU-CS Digital Peace Lab is examining and inventing ways that information and communication technologies can serve as a tool towards supporting peacemaking efforts by enhancing people’s capacity to acquire truthful information; strengthening their resilience to cope with conflict by improving their capacity to communicate with loved ones, allies and their perceived enemies; alerting parties when potential conflict flares; and providing platforms for conflicting parties to find ways towards reconciliation and community building.

Example research questions from the UNU-CS Digital Peace Lab include:

  • What is the context specific information and communication needs of people in conflict?
  • Can we analyze social media and create early-warning tools that alert us to conflict flashpoints?
  • What are new forms of conflict durable, rapidly deployable, interoperable and self-healing network infrastructures?
  • What are the unique information needs of peacekeepers, how can their information management be facilitated in a digital age and in what way is digital peacekeeping related to broader programs of ICTD?
  • Can rich digital media assist people in post-conflict healing and reconciliation?
  • How do we innovate new interface modes and methods for use by communities where a generation is unschooled and there is a pervasive low level of print and computer literacy?
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