A Discussion on Technology for Peace
On Thursday, November 21st, AfP hosted Debbie Ball from International Alert on a discussion about using technology for peace. Debbie discussed how technology was usually associated with monitoring and evaluating peacebuilding work, but has now become more encompassed within programming throughout the field. Debbie used examples of how International Alert is using technology to predict and anticipate violence and civil unrest within countries they operate.
Debbie first showed that organization-wide use of technological applications, such as WhatsApp, can help staff communicate more quickly and effectively with one another from different countries. She then discussed how technology has benefited country levels programs in Tunisia, Nigeria and the Philippines. In Tunisia, the use of mapping technology helped the organization identify vulnerable pockets of youth within a Tunis neighborhood that was known for terrorism recruitment. A big data project in Nigeria helped conduct a “sentiment analysis” through tracking tweets from Twitter. This analysis was able to predict Nigerian elections and can be useful for anticipating potentially violent civil unrest. In the Philippines, a project known as “conflict alert” was conducted to gather a wide array of data to present a comprehensive overview of all facets influencing violence.
To view the session, feel free to watch a replay of the event on AfP’s Youtube Channel.
A video presented by International Alert on Conflict Monitoring within the Philippines is also available on Youtube for your viewership.