Peace Tools

Working with the Nobel Peace Laureates Foundation, I’ve been following up the idea of creating a software platform called Peace Tools that I’ve written briefly about in my paper Untying the Gordian Knot: ICT for Conflict Transformation and Peacebuilding.

As the Peace Appeal Foundation website states:

Peace Tools aims to facilitate and enable the implementation of peace education in every school in the world, and to equip every citizen, community and country in the world with collective `tools’, access to peacebuilding resources and knowledge/skills to reduce violence in their societies and jointly solve critical problems. Whether dealing with a conflict with one’s spouse, or addressing an ongoing communal conflict in one’s country, or a wider conflict of international proportions, Peace Tools offers users knowledge and skills to design their own processes of conflict resolution/transformation.

Peace Tools also provides tools for improving governments’ and institutions’ early warning systems through its standardized conflict assessment tools and interactive tools for rapid assessments and analyses. It can strengthen the assessment and early warning capacity of institutions by helping them create transparent, multi-sectoral, authentic networks that can disseminate information and knowledge resources instantly.

The tool further provides all stakeholders (in shared spaces) with virtual working spaces for logistical organization and collaboration, and thereby enhances all stakeholders’ ability to respond fast and effectively to possible threats or crises. These virtual networks also provide vehicles for expanding training mechanisms and materials. AND by providing adjustable frameworks, analytical and management tools for conflict transformation and peacebuilding that can be customized for each conflict situation, the tool could be an essential resource and enabler for each person involved in peacebuilding in the world.

Of course, Peace Tools is, to date, just an idea. But it’s a very powerful idea – that builds on work in ICT4Peace already engineered by InfoShare in Sri Lanka and Nepal and also pushes the boundaries of research to envision peace process support systems far more advanced than what we have today.

I guess the most important value of Peace Tools is that it’s support by the Peace Appeal Foundation – an organisation comprised of some of the most respected peacebuilders in the world. That they’ve recognised the value of using ICT for peacebuilding and conflict transformation is proof that ICT4Peace is not longer a fringe activity, but very much forward and centre in future peacebuilding frameworks.

3 thoughts on “Peace Tools

  1. Did not know there was software for peacemaking. Have been studying the subject of peacemaking and transformative justice. How progressive do you think the tool will be in leading to actual peacebuilding and conflict transformation?

  2. Dear CompanyCounselor,

    As I said in the post, Peace Tools, to date, is very much an idea. We’ve tried out some beta tools in our work in Sri Lanka – though extremely interesting, they were far from complete for use in mission critical negotiations processes.

    On another note however, my posts on Games and Peacebuilding point to software tools, in this case PC games, that exist today which allow for basic training in peacebuilding, coexistence etc – see for instance A Force More Powerful.

    The tool will only be as progressive as the stakeholders who use it. Put another way, while the technology itself may be groundbreaking, peace is made within and between humans – Peace Tools can aid and strengthen a process of peacebuilding, but the contours of conflict and peace dynamics are shaped by human interventions.

    You may also be interested in the new directions of Online Dispute Resolution (ODR), which is (albeit slowly) which is moving away from conflict resolution of commercial disputes to conflict transformation in complex ethno-political conflicts. That’s a huge paradigm shift and given your interest in transformative justice, it might be worth reading up on some of the developments. See http://sanjanah.googlepages.com/thoughtsonictandpeacebuilding for some papers on the topic.

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