InfoShare featured in KOFF newsletter & using ICT for conflict early warning

Swisspeace, The Center for Peacebuilding, is:

an action-oriented peace-research institute in the area of conflict analysis and peacebuilding. We research the causes of wars and violent conflicts, develop tools for early recognition of tensions, and formulate conflict mitigation and peacebuilding strategies. swisspeace contributes to information exchange and networking on current issues of peace and security policy through its analyses and reports as well as meetings and conferences.

(Taken from their website)

Their most recent newsletter (1st May 2006) highlights InfoShare’s work in ICT4Peace in Sri Lanka and states:

The content is good, and it is an interesting example of how the internet can be used to enhance peace-building activities.

InfoShare sees this as a compliment coming from a highly respected and well-known peacebuilding organisation. More importantly of course, it is yet another step towards the growing recognition of ICT4Peace as a theory and a growing body of research and practice worthy of more attention and investment. Read the full report here.

Swisspeace is also widely recognised for its work on Conflict Prevention and Early Warning, in particular for its FAST early warning system. About 3 years ago, when InfoShare first started its activities in Sri Lanka, we designed a ICT framework based on the FAST template for early warning that used ICT more extensively for bridging communications delays and enabling better accountability of action taken or not taken to prevent violent outbreaks of conflict.

I’ve uploaded an overview of our system for Conflict Early Warning here. Obviously, it’s a bit dated now, but the core principles of the possibility of using ICT in such frameworks are worth pursuing.

Later on, I developed some of these initial ideas further in a paper titled Computer Supported Collaborative Work in the North-Eastern Province in Sri Lanka.

I’m going to write more in the future about the nexus between conflict transformation, peacebuilding and ICT – but suffice to say that the CT frameworks Swisspeace outlines in its newsletter are those which can be vastly strengthened through the strategic use of ICTs.

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