Peace IT!

Peace IT!

Peace IT!, the first edition of a journal for conflict and crisis management professionals published by the Crisis Management Initiative (CMI) is out and can be downloaded here. The journal introduces how ICTs can be used effectively to prevent, manage and resolve crisis to the benefit of peace and security.

The journal contains an interview with me on ICT4Peace, while Information Technology and Crisis Management (ITCM) project also has a link to a podcast of an interview conducted with me on the topic.

See here for more details.

4 thoughts on “Peace IT!

  1. I find it quite interesting how the ICT sector has gathered itself around the management of disaster and the prevention of conflict… I think Naomi Klein’s line, the “Rise of Disaster Capitalism”, can be applied here also.

    There’s a need to conduct some real criticism to all this ICT4Peace and ICT4Development stuff.

    Are there any research projects being set up to monitor/track the results of the use of ICT in the realms of crisis management, disasters and war/peace?

    Sorry to sound like a spoilsport – but let’s not forget there’s a lot of bubble blowing that comes out of the ICT sector…

  2. Sam,

    Plenty of research studies & papers that critique the ICT4D paradigms, surely you know this?

    ICT frameworks in disasters is less studied – though this blog, and those such as Lirneasia, have pointers to valuable resources / case studies that critique constructively the effectiveness of technology in disaster response mechanisms. The failure of technology to go the last mile in the tsunami that struck Indonesia this year is a humble reminder of how far we have to still go to state with a modicum of confidence that technology can help save lives.

    The early warning system in Peace IT! is interesting – far as I know, it’s a sub-optimal system based on FAST, an early warning system that’s one of the best around, but still inadequate to map, for instance, the growth of rumours and how they contribute to the communal conflageration.

    Lirneasia’s blog has some fascinating early warning systems designs (not for conflict, but can be easily adopted for any purpose), spearheaded by Prof. Rohan Samarajiva, well worth reading.


  3. Hi Sanjana,

    I think my point is not to ignore the human factor. Technology tends to abstracts from the reality, and at the end of the day technology is dumb.

    My comment was to hint the need to balance the celebration of ICT4D or ICT4P or ICT4X with stories of caution, that’s all.

    And sure, rumour maps can be useful. But it’s important also to notice the guys on the street going at each other with machetes.

    – S.

  4. Sam,

    I think the thoughts you propose have been covered in the terrain of literature already out there – stories of caution abound and are aplently on Google. And yet, on occasion, those who propose balance rarely have it themselves.

    As for going at each other with machetes, the point is that the context in which it occurred can often be predicted, but the political action to stop its occurence is often found wanting. Political action is where most CEW systems fail, since they cannot guarantee it. What I’ve proposed in my writing is to couple such systems with the promotion / advocacy for the Right to Information / Freedom of Information legislation and effective enactment – so that records of the warnings, the severity of the warnings, the time of delivery, the frequency of the warnings and to whom it went can be ascertained post facto by the public, to hold those accountable (and who did nothing to prevent the violence) accountable either in a court of law, or by the ballot.


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