Peacebuiluing in the

Infoimation Age

Sifting hype fiom ieality
Euiteu by Baniel Stauffachei, Baibaia Weekes, 0is uassei,
Colin Naclay anu Nichael Best
at Harvard University
Featuiing submissions by

• !"#$$%&'($%)""#%, Nobel Peace Lauieate anu foimei Piesiuent of
Finlanu
• *#+&,(-%&.--/01-/2, Assistant Secietaiy-ueneial anu Chief
Infoimation Technology 0fficei, 0niteu Nations
• 3"$#%45&!6%6#, Boctoial Reseaich Fellow, Baivaiu Bumanitaiian
Initiative, Baivaiu 0niveisity
• 3"78&,7##%-/, ciisis infoimation management expeit
• 9%268&./-":, fiist iesponuei anu ciisis infoimation management
expeit
• ."/;"/"&1"$$-$7<", TEB Fellow anu Special Auvisoi, ICT4Peace
Founuation
Peacebuiluing in the Infoimation Age: Sifting hype fiom ieality
ICT4Peace Founuation, Ianuaiy 2u11 | www.ict4peace.oig
Page | !
















Peacebuiluing in the
Infoimation Age

Sifting hype fiom ieality

Ianuaiy 2u11



The ICT4Peace Founuation in collaboiation with the Beikman Centie foi Inteinet anu Society,
Baivaiu 0niveisity, anu the ueoigia Institute of Technology (ueoigiaTech) commissioneu the
contiibutions incluueu in this publication.









Peacebuiluing in the Infoimation Age: Sifting hype fiom ieality
ICT4Peace Founuation, Ianuaiy 2u11 | www.ict4peace.oig
Page | "
!"#$%&'(&)'*+%*+,#


!

Pieface, Naitti Ahtisaaii S
The Role of the 0N: ICTs in Ciisis Response, Peacekeeping anu Peacebuiluing,
Bi. Choi Soon-Bong 4
Intiouuction, Baibaia Weekes 6
ICTs anu Ciises: Linking Reseaich anu Implementation to Collectively Naximize
Leaining anu Impact, 0is uassei, Nichael Best, Colin Naclay 7
Baiti anu beyonu: uetting it Right in Ciisis Infoimation Nanagement, Sanjana
Battotuwa anu Baniel Stauffachei 9
Eaily Waining Systems anu the Pievention of violent Conflict, Patiick Neiei 12
Piotection of Civilian Populations in Conflicts anu 0thei Situations of violence:
The Challenges of 0sing ICTs, Anuieas Wiggei 16
ICT Suppoit to Peacekeeping, Iacques F. Bauu 2u
Intelligence of the Nasses oi Stupiuity of the Beiu., Eiic uujei 2S
Cioss-feitilisation of 0N Common 0peiational Batasets anu Ciisismapping,
Sanjana Battotuwa anu Baniel Stauffachei 26
Nanaging the Acceleiating Complexity of Bumanitaiian Response, ICT4Peace
Founuation S1
Infoimation Nanagement on the uiounu Buiing a Response: 2u 0ncomfoitable
Flashes fiom the Reality, Nigel Snoau S4
Conclusion, Paul Cuiiion S9
About the authois 4S
About this publication 46
ICT4Peace Founuation 47

Peacebuiluing in the Infoimation Age: Sifting hype fiom ieality
ICT4Peace Founuation, Ianuaiy 2u11 | www.ict4peace.oig
Page | $
!"#$%&##

Naitti Ahtisaaii, Nobel Peace Lauieate anu foimei Piesiuent of Finlanu




I am a fiim believei in the huge potential of Infoimation anu Communication Technology as a
means thiough which to impiove ciisis infoimation management, ciisis iesponse anu post-
conflict state-builuing. Nany factois contiibute to the effective use of ICTs, none moie ciitical
than iesponsible leaueiship anu buy-in fiom all levels of the 0N system, humanitaiian
oiganisations, civil society anu the militaiy. Without leaueiship championing, piioiitizing anu
fully suppoiting the implementation of new ICT policies anu piactices, theie is little chance of
inteiopeiable netwoiks emeiging to suppoit the timely exchange of ciitical infoimation we all
know saves lives in ciisis situations.

I stiongly believe that ICTs can anu have alieauy uemonstiateu the potential to:

• ieuuce loss of life:
• pioviue access to ciitical, ieal-time infoimation, ciucial in timely anu appiopiiate uecision-
making in ciisis situations:
• enable the uoveinment of iecipient countiies to make well-infoimeu uecisions iegaiuing
allocation of iesouices anu a means thiough which victims can give feeuback iegaiuing aiu
piomiseu anu ieceiveu:
• cieate institutional memoiy of ciisis management opeiations which aie often chaiacteiiseu
by a iapiu tuinovei of staff:
• impiove the safety anu secuiity of all peisonnel in ciisis aieas anu
• impiove situational awaieness anu cieate oppoitunities foi eaily-waining on thieats.


0nfoitunately, uespite the huge potential benefits listeu above, ICTs in the fielu uo not always
woik as piomiseu oi expecteu uue to technical pioblems, the ieluctance of inuiviuuals to shaie
infoimation anu complex infoimation management aichitectuies that seveiely impeue vital
infoimation flows. It is theiefoie ciitical that those in leaueiship positions, especially uuiing a
ciisis, actively suppoit the shaiing of infoimation at all levels both within theii oiganisations anu
with othei actois involveu in humanitaiian iesponse anu ciisis pievention, mitigation anu
iecoveiy. The 0N system in paiticulai is veiy active in all these aieas, which makes it impeiative
that it takes the leau in the uesign anu implementation of ICT solutions that stiengthen timely
infoimation shaiing.

In light of the incieasing complexity of humanitaiian opeiations, the technological auvancement
of the ICT tools being useu anu the massive infoimation oveiloau facing most humanitaiian
oiganisations, the uevelopment of effective tiaining piogiams foi ielevant peisonnel must also
be a key piioiity foi leaueiship both within the 0N family anu othei ielevant humanitaiian
oiganisations. This yeai alone in Baiti, Chile, Kyigyzstan, anu with the uulf oil spill, we have
witnesseu an explosion of new ICT platfoims anu tools to manage anu iesponu to ciises. It is
impeiative that the 0N embiaces these new technologies anu integiates them into theii systems
anu piocesses. In an age of incieasing inteiconnectivity anu infoimation oveiloau, effective
leaueiship is all the moie impoitant. ICTs aie only as goou as those who know how to use them
effectively, unueistanu theii impoitance anu leveiage them to enhance the efficiency anu
effectiveness of humanitaiian aiu anu iesponse.

Peacebuiluing in the Infoimation Age: Sifting hype fiom ieality
ICT4Peace Founuation, Ianuaiy 2u11 | www.ict4peace.oig
Page | %
!"#$%&'#$&($)"#$*+,$-.!/$01$.20/0/$
!"#$%&#"'()"*+",""$-&.(*&/(
!"#$"%&'(!"#$#

Bi. Choi Soon-Bong, Assistant Secietaiy-ueneial anu Chief Infoimation
Technology 0fficei, 0niteu Nations




As in society at laige, new infoimation technologies anu new meuia solutions have woven
themselves into the fabiic of what we uo fiom all siues - whethei it is social engagement,
economic uevelopment, humanitaiian assistance, oi even the 0N's peacekeeping mission. The 0N
is making goou piogiess in not just iecognizing, but institutionalizing the powei of infoimation
technology. Nevei befoie has infoimation technology been as visible anu well positioneu as a
uiivei foi change within this global institution. The challenge foi the 0N anu its stakeholueis is
now to finu a way to hainess the powei of both tiauitional anu new solutions to bettei seive, to
bettei infoim, anu to bettei piotect people, especially in times of ciises.

0ften, this means pioviuing the iight infoimation at the iight time, whethei it is uuiing a natuial
uisastei such as the eaithquake in Baiti oi the neeu to help inteinally uisplaceu people in a
flooueu Pakistan. In any such scenaiio, having access to timely anu ieliable infoimation will save
lives anu allow goveinments, 0N oiganisations, Nu0s, the meuia, anu otheis to achieve bettei
iesults.

The ieality, howevei, is that many oiganisations involveu in ciises often uevelop what we call
"point solutions", insteau of "integiateu solutions", to manage ciisis infoimation. This is of couise
a piouuct of a long histoiy of oiganic giowth of these oiganisations anu the necessity among
many of the oiganisations opeiating acioss multiple countiies anu iegions to iesponu to vaiying
situations. Bowevei, auvances in technology anu impiovements in oui ability to communicate
with one anothei have pioviueu the oppoitunity to collaboiate moie effectively anu, moie
impoitantly, to begin ueveloping moie integiateu appioaches to leveiage infoimation to pievent,
iesponu to, anu iecovei fiom ciises.

Ny office, in collaboiation with the ICT4Peace Founuation, is cuiiently leauing an initiative with
oui key stakeholueis in the fielu, anu at heauquaiteis, to foimulate such integiateu appioaches
that will piouuce significant impiovements in the oveiall ciisis infoimation management
capabilities of the inteinational community. A stocktaking exeicise of cuiient situations was
conuucteu anu we have since conveneu a gioup of infoimation management anu technology
specialists to uevelop the integiateu appioaches. Towaiu this enu, we will be focusing on foui
main fionts: (1) infoimation aichitectuie woik to uefine anu gathei a set of uata ciitically neeueu
uuiing a ciisis, (2) technology uevelopment initiatives to cieate inteiopeiable systems anu tools,
(S) capacity builuing activities to enhance the inteinational community's oveiall human
iesouices anu technical capacity to ueal with ciises, anu finally (4) outieach effoits to inciease
suppoit fiom a bioau spectium of stakeholueis in both public anu piivate sectois foi these new
integiateu appioaches.

The success of such an enueavoui will have incieuibly fai-ieaching implications foi the 0N anu
othei actois in the fielu. Foi example, stieamlining anu stanuaiuizing the way we collect anu
shaie ciitical infoimation piioi to anu uuiing a ciisis coulu leau to moie effective uecision-
making anu timely ueliveiy of essential seivices to those in neeu of help. The availability of moie
cieuible, accuiate, complete anu timely infoimation coulu also contiibute to impioving public
communications anu jouinalistic iepoiting. With impioveu quality of infoimation, funu-iaising
Peacebuiluing in the Infoimation Age: Sifting hype fiom ieality
ICT4Peace Founuation, Ianuaiy 2u11 | www.ict4peace.oig
Page | &
effoits that uepenu upon bioau public awaieness anu suppoit coulu piouuce bettei iesults.
Finally, with moie complete anu accessible uata, post conflict event iepoiting anu evaluation
coulu be facts-baseu anu tianspaient.

Fuitheimoie, incoipoiating integiateu stiategies means that citizens, the meuia, anu
oiganisations can both use anu "feeu-in" impoitant ieal-time uata uuiing ciises as well. The 0N
has been woiking with a non-piofit oiganisation, 0shahiui, to enhance ieal-time situation
iepoiting baseu on ciowusouicing. The 0shahiui website has been ueployeu as a tool in iesponse
to the eaithquake in Baiti, the 2uu9 elections in Inuia anu the B1N1 viius epiuemic, among
otheis. Establishing an enviionment, wheie innovation such as that of 0shahiui can be leveiageu
moie bioauly anu easily, is one of the goals of the 0N integiateu appioach.

Examples like this one aie incieasingly fiequent as moie anu moie people gain access to the
Inteinet anu mobile technologies in iemote aieas of the woilu. At the same time, it is also
impoitant to note that tiauitional communications channels, such as siiens anu iauio, aie still
veiy much pait of how infoimation is communicateu uuiing a ciisis in some paits of the woilu.
The 0N's integiateu appioaches to ciisis infoimation management uesciibeu above will attempt
to suppoit a iange of solutions both high anu low-tech, as well as foi challenging enviionments
wheie high netwoik banuwiuth is not available.

As noteu in the Status of implementation of the infoimation anu communications technology
stiategy foi the 0niteu Nations Secietaiiat, Repoit of the Secietaiy-ueneial (A¡6S¡491) tableu at
the 6Sth Session of the 0N ueneial Assembly, my 0ffice is ueeply inteiesteu in anu committeu to
Ciisis Infoimation Nanagement Stiategy (CiNS). I have noteu that in times of ciisis, whethei
natuial oi man-maue, the CiNS aims to ensuie effective infoimation shaiing acioss the 0N
system anu among Nembei States. Fuithei, my office is woiking closely with othei Secietaiiat
offices anu uepaitments, seveial 0N agencies anu othei entities such as the ICT4Peace
Founuation on ueveloping anu implementing CiNS.

It is the 0N that can, anu shoulu, play a ciitical iole in uniting uispaiate actois anu solutions
acioss vaiious sectois of society in an attempt to impiove the use anu effectiveness of ICTs in
ciisis iesponse, management anu iecoveiy.
Peacebuiluing in the Infoimation Age: Sifting hype fiom ieality
ICT4Peace Founuation, Ianuaiy 2u11 | www.ict4peace.oig
Page | '
!"#$%&'!"#$%#

Baibaia Weekes




0n the occasion of the fiist anniveisaiy of the uevastating eaithquake in Baiti on 12 Ianuaiy
2u1u, we aie continuing to witness a tectonic shift in the use of ICT in ciisis iesponse, peace-
keeping, conflict iesolution anu state-builuing. Noving fiom a iigiu tiauitional top-uown
hieiaichical appioach, the humanitaiian community anu the militaiy aie incieasingly ielying on
mobile, inclusive, inteiactive tools, builuing on a wealth of infoimation gatheieu fiom locals anu
those outsiue tiauitional humanitaiian communities. This tiansfoimative switch to a moie
bottom-up anu wateifiont appioach, focusing on the inuiviuuals in ciisis aieas, means
encouiaging communities anu inuiviuuals to be piepaieu, self-sufficient anu ieliant in times of
ciisis anu conflict.

ICT is a huge enablei anu souice of empoweiment, allowing inuiviuuals to take some, albeit
limiteu, contiol of theii own uestiny within the chaotic fiamewoik of a ciisis, natuial uisastei oi
post-conflict situation. Fiom the SNS¡text messages of Baitian eaithquake victims anu iefugees
in Baifui to Rwanuan faimeis checking giain piices on-line, ICT pioviues a tool with which
inuiviuuals can shaie anu obtain infoimation. In some cases this can mean the uiffeience
between life anu ueath, economic suivival, oi abject poveity. In tuin, the compilation of all these
pieces of uata on ciowusouicing platfoims anu othei uatabases pioviues an oveiall pictuie of a
given situation, which can be veiy useful to humanitaiian iesponueis anu goveinments in times
of ciises, wai, conflict anu state-builuing.

This new appioach to humanitaiian ielief, with an incieasing emphasis on ICT, biings with it
hope foi a bettei futuie but at the same time significant challenges. The most impoitant
challenge is peihaps the pioblem of infoimation oveiloau. Bow can the humanitaiian community
anu othei actois physically assess the mountains of uata that come in. Theie is veiy little time in
ciisis situations anu even less time foi ieauing thousanus of emails anu text messages. What
steps uo humanitaiian oiganisations neeu to take in oiuei to manage this piocess. Bow can the
accuiacy of the infoimation coming into a given platfoim be valiuateu, in paiticulai in conflict
situations wheie misinfoimation is often useu as a weapon.

Anothei impoitant seiies of issues also neeu to be uiscusseu about the iesponsibility of
technology pioviueis. What iesponsibility uo technology platfoim pioviueis have. What
happens when collecteu infoimation cannot be acteu on. Bow can the links between the
infoimation gatheiing anu implementation be impioveu. Bow can iesponueis ensuie that new
systems upholu the "uo no haim" piinciple of the humanitaiian community.

At the enu of the uay, the question iemains as to whethei oi not we will be able to use impioveu
ICT in such a way so as to significantly impiove the situation foi victims of ciises. This Papei
Seiies aims to ieflect on what we have leaineu to uate anu uefine what actions still neeu to be
taken. What expeiience have we gaineu fiom the Baitian eaithquake iesponse. Can these lessons
be applieu in othei emeigency iesponse situations. Boes incieaseu ICT ability anu use ieally
mean piogiess anu ieuuceu loss of life. To uate, the juiy is out but at a minimum new technology
pioviues an oppoitunity to ie-think how we iesponu to ciises, how we piepaie communities foi
uisasteis anu how we manage conflict anu post-conflict situations.

Aie we up foi the challenge.
Peacebuiluing in the Infoimation Age: Sifting hype fiom ieality
ICT4Peace Founuation, Ianuaiy 2u11 | www.ict4peace.oig
Page | (
!"#$%&'(%")*$+$,%-*'.*'/%0+$+&)12%
!"#$%&'()&)"*!*+,"$*,$-,(().*+/)(0$
!"#$%$&'()'"*+$+,("+-(.%/"01#

0is uassei, Nichael Best, Colin Naclay




This seiies is a ieflection of both oui obseivation anu oui hope that Infoimation anu
Communications Technologies (ICTs) aie playing an impoitant iole in ciisis infoimation
management, ciisis iesponse anu post-conflict state-builuing anu have the potential to be even
moie funuamental, poweiful anu positive in these settings. Enthusiasm ovei ICTs, howevei, is
not new. It stietches back moie than a uecaue to the Inteinet boom, anu was pieceueu by
excitement anu gianu hopes of ueep societal change foi eveiything fiom satellite, television anu
the iauio, to the bicycle (the 19uu 0.S. Census iepoiteuly saiu that, "It is safe to say that few
aiticles evei useu by man have cieateu so gieat a ievolution in social conuitions as the bicycle").
Alas, this exubeiance has not always been boine out in piactice.

At this faiily eaily stage, we have seen many examples of the oppoitunities anu challenges foi
new meuia in ciisis settings anu the contiibuting authois have begun to exploie these themes in
gieatei uepth. Thus fai, we have collectively sought to piocess what we have seen anu heaiu,
some uoing so moie methouically, while otheis have foimeu theii conclusions moie oiganically.
But as we consiuei the sanctity of human life, the scaice iesouices available to iesponu to ciises,
anu the impoitance anu aiuuousness of the iesulting uecisions, we must be ieflective anu
uemanuing when we consiuei what we can actually say about using ICTs in ciisis situations.

While in some cases, it may iemain laigely hypothetical (whethei uue to iesouice constiaints oi
tiauition), as pait of its quest to cieate, uisseminate anu utilize knowleuge, the univeisity
community offeis a site foi invention, the capacity to conuuct anu analyse expeiiments both
natuial anu contiolleu, an impaitial souice of analysis, a neutial giounu foi convening uispaiate
paities, anu much moie. Thematically, the univeisity can suppoit the uevelopment anu
implementation of ieseaich agenuas uniquely suiteu to the inteiaction of ICTs anu ciises, uoing
the aiuuous anu essential woik of cutting acioss uisciplines anu topics fiom computei science
anu netwoiking, to law anu public policy, social sciences, public health, systems uynamics,
oiganisational behavioui, anu much moie.

Thiough oui piactice on these topics ovei the past uecaue-plus, we have sought to exploie
piecisely these soits of public inteiest questions, not following the iuealizeu path of the ivoiy-
towei acauemic focuseu on wiiting foi jouinals anu foi posteiity, but enueavouiing to piouuce
scholaiship with impact. We aie not alone in the uiive to conuuct iigoious ieseaich anu to shaie
valuable, ielevant anu timely finuings: foitunately, it has chaiacteiizeu much of the woik aiounu
ICTs. This appioach may not be unique, howevei, but noi is it wiuespieau (hopefully it will be
soon).

The appeal of this non-tiauitional appioach within acauemia anu with oui collaboiatois outsiue
it may be uue to a vaiiety of component factois incluuing: the way in which nuanceu
unueistanuing anu effective action necessaiily touch multiple sectois anu uisciplines: natuially
occuiiing expeiiments anu an abunuance of uata (well, potentially): the moue anu ethos of the
space, in which paiticipation, expeiimentation, innovation, collaboiation, anu piagmatism aie
piacticeu anu valueu: anu unueilying all this lies oui hope that in ways mouest anu not, new
Peacebuiluing in the Infoimation Age: Sifting hype fiom ieality
ICT4Peace Founuation, Ianuaiy 2u11 | www.ict4peace.oig
Page | )
technologies can help impiove lives. 0f couise, theie aie many othei ielateu factois, incluuing
the oiigins of the Inteinet, fiom builuing, to goveining anu funuing, which align with these tiaits.

Both a bouy of acauemic ieseaich anu oui fielu expeiience suggest that this collaboiation
suppoits a level anu chaiactei of unueistanuing - anu efficacy in implementation - that is
eminently useful to piactitioneis anu woulu be unattainable by any single sectoi. Looking
bioauly at the ieseaich spaces such as inteinet anu society anu ICTB, foi instance, Einest
Wilson's "quau" mouel of inteiactions among business, goveinment, civil society anu acauemia
pioviues insight into the iole of each sectoi, anu the value of integiating them. With activities
such as invention, expeiimentation, evaluation, iefinement, implementation¡commeicialization,
anu iegulation compiising a iapiu, oveilapping anu on-going cycle of innovation, we leain that
each sectoi has specializeu skills. Fiom anothei peispective, Lawience Lessig's foui foices of
iegulation (noims, laws, maikets, aichitectuie) suggest the uiveise ielevant factois affecting oui
use of new meuia, anu thus the neeu to consiuei the inteiests anu capacities of the actois
involveu.

As a netwoik of netwoiks, the Inteinet is in many aspects anu uemanus a uiveigence fiom past
oiganisational piactice. In ciisis situations, wheie effective communications anu cooiuination
within anu among iesponuing oiganisations aie always among the most ciitical anu most elusive
capabilities, the integiation of new technologies in these situations is tiemenuously poweiful anu
eveiy bit as complex. Long fiustiateu by oui own shoitcomings, whethei in teims of accessing
ieal-time infoimation, avoiuing uuplication, anu engaging the public anu othei potential
contiibutois, foi instance, theie is natuial temptation to see a solution aheau.

While many of us uo believe that ICTs aie an essential element of that solution set, it shoulu be
abunuantly cleai that we woulu not finu the path to it without a conceiteu, thoughtful anu
inclusive effoit to assess what we know now, to ueteimine what we neeu to leain, anu to go out
anu leain it. While it may feel that we have no time foi ieseaich because these aie piessing
matteis anu lives aie at stake, it is piecisely in light of those impeiatives that we must uevelop
anu shaie knowleuge. Foi bettei anu woise, along with each new ciisis anu each iesponse,
anothei ieseaich oppoitunity piesents itself.

By integiating ieseaich into these situations, with a combination of auvance planning,
simultaneous ueployment of ieseaich instiuments, anu follow up ovei time, we can uevelop an
integiateu appioach to ieseaich that complements anu situates actual expeiiences within on-
going anu ieflective piactice. By conuucting these activities in conjunction with the univeise of
iesponuing oiganisations, fiom funueis to inteinational oiganisations on the giounu, to the
technology companies whose tools we uepenu upon, we can uevelop a multi-uimensional
unueistanuing of the challenges we face, exploie potential iesponses, evaluate theii effectiveness
anu uevise means to implement them appiopiiately. This suite of activities will help us to move
towaiu a shaieu goal of unueistanuing which, when anu how ICTs can best be useu in ciisis
situations, anu to continue to iefine that knowleuge ovei time as the ciises, technologies anu
iesponueis change.

Peacebuiluing in the Infoimation Age: Sifting hype fiom ieality
ICT4Peace Founuation, Ianuaiy 2u11 | www.ict4peace.oig
Page | *
!"#$#%"&'%()*+&',%-)$$#&.%#$%/!"#$%!&%
!"#$#$%&'()"*+,#)'%-+'+./*/',#
#
Sanjana Battotuwa anu Baniel Stauffachei




The massive eaithquake that stiuck Baiti on 12 Ianuaiy 2u1u shatteieu the founuations of the
entiie countiy. By 2S Ianuaiy, a little less than a foitnight aftei the eaithquake, the Baitian
goveinment ueclaieu an enu to the seaich-anu-iescue phase foi suivivois of the eaithquake.
0nly 1S2 people weie founu alive in the iubble. At last count, ovei 2Su,uuu weie confiimeu ueau,
equalling the numbei killeu acioss South Asia fiom the Boxing Bay tsunami in 2uu4.

Iust houis aftei the eaithquake stiuck, theie weie signs of a global effoit to leveiage existing web,
Inteinet anu mobile technologies, incluuing social netwoiking platfoims, to help aiu anu ielief
woik. 0shahiui (a platfoim fiist useu in Kenya that allows anyone to gathei uistiibuteu uata via
SNS, email, oi web anu visualize it on a map oi timeline) was the fiist to ueploy its platfoim to
asceitain the uigent neeus of victims anu othei ielief anu aiu iequiiements on the giounu.
Sahana (a Sii Lankan engineeieu web-baseu collaboiation tool uesigneu to auuiess common
cooiuination pioblems amongst actois involveu in ielief woik) was also quick to ueploy its
platfoim in Baiti. Sahana helpeu, foi example, in plotting the location of meuical infiastiuctuie by
asking volunteeis aiounu the woilu to help in uisceining theii piecise cooiuinates fiom iaw uata.
Commonly calleu ciowusouicing, this was a key featuie of 0shahiui as well, which useu an aimy
of volunteeis baseu in the 0S to sift thiough thousanus of SNS messages in oiuei to piioiitise
anu categoiise incoming infoimation fiom the giounu. The 0S-baseu non-piofit meuia outfit
Inteinews anu Thomson Reuteis Founuation's Emeigency Infoimation Seivice (EIS), uevelopeu
by InSTEBB, helpeu humanitaiian agencies communicate uiiectly with those affecteu thiough a
local netwoik of iauio stations anu SNS feeuback fiom victims. The 0N, thiough its 0neResponse
platfoim manageu by the 0ffice foi the Cooiuination of Bumanitaiian Affaiis (0CBA), also seiveu
as a vital poital foi impoitant anu iegulai situation iepoits, upuateu contact infoimation anu
mapping uata. Almost all ielief agencies, 0N agencies anu militaiy actois incluuing the 0S
Southein Commanu embiaceu Twittei, Facebook, wikis, websites anu mobiles in theii woik, to
cooiuinate, collaboiate anu act upon infoimation fiom the giounu geneiateu by victims. The
ICT4Peace Founuation's own wiki
1
, establisheu a uay aftei the eaithquake, ultimately linkeu to
ovei 12u souices of vital infoimation anu in some cases, ienueieu moie easily accessible the
ciitical uata lockeu insiue closeu uatabases anu piopiietaiy foimats.

Cleaily, significant auvances in web, Inteinet anu mobile technologies unueipinneu the Baitian
ielief effoit - fiom the geneiation of funus to the cooiuination of humanitaiian action anu
collaboiation between aiu woikeis. Nany, as a iesult, have pointeu to Baiti as a tuining point in
the use of ICTs foi aiu woik. In the 0S alone, an unpieceuenteu numbei of uonations via SNS to
the Reu Cioss foi Baiti exceeueu S1 million uollais. CiisisCommons, itself a volunteei-uiiven
web-baseu initiative, within uays cieateu the most compiehensive anu up-to-uate maps of the
countiy thiough a site calleu 0penStieetNap. Thousanus of volunteeis fiom aiounu the woilu
contiibuteu to the iapiu cieation of these maps, using souices as uiveise as situation iepoits,
piopiietaiy uatabases anu satellite imageiy. What ultimately came to be known as Pioject 46S6 -
a single SNS numbei to which Baitians coulu SNS theii location anu uigent neeus to - iequiieu
an incieuibly complex anu unpieceuenteu mobile telecommunications back-enu in Baiti that was
engineeieu anu ueployeu in a mattei of uays, with multiple local anu inteinational actois
incluuing the 0S militaiy. ulobal volunteei effoits, piimaiily thiough 0shahiui, but also thiough

1
ICT4Peace Inventoiisation Wiki, "Baiti Eaithquake - Ianuaiy 2u1u," http:¡¡wiki.ict4peace.oig¡Baiti+Eaithquake+-
+Ianuaiy+2u1u.
Peacebuiluing in the Infoimation Age: Sifting hype fiom ieality
ICT4Peace Founuation, Ianuaiy 2u11 | www.ict4peace.oig
Page | !+
othei Ning-baseu social netwoiks, emails, Skype anu even ham iauio, uisseminateu anu woikeu
on vital infoimation geneiateu fiom Baitians on the giounu iegaiuing uigent neeus.

Bespite this piogiess, a numbei of ciitical challenges iemain. Bowevei innovative they aie, ICTs
that opeiate as islanus anu silos impeue ielief effoits anu cost lives. Eaily on in the Baiti ielief
effoit foi example, theie weie multiple websites anu systems foi iegisteiing anu locating missing
peisons, set up by inteinational meuia, web-baseu social netwoiks anu 0N agencies. 0ntil a
stanuaius-baseu iepositoiy was establisheu baseu on the PFIF (People Finuei) foimat, each
system was an islanu of infoimation, leauing to unnecessaiy uuplication, fiagmentation anu
significant fiustiation. Even aftei uoogle establisheu a stanuaius-baseu iepositoiy, some
inteinational meuia anu 0N agencies iefuseu to shaie infoimation with it oi use it. Baseu on the
expeiience of cuiating the ICT4Peace Founuation's wiki on Baiti, the myiiau of uata souices anu
piopiietaiy foimats fiom which infoimation was captuieu suggests an inciease in uata
fiagmentation anu lock-in. As noteu by 0shahiui's Patiick Neiei, the challenges that mateiialiseu
in the iesponse to Baiti incluueu the management anu negotiation of heighteneu expectations,
the lack of a foimal complaint mechanism, absence of uownwaiu accountability anu challenges
ovei cooiuination anu claiity of messaging.
2
The ICT4Peace Founuation in 2uu8 conuucteu a
compiehensive stocktaking of the 0N's ciisis infoimation management capabilities. A iepoit of
this stocktaking was ieleaseu in 2uu9.
S
It is paiticulaily telling that a numbei of the obseivations
iegaiuing ciisis infoimation management amongst the inteinational community anu the 0N
system iemain unauuiesseu, incluuing but not limiteu to:

• Pie-planneu infoimation-shaiing policies iobust enough to hanule seveie ciises in a timely
mannei. This incluues policies to leveiage ciisis-ielateu infoimation geneiateu fiom outsiue
the 0N system anu the uevelopment of iobust uata mouels anu uata uictionaiies that can be
shaieu on uemanu:
• An emphasis on stanuaius-baseu infoimation captuie anu exchange anu
• Baimonisation of significant vaiiance in agency appioaches to anu capacities of infoimation
management uuiing ciises, incluuing human iesouice management anu uata-shaiing policies.

Baiti is seen by many as a tuining point in the use of ICTs in uisastei iesponse, anu iightfully so.
Bowevei, vital lessons foi humanitaiian aiu anu fiist iesponse cleaily iuentifieu in the Asian
Boxing Bay tsunami iesponse iemain unheeueu, along with points iegaiuing aiu woik anu the
use of ICTs enumeiateu in the 0N 0CBA +S symposium iepoit, of which the ICT4Peace
Founuation was a key paitnei. Bisastei-affecteu communities iemain laigely passive iecipients
of infoimation, having to ueal with, amiust significant tiauma, competing infoimation on aiu
ueliveiy anu seivices. Beyonu the hype, the majoiity of those affecteu by the Baitian eaithquake
weie off the iauai of ICTs. Compounuing this, Baiti ieceueu fiom inteinational meuia anu global
attention, though significant long-teim humanitaiian challenges on the giounu peisisteu. It is
uncleai how the ICTs fiist ueployeu in the countiy will be sustaineu ovei the long teim, anu in
paiticulai inteinational ciowu-souiceu platfoims ielying on volunteeis. Significant pioblems of
cooiuination, collaboiation anu aiu ueliveiy uoggeu the uisastei iesponse effoit. The Beau of 0N
0CBA, Sii Iohn Bolmes, in a stiongly woiueu email in Febiuaiy expiesseu his fiustiation ovei the
0N's aiu effoit in Baiti, noting that "only a few clusteis have fully ueuicateu clustei cooiuinatois,
infoimation-management focal points anu technical suppoit capacity" anu auuing that the
uisjointeu effoit is casting uoubts on the 0N's ability to effectively pioviue ielief. Beyonu the 0N,
significant conceins weie iaiseu ovei the cooiuination anu collaboiation between civil anu
militaiy actois, anu the inteinational community as a whole.

Nuch moie can anu must be uone to stiengthen uisastei piepaieuness anu ciisis infoimation
management. Theie aie no longei excuses foi ill-piepaieuness oi haphazaiu aiu iesponse. We
alieauy know much of what neeus to be uone anu going foiwaiu iequiies iequisite funuing
coupleu with the political will of the 0N system anu inteinational community. Some key iueas
anu suggestions in this iegaiu aie:

2
Patiick Neiei, "Baiti anu the Tyianny of Technology," iRevolution, Naich 2, 2u1u,
http:¡¡iievolution.woiupiess.com¡2u1u¡uS¡u2¡haiti-tyianny-technology.
S
Bownloau fiom http:¡¡ict4peace.oig¡upuates¡inteiim-iepoit-stocktaking-of-un-ciisis-infoimation-management-
capabilities.
Peacebuiluing in the Infoimation Age: Sifting hype fiom ieality
ICT4Peace Founuation, Ianuaiy 2u11 | www.ict4peace.oig
Page | !!

• The acceleiateu uevelopment anu population of easily accessible uatasets with essential
infoimation shaieu acioss 0N anu othei aiu agencies, to help iuentify, piepaie foi anu
mitigate uisasteis:
• Beveloping ICTs that woik bettei in, anu aie moie iesilient to austeie, tiaumatic
enviionments:
• Significantly impioving inteiopeiability acioss all systems between 0N agencies anu othei
key platfoims outsiue, incluuing 0N 0neResponse, 0shahiui, Sahana anu the Emeigency
Infoimation Seivice (EIS) with technical input fiom InSTEBB:
• 0sing enuogenous technologies to help communities uevelop theii own capacities anu
capabilities foi uisastei eaily waining, pievention anu iesilience, is vital:
• uieatei coopeiation between goveinments anu Nu0s, baseu on stanuaiu opeiating
pioceuuies goveining infoimation shaiing to help aiu woik:
• ulobal anu local business, as we have seen in Baiti, also has a key iole to play in geneiating
anu sustaining financial inflows anu stiengthening aiu. They neeu to be paitneis in ciisis
infoimation management anu
• The uevelopment of a compiehensive ciisis infoimation management piepaieuness anu
assessment toolbox, incluuing appiaisal mechanisms, especially in anu foi uisastei pione
iegions anu countiies.

In oiuei to iealize these goals, the ICT4Peace Founuation is actively suppoiting the Chief
Infoimation Technology 0fficei of the 0N Secietaiiat in New Yoik anu leauing actois, incluuing
key 0N agencies anu uepaitments in Rome, New Yoik anu ueneva, to uevelop a coheient ciisis
infoimation management stiategy, auuiessing pioceuuial, oiganisational anu technological
challenges that impeue efficient anu effective aiu ueliveiy touay.
Peacebuiluing in the Infoimation Age: Sifting hype fiom ieality
ICT4Peace Founuation, Ianuaiy 2u11 | www.ict4peace.oig
Page | !"
!"#$%&'"#()(*&+%,-./,&"(0&-1.&
!"#$#%&'(%)(*)+'(,#%&)-(%*,'.&#

Patiick Neiei




A majoi ieview of conflict eaily waining systems iecently concluueu that the "humanitaiian
community is in no bettei position touay to pievent anothei Rwanuan genociue than we weie in
1994" (0ECB 2uu9). The iepoit explaineu that "an exteinal, inteiventionist anu state-centiic
appioach in eaily waining systems fuels uisjointeu, top-uown iesponses in situations that
iequiie integiateu, multilevel action." This chaiacteiizes the vast majoiity of opeiational conflict
eaily waining initiatives, which aie often labelleu as fiist oi seconu-geneiation systems. These
systems typically fail to leveiage the potential of new infoimation anu communication
technologies (ICTs). To this enu, the 0ECB iepoit noteu the exciting uevelopment of micio-level
iesponses to violent conflict by "thiiu geneiation eaily waining systems" which tenu to favoui
the application of new ICTs. Thiiu anu fouith-geneiation conflict eaily waining systems seek to
empowei local stakeholueis uiiectly so the lattei can pievent violence anu¡oi to get out of
haim's way.

This two-page oveiview pioviues a biief intiouuction to eaily waining systems anu summaiizes
the latest uevelopments in the fielu, focusing piimaiily on infoimation seivices, empoweiment,
technology, peace inuicatois anu piepaieuness. These latest uevelopments iepiesent fouith-
geneiation (4u) conflict eaily waining initiatives. Fiist anu seconu-geneiation eaily waining
systems iepiesent state-centiic, institutional anu top-uown appioach to conflict eaily waining
anu iapiu iesponse. Thiiu geneiation conflict eaily waining systems aie locateu in conflict
countiies anu aie often iun by national Nu0s, sometimes collaboiating with an INu0, often using
piopiietaiy softwaie. In contiast, 4u initiatives make use of fiee, open-souice softwaie anu
mobile technology. Noie impoitantly, these initiatives aie people-centieu: they aie not foi an
"outsiue" oiganisation but iun by the community, foi the community. 4u initiatives coulu also be
calleu "tactical conflict eaily waining anu iesponse netwoiks" because they aie less about
auvocacy anu moie about uiiect, fiist-iesponuei inteivention. This oveiview concluues by
highlighting the challenges that still iemain anu iequiie fuithei ieseaich¡analysis in the use of
ICTs in conflict eaily waining anu iapiu iesponse.

#
,-./012.34#56786179#
As the 0N Secietaiy-ueneial's 2uu6 Repoit on Eaily Waining Systems notes, "A complete anu
effective eaily waining system compiises foui inteiielateu elements: iisk knowleuge, monitoiing
anu waining seivice, uissemination anu communication, anu iesponse capability. A weakness oi
failuie in any one pait coulu iesult in failuie of the whole system." Risk knowleuge compiises the
systematic collection of uata anu the piouuction of iisk assessments. Nonitoiing anu waining
entails the uevelopment of hazaiu anu eaily waining seivices. Bissemination anu communication
means the communication of iisk infoimation anu eaily wainings. Lastly, iesponse capability
involves builuing national anu community iesponse capabilities.#

#
:.;28<3012.#=7861/7
The systematic collection of uata has typically been extiactive iathei than seivice-baseu. The
puipose of fiist anu seconu-geneiation conflict eaily waining systems was to extiact conflict uata
fiom faiaway conflict zones to satisfy Westein inteiests. In contiast, thiiu- anu fouith-geneiation
systems favoui the uemociatization of infoimation collection anu access. These systems
theiefoie tenu to be moie seivice-baseu. In othei woius, conflict eaily waining systems shoulu
Peacebuiluing in the Infoimation Age: Sifting hype fiom ieality
ICT4Peace Founuation, Ianuaiy 2u11 | www.ict4peace.oig
Page | !$
incieasingly be thought of as infoimation seivice systems foi at-iisk communities. The puipose
of these infoimation systems is to pioviue uemanu-uiiven infoimation seivices foi vulneiable
communities so they can make moie infoimeu uecisions on how to inciease theii iesilience. This
uistiibuteu, bottom-up appioach stanus in staik contiast to the mouel followeu by fiist anu
seconu-geneiation conflict eaily waining systems.
#
#
><?2978<7.0
The uisastei management community has laigely iecognizeu the limits of centializeu moues of
uisastei iesponse. To this enu, they have sought to "exploie the capacity of uisastei-affecteu
communities to 'bounce back' oi iecovei with little oi no exteinal assistance following a uisastei"
(Nanyena 2uu6). This shift towaius people-centieu uisastei management also ieflects the
iecognition that local communities have consistently evolveu sophisticateu yet flexible stiategies
to manage the constant thieat of vulneiability in theii lives (Bankoff, Fieiks anu Bilhoist 2uu4).
This appioach is moie sustainable in the meuium anu long iun than tiauitional "foiest fiie"
stiategies to uisastei iesponse. 0nfoitunately, the conflict pievention community is only now
slowly shifting towaius a people-centieu appioach, as noteu by the 2uu9 0ECB Repoit.

Empoweiing communities at iisk is by uefinition the puipose of eaily waining anu iapiu
iesponse systems÷as stateu in the 0N Secietaiy ueneial's Suivey of ulobal Eaily Waining
Systems. This official 0N uocument uefines the puipose of people-centieu eaily waining as
follows: "to empowei inuiviuuals anu communities thieateneu by hazaius to act in sufficient time
anu in an appiopiiate mannei so as to ieuuce the possibility of peisonal injuiy, loss of life,
uamage to piopeity anu the enviionment, anu loss of livelihoous" (0N 2uu6). Cleaily, the
uiscouise heie shifts away fiom the conventional top-uown uivision of laboui between the
"waineis" anu "iesponueis" to one of inuiviuual empoweiment anu agency. To this enu, people-
centieu eaily waining "seeks to inculcate a situational oi secuiity awaieness within high-iisk
communities as it builus on local capacities to auuiess anu ieuuce theii vulneiabilities in a
sustainable way. |.] This appioach uiffeis fiom the tiauitionally moie 'iemote' anu 'veitical'
monitoiing." (Bonu anu Neiei 2uu6).

#
@7/A.242BC
Fiist- anu seconu-geneiation conflict eaily waining systems have piimaiily maue use of
expensive anu piopiietaiy technology that emphasises the exchange of uatasets iathei than
iapiu, uistiibuteu communication. The 2uu9 0ECB iepoit on "The Futuie of Conflict Eaily
Waining anu Response," concluueu that uespite technological auvancements, "most intei-
goveinmental anu non-goveinmental systems |.] have not gone beyonu the use of email anu
websites foi uissemination, anu communication technology foi uata collection. uoveinmental
anu some intei-goveinmental systems uo benefit fiom access to anu iesouices foi satellites anu
uIS in theii analysis anu iepoiting. Bowevei, access to technology iemains veiy unequal among
systems anu the fielu of conflict eaily waining lags fai behinu in the use of innovative
technologies anu Web 2.u applications."

In contiast, thiiu- anu fouith-geneiation initiatives tenu to employ fiee anu¡oi open souice
technologies that leveiage cheap, uistiibuteu, anu mobile communication systems. This is
paiticulaily tiue of 4u initiatives as these typically employ eveiyuay, consumei-baseu
technologies like mobile phones. These aie useu as two-way infoimation seivices to uisseminate
anu ciowusouice ciisis infoimation. In auuition, communication technologies like mobile phones
can empowei at-iisk communities by enhancing theii immeuiate situational awaieness, allowing
them to make moie infoimeu uecisions about how best to get out of haim's way. Natuially, these
same technologies can also be useu by iepiessive iegimes to oichestiate violent conflict.
Bowevei authoiitaiian states aie hampeieu by theii highly centializeu buieauciatic stiuctuies
that may pievent them fiom being as innovative in theii application of ICTs compaieu to moie
uistiibuteu netwoiks.
#
#
#
#
Peacebuiluing in the Infoimation Age: Sifting hype fiom ieality
ICT4Peace Founuation, Ianuaiy 2u11 | www.ict4peace.oig
Page | !%
D73/7#:.E1/3028F#
Tiauitional conflict eaily waining systems typically focus on monitoiing anu uocumenting
violent conflict. Bowevei, theie aie always pockets of coopeiation no mattei how uiie a conflict
is. Even in Nazi ueimany anu the Rwanuan genociue we finu numeious stoiies of people iisking
theii lives to save otheis. The fact is that most people, most of the time, in most places, choose
coopeiation ovei conflict.

If only inuicatois of wai anu violence aie monitoieu, that's all that will be uocumenteu. Conflict
eaily waining systems that focus exclusively on the "uynamics of wai will only pioviue half the
pictuie." It is vital that inuicatois of peace anu coopeiation also be monitoieu. By iuentifying
positive initiatives that exist befoie anu uuiing a ciisis, one can automatically iuentify multiple
entiy points foi inteivention anu a host of options foi conflict pievention. Noieovei, if conflict
eaily waining systems monitoi coopeiation inuicatois, they will help ieveal who in the aiea
might be best placeu to inteivene.
#
#
D87?387E.7FF
Tiaining anu minimum piepaieuness measuies aie pivotal to empoweiing vulneiable
communities with the ability to iesponu. These shoulu builu on existing local coping capacity,
mechanisms anu ingenuity. To be cleai, "eaily waining shoulu not be an enu in itself: it is only a
tool foi piepaieuness!"pievention anu mitigation with iegaiu to uisasteis,
emeigencies anu conflict situations, whethei shoit oi long teim ones. |.]. The ieal issue is not
uetecting the ueveloping situation, but ieacting to it" (Kuioua 1992).

The uisastei management community cannot pievent eaithquakes oi the vast majoiity of natuial
hazaius. But they can pievent hazaius fiom becoming uisasteis by pioviuing local tiaining in
contingency planning anu piepaieuness. Nillions woulu uie if the uisastei management
community's eaily waining effoits weie exclusively focuseu on pieuiction. 0bviously, most
hazaius like eaithquakes occui iegaiuless of whethei we mouel them oi not: hence the uisastei
management's explicit focus on piepaieuness, which empoweis local communities to suivive
uisasteis.

Similaily, thiiu anu fouith-geneiation conflict eaily waining systems emphasize piepaieuness.
This means being piepaieu to inteiiupt potentially violent conflict at the tactical, inteipeisonal
level. Peihaps the best example of tiaining anu piepaieuness foi violence inteiiuption is the
CeaseFiie piogiam in Chicago. This piogiam has uiiectly pieventeu hunuieus upon hunuieus of
killings in the past few yeais alone. In auuition, planning, piepaieuness anu tactical evasion aie
cential components of stiategic nonviolent action. uetting out of haim's way anu piepaiing
people foi the woist effects of violence iequiies sounu intelligence anu timely stiategic estimates,
oi people-centieu eaily waining. In sum, people-centieu conflict eaily waining woiks, albeit in
fielus that most conflict pievention "expeits" aie not familiai with.


G2./4-F12.
The technology community is incieasingly expeiimenting with the application of new ICTs foi
uisastei iesponse. This is eviuenceu by the technologies ueployeu aftei the 2u1u eaithquake in
Baiti anu uuiing the 2u1u floous in Pakistan. The application of ICTs in aieas of conflict,
iepiession anu political volatility piesent moie pionounceu challenges, howevei. As alieauy
noteu, new ICTs can÷anu aie÷incieasingly useu by iepiessive iegimes to block, monitoi,
censoi oi inteiiupt communication. Local netwoiks engageu in 4u initiatives neeu to leain how
to communicate moie secuiely in non-peimissive enviionments. This is not only a question of
masteiing new technologies but also of leaining effective off-line tactics to iemain safe. Noie
ieseaich is neeueu on what piecisely the conflict eaily waining community shoulu be leaining
fiom uigital activists, uisastei management anu the fielu of stiategic nonviolent action.

Finally, the conflict eaily waining community neeus to implement piepaieuness piogiams foi
conflict pievention anu integiate appiopiiate ICTs. These piepaieuness measuies shoulu be built
on local capacity anu knowleuge. Piepaieuness is a coineistone of uisastei iisk ieuuction, but it
is viitually absent fiom the fielu of conflict eaily waining anu iapiu iesponse. To this enu,
Peacebuiluing in the Infoimation Age: Sifting hype fiom ieality
ICT4Peace Founuation, Ianuaiy 2u11 | www.ict4peace.oig
Page | !&
significantly moie ieseaich is neeueu to uocument how at-iisk communities piepaie foi anu
suivive in conflict zones anu what technologies they use. Foi example, an inteinational
compenuium of suivivoi testimonies in times of wai shoulu be compileu anu shaieu between
local communities acioss the woilu. This shoulu become a tiaining manual foi all 4u initiatives.
Peacebuiluing in the Infoimation Age: Sifting hype fiom ieality
ICT4Peace Founuation, Ianuaiy 2u11 | www.ict4peace.oig
Page | !'
!"#$%&$'#()#*)+!"!#!$%&!!"#$%&'!()*'(*
!"#$%&'()*+#,*-!"#$%!"#$%#"&'()&*)
!"#$%&'%()*+%),+-$$%&.%/)#0)1!"#$%
!"#$#

Anuieas Wiggei, ICRC




!H @A7#7;;7/0F#2;#/2.07<?2838C#/2.;41/0F#3.E#20A78#F10-3012.F#2;#61247./7#2.#/161413.F#

Touay, the question of civilian immunity anu civilian suffeiing in situations of wai is iiuing
high in political anu public consciousness, in pait uue to incieaseu awaieness via both
tiauitional anu new meuia channels. Conflicts anu othei situations of violence in mouein
society aie uebateu mainly in teims of what they will signify with iegaiu to the numbei of
civilian casualties. Civilians aie not only incieasingly uiiectly caught up in conflicts, but
contiol ovei the civilian population is often one of the stakes in contempoiaiy conflicts. The
uevelopment of this situation can be attiibuteu, #$%&'" ()#(, to incieaseu intei-communal,
ethnic anu ieligious tensions, the collapse of State stiuctuies, fighting foi contiol of natuial
iesouices, the wiuespieau availability of weapons, the iise of acts of teiioi anu the
piolifeiation of so-calleu asymmetiic aimeu conflicts. ICTs can play both a constiuctive iole
in tiying to empowei civilians caught in conflict, but can also be useu by actois to
uisseminate uistoiteu infoimation. In auuition to uiiect attacks, killings, uestiuction of
piopeities anu foiceu uisplacement, civilians caught in conflict also often suffei massive
psychological tiauma, a loss of assets anu livelihoou options, anu pooi access to essential
goous anu seivices. The social fabiic of householus anu communities is sometimes shieuueu,
anu violence, exploitation anu abuses often escalate in an enviionment of impunity. This is in
staik contiast to the iuea of a limiteu appioach to wai that encouiages ieasonable use of
foice anu compassionate conuuct towaius the unaimeu enemy.
4
It is also in violation of the
inteinational legal instiuments piotecting civilians, which weie uevelopeu aftei the
wiuespieau civilian atiocities anu genociue of the Seconu Woilu Wai. Togethei with The
Bague Laws, the 0N Convention against uenociue anu the statutes of the Inteinational
Ciiminal Couit, the ueneva Conventions anu theii auuitional Piotocols pioviue extensive
legal piotection foi civilians in both inteinational anu civil wais. Pioviueis of new meuia anu
ICT platfoims also neeu to consiuei theii iesponsibility to civilians in ciisis situations.


"H GA3447.B7F#;3/7E#IC#A-<3.103813.#3/028F#1.#0A718#3007<?0F#02#?8207/0#/161413.F#

To effectively iesponu to the neeu foi civilian piotection uuiing a ciisis, a bioau iange of
both humanitaiian anu human iights actois can be founu in piactically all hot spots aiounu
the globe, as well as in ciitical situations outsiue the spotlight of the global meuia. The
Inteinational Committee of the Reu Cioss (ICRC) iecently took the initiative to establish,
thiough an extensive consultative piocess, stanuaius anu guiuelines foi piotection woik foi
all humanitaiian anu human iights actois. These shoulu ensuie that theii piotection woik is
as safe anu effective as possible.
S
But what is piotection. The concept of piotection

4
See foi a uiscussion about this notion: Slim B., Killing civilians. Nethou, Nauness anu Noiality in Wai. Lonuon, 2uu7
S
See: Piofessional Stanuaius foi Piotection woik caiiieu out by humanitaiian anu human iights actois in aimeu conflict
anu othei situations of violence. ICRC, 0ctobei 2uu9.
Peacebuiluing in the Infoimation Age: Sifting hype fiom ieality
ICT4Peace Founuation, Ianuaiy 2u11 | www.ict4peace.oig
Page | !(
encompasses "all activities aimeu at ensuiing full iespect foi the iights of the inuiviuual in
accoiuance with the lettei anu the spiiit of the ielevant bouies of law, i.e. human iights law,
inteinational humanitaiian law, anu iefugee law. Buman iights anu humanitaiian
oiganisations must conuuct these activities in an impaitial mannei (not on the basis of iace,
national oi ethnic oiigin, language oi genuei)."
6
This appioach to piotection, typical foi a
humanitaiian oiganisation such as the ICRC, is iooteu in the iuea that piotection is a set of
legal obligations, but opeiationally it is also about piomoting the application of these
obligations. Noie specifically, in the miust of on-going hostilities, the ICRC aims to woik
uiiectly with all paities to the conflict to ieminu them of theii obligations to iespect anu
piotect civilians. The aim of this woik is to influence aimeu actois to stop, pievent, anu avoiu
iecuiient of violations of the law.

What aie the main elements of this appioach anu the associateu challenges.

"H!H D82J1<10CK# I7# /42F7# 02# 0A7# /161413.F# 3.E# 7F03I41FA# 3# E1342B-7# 910A# 344# 38<7E#
F03L7A24E78F#

Pioximity to the civilians affecteu by the conflict is essential foi gaining an accuiate
unueistanuing of the ciicumstances anu assessing theii neeus. The fiist objective of
humanitaiian actois is theiefoie to make contact anu establish an auequate uialogue with
those state anu non-state actois, which have effective contiol ovei communities oi
inuiviuuals. The aim is to negotiate foi secuiity guaiantees anu gain physical access to the
affecteu populations. 0nce this access is establisheu, caieful effoits aie then maue to
cultivate this uialogue anu uiiect it incieasingly towaius issues conceining the iespect anu
piotection of the civilian population. The humanitaiian piinciples play a ciitical iole in this.
Bumanitaiian action is, by uefinition, founueu on the piinciples of humanity, non-
uisciimination anu impaitiality, oi iesponse accoiuing to uigent neeus. Inueeu, the
piotection effoit involves caieful uocumentation of the causes anu ciicumstances of allegeu
violations, with the aim of unueistanuing who uiu what to whom anu what weie the civilian
consequences, in oiuei to make iecommenuations foi changes in the policy anu piactices of
the aimeu actois.

Bowevei, uiscussing iepoiteu violence, abuse, anu exploitation with the allegeu peipetiatois
is a sensitive unueitaking. Not suipiisingly, aimeu actois often seek to ieuuce the feasibility
of piotection activities, tiying to ieuuce the humanitaiian iesponse effoit to mateiial
assistance. This is why the victim-centiic appioach to piotection is so impoitant. When
oppoitunities foi piotection uialogue aie limiteu, uiiect action with those at gieatest iisk
may be the only oppoitunity foi achieving a piotection impact.


"H"H M74?# ?72?47# 02# A74?# 0A7<F7467FK# F087.B0A7.# 0A7# 87F1417./7# 2;# ?72?47# 30# 81FL# 3.E#
?8261E7#3//7FF#02#:G@F#

People caught in aimeu conflict also neeu uiiect suppoit. Thus, a fuithei uimension of eveiy
piotection appioach incluues so-calleu 'victim-centiic' activities uesigneu to help people at
iisk to ieuuce theii exposuie to the thieats. Such activities can be veiy uiveise anu might
incluue foi example paying tianspoit fees to help an 'at-iisk inuiviuual' flee taigeteu
haiassment: oi pioviuing livelihoou options as a means of incieasing inuepenuent options to
keep inuiviuuals safe. Inuiviuuals oi gioups with special vulneiabilities, such as chiluien,
women, the uisableu, the wounueu anu ill, the elueily, anu inteinally uisplaceu people will
neeu specific caie.

The victim-centiic appioach assumes that the communities anu inuiviuuals at iisk aie
themselves ciitical actois in the piotection piocess. Piotecting anu piomoting theii iights,
uignity anu integiity is essential foi the effectiveness of the woik. They shoulu play a key iole,
influence uecisions, anu make piactical iecommenuations baseu on theii intimate
unueistanuing of the natuie of the thieats, violations anu abuses to which they aie exposeu.

6
Iuem, page 16.
Peacebuiluing in the Infoimation Age: Sifting hype fiom ieality
ICT4Peace Founuation, Ianuaiy 2u11 | www.ict4peace.oig
Page | !)
Any effective coping mechanisms establisheu among affecteu communities oi inuiviuuals
shoulu be stiengtheneu. It is theiefoie impoitant that they aie in peimanent contact -
whethei uiiectly in the fielu oi by means of communication tools - with those stiiving to
inciease theii piotection. The piesence of piotection actois in the fielu is optimal foi any
holistic assessment of the civilian situation. But this is often not possible uue to insufficient
safety guaiantees foi piotection woikeis. This may oblige agencies to use - in the extieme -
opeiational mechanisms foi iemote management of theii piogiammes. In such an instance,
tempoiaiy oi moie peimanent communication tools may be the key foi a continuous
uialogue between the community anu the piotection actoi. It may be the same foi the
uialogue with non-state actois that aie hiuing oi on the iun anu not available foi in situ
conveisations. In a moie mouein enviionment, all stakeholueis in a piotection situation will
use communication technology spontaneously. This may contiibute to a substantial
impiovement of the situation, also because of the time that can be saveu, which in tuin
speeus up the iesponse. In the uomain of iestoiing family links between sepaiateu membeis,
family link websites have pioven to have an auueu value in iecent conflicts oi natuial
catastiophes,
7
in paiticulai in situations wheie the noimal communication means, such as
phones, weie uisiupteu foi moie than just a few uays.


"H$H :<?47<7.03012.K# 7.F-87# 0A7# .7/7FF38C# 87F2-8/7F# 3.E# /228E1.307# 910A# 0A7# 20A78#
A-<3.103813.#3/028F##
#
The implementation of piotection activities on behalf of a civilian population iequiies
auequate opeiational means (human iesouices, infiastiuctuie, logistics anu ICT), a fielu
piesence coiiesponuing to the scope of the objectives, anu a netwoik of contacts foi
collecting, piocessing anu speeuy tiansmission of infoimation via vaiious ICT tools.
Expeiience shows that successful implementation of piotection activities also iequiies a
commitment ovei time. The people in chaige of the piogiammes in the fielu must be
auequately tiaineu, also in the use of new meuia, anu motivateu. While implementing its
piotection activities each oiganisation shoulu also pioactively seek 'fielu-baseu' anu 'action-
oiienteu' complementaiities with othei humanitaiian actois, to ensuie the most
compiehensive iesponse anu theiefoie the gieatest chance of making a uiffeience in the
lives of the people at iisk. ICT can play an impoitant iole in this piocess. Foi many actois, an
inuepenuent multiuisciplinaiy appioach is often not feasible. Fuitheimoie, complementaiy
collaboiation is an impoitant factoi foi each agency to consiuei so that it may avoiu
uuplicating the woik of otheis, anu limit gaps in iesponse. Numeious othei stakeholueis
such as inteigoveinmental oiganisations, Nu0s, anu peacekeeping foices often play a iole in
piotection activitiesH
#
$H GA3447.B7F# ;28# 0A7# -F7# 2;# :.;28<3012.# 3.E# G2<<-.1/3012.F# @7/A.242BC# 1.# G161413.#
D8207/012.#

In oiuei to optimize the use of mobile phones, satellite phones, the vaiious platfoims offeieu
by Inteinet communication, iauio anu television bioaucasting, anu otheis useu in piotection
situations, a numbei of consiueiations shoulu be taken into account:

• In situations of aimeu conflict anu othei situations of violence, any conveisation with
piotection actois can put people at iisk not only because of the sensitive natuie of the
infoimation collecteu, but because meie paiticipation in a piotection piocess can cause
these people to be stigmatizeu oi taigeteu. The iisks they incui can iange fiom physical
violence to social maiginalization, anu aie often unknown to the one soliciting the
infoimation, anu sometimes also by the peison pioviuing it. In paiticulai in aieas with
scaice means of communication, people with mobile phones, sat phones as well as useis
of Inteinet aie easily uetectable anu theiefoie may be exposeu to uangei. It is theiefoie
auvisable foi any oiganisation that collects infoimation linkeu to inuiviuuals oi inciuents
foi piotection puiposes, to manage the iisks associateu with this piocess. Chaptei S of
the above-mentioneu Piofessional Stanuaius foi Piotection woik auuiesses ciitical

7
See foi example Baiti eaithquake 2u1u, in: http:¡¡www.icic.oig¡familylinks
Peacebuiluing in the Infoimation Age: Sifting hype fiom ieality
ICT4Peace Founuation, Ianuaiy 2u11 | www.ict4peace.oig
Page | !*
issues, such as humanitaiian intent, non-uisciimination, anu infoimeu consent. It
pioviues 16 stanuaius anu guiuelines to ensuie that the collection of potentially
sensitive piotection infoimation, anu its subsequent hanuling, is unueitaken in a
piofessional mannei.
8

• Piotection actois in iemote contact with communities oi inuiviuuals thiough ICTs may
face uifficulties in assessing possible thieats to the peisons pioviuing infoimation.
Bowevei, accoiuing to the above Stanuaius, the buiuen of assessing anu managing, to
the extent possible, the iisks associateu with the piocess iesiues with the seekei of the
infoimation, who is obligeu to ensuie that the choice to paiticipate is maue voluntaiily,
in awaieness of the potential iisks.
• Bisciimination anu bias can uistoit the collection anu the analysis of infoimation. Bias
can be uefineu as any systematic uistoition of infoimation, whethei intentional oi not. It
can be uue to a iange of factois, among otheis limiteu coveiage, when the collectoi is
unable to access all souices of infoimation, oi obtain a iepiesentative sample.
Communication with a community thiough a tool, such as phones oi Inteinet may well
piivilege the voices of those who aie communication liteiate anu have the tools available
anu uisciiminate against othei gioups that aie less foitunate, such as women in
paiticulai contexts, the elueily, hanuicappeu, anu otheis.

To sum up, ICT is touay in many ways instiumental in substantially impioving the iapiu anu
effective piotection iesponse to communities anu inuiviuuals in neeu. In oiuei to iespect the
"uo no haim" piinciple, howevei, all useis neeu to be awaie of the iesponsible management
of sensitive piotection infoimation. They also neeu to constantly take into account the
specific iisks associateu with the geogiaphical uistance between the senuei anu the ieceivei
anu the possibility of manipulation of the piotection actoi on the one hanu anu ovei-
exposuie to inauveitent iisks of the civilian on the othei hanu. Finally, only a caieful analysis
of the iisks anu oppoitunities iegaiuing infoimation management in each specific context
will leau to the iesponsible use of ICT in conflicts anu othei situations of violence.


8
See: Piofessional Stanuaius foi Piotection woik, citeu above, pages SS -67.
Peacebuiluing in the Infoimation Age: Sifting hype fiom ieality
ICT4Peace Founuation, Ianuaiy 2u11 | www.ict4peace.oig
Page | "+
!"#$%&''()*$*($+,-.,/,,'012#

Iacques F. Bauu




N#/A3.B1.B#7.6182.<7.0#
Since the enu of the Seconu Woilu Wai, intiastate conflicts have been the most fiequent foim of
conflicts, anu although theii numbei has not significantly vaiieu ovei the past 6u yeais, a closei
analysis shows that majoi qualitative changes in theii pattein have occuiieu. Fiom the iigiu anu
localizeu stiuctuies of Naixist insuigencies of the Colu Wai, conflicts have moveu towaiu
unstiuctuieu anu cioss-boiuei foims of violence with a lack of iuentifiable uoctiines oi
iueologies, evasive anu uncleai leaueiships, uncleai political objectives anu oveilap of tiibal,
ethnic, political anu ciiminal issues. In such a context, peacebuiluing anu peacekeeping have
become complex piocesses, wheie unueistanuing the conflict enviionment itself has become a
key challenge.


G81F7F#1.#:.;28<3012.OP1/A#>.6182.<7.0#Q:P>R#
The Woilu Wiue Web has tuineu a woilu uiviueu by a wall into a woilu linkeu by netwoiks. But
this evolution has gone beyonu technology to ieach moie cultuial, philosophical anu political
uimensions, calling foi moie tianspaiency anu infoimation shaiing as a pieiequisite foi bettei
goveinance anu gieatei effectiveness. The infoimation ievolution the woilu has expeiienceu in
the last two uecaues has piofounuly impacteu the peiception of conflicts anu oui ielation to
them.

Touay, events oi inciuents that woulu have been unnoticeu a few uecaues ago come almost
instantly unuei the sciutiny of inteinational opinion anu may piompt stiategic uecisions at the
inteinational level. Abunuance anu ieuunuancy of meuia iesouices, pioviuing instant anu
massive availability of infoimation in ciises situations, is a positive evolution but may have
peiveise effects.

Fiist, suuuen "peaks" of infoimation may "suffocate" netwoiks, infoimation manageis, analysts
anu uecision-makeis. Fuithei, as it is almost impossible to veiify eveiy piece of infoimation,
quantity may often be taken as a substitute to the quality of infoimation ("If eveiybouy says it, it
must be tiue!"). Foi instance, the commonly given figuie of Suu'uuu victims of the Baifui conflict
is baiely challengeu, although it is viitually impossible to uocument it beyonu speculation.

Seconu, the multiplicity of actois with potentially conflicting inteiests can open the uooi to
uisinfoimation anu manipulation. Paiauoxically, openness has ueepeneu what Clausewitz useu to
call the "fog of wai". As a mattei of fact, all majoi post-colu wai conflicts weie initiateu thiough
uisinfoimation campaigns aimeu at ueceiving the inteinational community anu the 0N Secuiity
Council, thus geneiating mistiust anu suspicion with ueep implications. In Suuan, a Special
Repiesentative of the 0N Secietaiy ueneial was accuseu of "waging psychological waifaie" anu
subsequently ueclaieu "peisona non giata" by the Suuanese goveinment, leaving the 0N Nission
in Suuan (0NNIS) without leaueiship foi some ten months, aftei he publisheu unconfiimeu
infoimation on his peisonal blog.

Thiiu, the commonality of communication platfoims anu the iise of infoimal netwoiks have
iesulteu in shaiing un-hieiaichical infoimation. In simple woius, the soluiei has the same
infoimation level as the geneial anu vice veisa. 0n the positive siue, this fits the iuea of
empoweiment, in line with the globalizeu piomotion of uemociatic values anu open appioach to
pioblems, stiiving foi goou goveinance anu accountability. 0n the negative siue howevei, it
Peacebuiluing in the Infoimation Age: Sifting hype fiom ieality
ICT4Peace Founuation, Ianuaiy 2u11 | www.ict4peace.oig
Page | "!
makes it moie uifficult to piioiitize infoimation anu to focus uecision-making especially in acute
ciisis situations.

#
G2<?47J#G81F1F#S3.3B7<7.0#
The ieal challenge in complex emeigencies anu ciises is often moie about unueistanuing the
scope of the pioblem than its actual management. Nanaging the flow of incoming infoimation
anu extiacting its ielevant pait to visualize the "big pictuie" is the epicentie of a goou ciisis
management. It is the key foi stiategic effectiveness anu simultaneously the biggest vulneiability
of ciisis management systems.

Peacekeeping missions opeiate usually in enviionments wheie uistoitions, omissions,
exaggeiations, oi bias aie common anu may affect substantially the "big pictuie" on which
uecisions aie baseu. It is theiefoie essential to have a cleai iuea of the quality of the infoimation
input.

Bespite the appaient wealth of iesouices, obtaining the best available infoimation may not be as
easy as it seems. Bow many inuiviuuals of the inteinational community have actually witnesseu
aimeu violence against populations in Baifui anu aie able to pioviue fiist hanu anu impaitial
account about theii peipetiatois. Piobably few, if any. This is the funuamental ieason foi the
Suuanese goveinment to uisagiee with the Inteinational Ciiminal Couit.
9
Knowing that we uon't
know, oi being able to assess the quality of what we know is the key foi uecision-making.

Bowevei, assessing situations in acute ciises, unuei the piessuie of events, suffeiing inuiviuuals
anu of inteinational opinion, with almost no time to ciosscheck infoimation, is a consiueiable
challenge foi inteinational actois anu uecision-makeis.

Finally, shaiing infoimation is a challenge in itself. What kinu of infoimation uo we shaie. Shoulu
we shaie unconfiimeu infoimation at the iisk of piompting wiong uecisions, oi shoulu we
confiim it at the iisk of not iesponuing timely to suffeiing. This is fai fiom a tiivial question,
with no "one-size-fits-all" answei to it.


G2./4-F12.F#
0ltimately, managing mouein ciises is about ieuucing suffeiing anu stiiving to iestoie
"noimality". Regaiuless of the cause of the tiouble, keeping the oveiview is an essential key.
Peacekeeping anu peacebuiluing offei an auuitional pioblem with the piesence of "spoileis",
giving uecision-making a political uimension with significant impoitance.

The inheient complexity of mouein ciises combineu with the uifficulty to captuie essential
infoimation has maue ciisis uecision-making moie uifficult. At the enu of the Colu Wai, the
challenge was shaiing infoimation. Touay, the challenge is shaiing the iight infoimation.

Bisciiminating useful infoimation fiom "noise" is touay's challenge foi ciisis infoimation
management. This iequiiement is not new, but gains in impoitance as inteinational opeiations
become moie complex anu the infoimation enviionment incieasingly iich. The 0N has iuentifieu
the neeu foi peacekeeping missions to have enhanceu analysis capability, anu has pioviueu each
mission with a Ioint Nission Analysis Centie (INAC) uesigneu to pioviue Beaus of Nission with
systematic anu piofessional situation assessment foi uecision-making.

Establishing a cleaiinghouse anu piofessional analytical capability foi infoimation was a uecisive
step foiwaiu. The issue now is twofolu: we neeu to impiove the quality of iepoiting fiom the
fielu anu the ability to collate infoimation iapiuly iegaiuless of the communication platfoim.
Impioving iepoiting is not just about getting "bettei infoimation", but also about knowing bettei

9
Suuanese Piesiuent 0mai al-Bashii was inuicteu by the Inteinational Ciiminal Couit on Iuly 14th, 2uu8. A fiist aiiest
waiiant was issueu in Naich 2uu9 foi ciimes against humanity anu wai ciimes, anu a seconu waiiant was issueu in Iuly
2u1u foi genociue.
Peacebuiluing in the Infoimation Age: Sifting hype fiom ieality
ICT4Peace Founuation, Ianuaiy 2u11 | www.ict4peace.oig
Page | ""
the value of the infoimation ieceiveu. Knowing at heauquaiteis that a specific infoimation is just
iumoui anu has little value is also impoitant in teims of uecision-making.

To impiove iepoiting means facilitating analytical woik anu incieasing tiaceability anu
accountability of uecisions. This iequiies tiaining anu the use of auequate technology. Both aie
the coie of cuiient coopeiation between the ICT4Peace Founuation anu the 0niteu Nations anu
aie instiumental to impiove multiuimensional ciisis management.
Peacebuiluing in the Infoimation Age: Sifting hype fiom ieality
ICT4Peace Founuation, Ianuaiy 2u11 | www.ict4peace.oig
Page | "$
!"#$%%&'$"($)*+)#,$)-.//$/)*0)
!"#$%&%"'()*("+,(-,.&/#

Eiic uujei




@A7#:.078.70#?43CF#3.#1./873F1.B4C#1<?2803.0#8247#1.#/303F082?A7F#3.E#/2.;41/0F
1u
#
Television, thiough live bioaucasts fiom wai zones in the nineties, funuamentally changeu oui
peiception of conflicts anu uisasteis. The Inteinet, cell phones anu satellites aie the next stage in
this meuia ievolution.

Thiee uays aftei the eaithquake in Baiti, the fiist shipments of foou, meuicine anu tents, ieacheu
the uevastateu countiy. But inteinational aiu woikeis, functioning in the miust of chaos in a
countiy without a functioning goveinment oi infiastiuctuie weie not always awaie wheie the
neeu was gieatest. Wheie shoulu the valuable caigo be taken fiist, anu who shoulu get it. Buiing
natuial uisasteis anu conflicts theie is not only a ueficit of mateiial goous, but also of infoimation.
Inteinet platfoims, that collect anu uisseminate the iepoits of victims anu aiu woikeis, assist in
uiiecting aiu to wheie it is most uigently neeueu. 0n the 12
th
of Ianuaiy, the uay on which the
eaithquake occuiieu, a website calleu 0shahiui.oig staiteu posting incoming messages ieceiveu
via SNS, email oi Twittei, such as: "the inhabitants of the Rue St-Naitin in Poit-au-Piince neeu
foou," "the Albeit Schweitzei Bospital has not been uestioyeu" anu "ielatives aie seaiching foi
Esthei Loiesca anu eight othei iesiuents of a collapseu house." Foi months aftei the quake, this
electionic stieam of calls foi help anu small success stoiies uiu not iun uiy.
#
#
@A7#<3FF7F#3F#3#F2-8/7#
0shahiui is Swahili anu means witness. The oiganisation was founueu in Kenya uuiing the civil
wai like conuitions that followeu the 2uu7 elections. It collecteu news of violence anu
uestiuction anu showeu them on a uoogle map. 0shahiui maue it possible to tiack exactly at
which locations in Kenya the most seiious pioblems anu conflicts weie occuiiing. Beie, too, the
souices of infoimation weie inuiviuuals who sent theii obseivations uiiectly to the 0shahiui
website: which leveiages what is now known as *'+,-.+/'*#$0. The tiauitional infoimation
ietiieval system in times of ciisis has been ieveiseu. It is no longei aiu agencies, which iepoit
inciuents to commanu centies foi integiation into iepoits, but iathei the victims themselves who
aie coming foiwaiu to speak. This piocess has the auvantage of tianspaiency. Anyone who clicks
on the 0shahiui website ieceives infoimation with veiy little time uelay. The uisauvantage is that
many messages cannot be checkeu caiefully oi veiifieu.

0shahiui anu othei platfoims weie maue possible by the uigital ievolution in the 199us. Inteinet
anu mobile phones aie now commonplace, especially in ueveloping countiies wheie tiauitional
infiastiuctuie such as wiieu telephone netwoiks aie in pooi conuition. In Afiica, even though
still fai fewei people have a mobile phone than in Euiope, the continent has, accoiuing to the
Inteinational Communications 0nion, the highest giowth iates foi mobile phone contiacts. New
seivices have emeigeu such as Facebook, YouTube, anu Twittei, which can easily uisseminate
viueos, messages anu text messages to a potentially unlimiteu numbei of peisons.

Communication no longei takes place exclusively on fixeu lines between a well-uefineu senuei
anu ieceivei, but inteiactively with a wiuei auuience on uiffeient channels. This ievolution
means the uemociatization of mass communication, but at the same time the uncontiolleu
giowth anu uevaluation of inuiviuual pieces of infoimation uue to the enuless maelstiom of bytes

1u
This aiticle was fiist publisheu in the 1&/&"23'*4&'"2&#%/$0
Peacebuiluing in the Infoimation Age: Sifting hype fiom ieality
ICT4Peace Founuation, Ianuaiy 2u11 | www.ict4peace.oig
Page | "%
anu bits of news. CNN supplieu a taste of how mouein meuia can change oui unueistanuing of
ciises anu uisasteis uuiing the uulf Wai in 1991, with its giey-gieen images of Baghuau at night.
The vieweis coulu watch live, as the missiles anu bombs shot fiom allieu planes honeu in on theii
taigets. In many cases, the vieweis hau moie ieal time infoimation than the geneials anu
politicians in theii bunkeieu commanu centies. In the meantime, vieweis can also see, thiough
sites like Wikileaks, images noimally uenieu to the public because of the iisk that they uistuib
the official veision of events. 5'+,-.+/'*#$0 goes significantly fuithei, howevei, giving the
auuience the possibility to take action anu inteivene in the events themselves.
#
#
T1FF1E7.0F#3.E#T1/03028F#
Aftei the contioveisial elections in Iian in 2uu9, authoiities hinueieu the woik of foieign
coiiesponuents in an effoit to suppiess iepoits about the stieet piotests in Tehian. But within
uays, gioups hau foimeu on Facebook incluuing "1uu million membeis foi Bemociacy in Iian"
with 1Su uuu membeis, which piouuceu ovei 1uu uuu entiies. Cell phone iecoiueu viueos of the
uemonstiations ciicumventeu the censois anu Twittei spieau the news about the aiiest of
opposition membeis in almost ieal time. At the same time the uemociacy movement in Iian was
the fiist ieal cieuibility test foi these new foims of meuia. A Twittei message (Tweet) spieau like
wilufiie, in which it was iepoiteu that 7uu uuu piotesteis hau gatheieu outsiue a mosque in
Tehian - in ieality theie weie about S uuu piotestois. The image of Neua, a uissiuent allegeuly
killeu by the militia, also spieau ovei the Inteinet. The pictuie showeu, howevei, anothei Iianian
woman of the same name. Anu when anu wheie the Inteinet uoes pioviue ielatively accuiate
infoimation, it iepeats it au nausea. At least a quaitei of Tweets about Iian hau been pieviously
mentioneu in othei Tweets. The Inteinet is theiefoie also a victoiy of chattei above oiiginal
thinking.

The uownsiue to the appaient ubiquity of infoimation is a baiely manageable floou of
infoimation. Buiing the height of the Baiti opeiation, the 0N office foi humanitaiian affaiis
ieceiveu an email eveiy minute. 0shahiui ieceiveu a total of 8u uuu iepoits. Incieasingly, it is the
actual infoimation piocessing iequiiing time anu peisonnel, which is cieating a bottleneck.
Noieovei, a laige piopoition of the messages aie eithei, as in the case of the Iian-Twittei, a
iepetition, oi "white noise", meaning useless chattei. It is estimateu that 9u% of the infoimation
uuiing the Baiti ciisis fell into this categoiy.

Technical anu political initiatives have uevelopeu to inciease the ieliability of these new
infoimation channels. The ICT4Peace Founuation stiives to uisseminate the knowleuge of 0N
oiganisations on the piopei use of these instiuments. The 0N also launcheu in 1996, a website
calleu Relief Web, which sifts infoimation about each ciisis aiea anu posts it in a cleai way on the
theii website. 0shahiui is also looking, via its Swift Rivei pioject, foi softwaie solutions to
evaluate the content geneiateu by useis anu to iuentify tiusteu souices of infoimation. In
paiticulai with iespect to political conflicts, the filtei pioviueu by tiauitional meuia souices is
still the most valuable, as tiauitional meuia opeiate with the iules of jouinalistic uue uiligence
while incoipoiating pieces of news founu on the Inteinet.

Facebook anu othei social netwoiks aie still new anu aie theiefoie useu moie by youngei people.
Buiing political ciises this may leau to uistoitions because the views of the useis aie not always
iepiesentative of the whole population. 0nline infoimation also bluis the contiast between
insiue anu outsiue, between the population in the countiy anu obseiveis fiom abioau. Buiing the
iiots in Tehian, the Iianian Biaspoia in the 0niteu States anu Biitain useu new meuia zealously,
expiessing often moie iauical views than the home population uiiectly affecteu by iepiessive
measuies. 0nce again, the expeitise of tiauitional meuia anu think tanks was iequiieu to put the
infoimation into a wiuei context.

#
#
S3.1?-4307E#:.;28<3012.#
Infoimation on the Inteinet can be manipulateu intentionally. Even the Iianian secuiity
appaiatus Tweets anu spieaus uisinfoimation anu official goveinment piopaganua ovei the
Inteinet. The Kyigyz goveinment sent, uuiing the iecent iiots, theii point of view by SNS to the
Peacebuiluing in the Infoimation Age: Sifting hype fiom ieality
ICT4Peace Founuation, Ianuaiy 2u11 | www.ict4peace.oig
Page | "&
population. Intelligence agencies of all colouis aie using 67&$" 8+/'*&" 9$%&))#0&$*&!" gatheiing
infoimation about people anu iegional uevelopments fiom social netwoiks anu sites like
0shahiui. In the past, aiu agencies tiieu to ensuie neutiality anu uistance fiom goveinment
offices. This new cultuie of tianspaiency means that the humanitaiian oiganisations anu theii
websites aie becoming against theii will, infoimation gatheieis foi membei states anu
institutions. The Inteinet alone uoes not cieate a bettei, safei anu moie uemociatic woilu. It is
only a tool that can be useu just as well by uissiuents oi the henchmen of an authoiitaiian iegime.
#
#
#
=30744107F#;28#7678C2.7##
The potential of the Inteinet uuiing ciises anu conflicts is not confineu solely to ciowusouicing.
The Ioint Reseaich Centie, a ieseaich bouy of the E0, has uevelopeu a monitoiing system that
scans 1 6uu news poitals pei uay on the Inteinet, seaiching 8u uuu aiticles in 4u languages foi
ielevant keywoius. This can help iuentify which issues aie impoitant at an eaily stage of a ciisis.
If you seaich, foi example, foi iacist oi uisciiminatoiy slogans, this will pioviue an inuication of
impenuing ethnic conflict. The softwaie also iecognizes patteins, such as netwoiks of
ielationships between the people who aie mentioneu in the news aiticles.

This kinu of :(%(" ;#$#$0" is not limiteu to texts. Wheieas uuiing the Colu Wai, high-iesolution
satellite imageiy was ieseiveu foi the supeipoweis, touay goou quality commeicial satellite
photogiaphs aie available at a ieasonable cost. The 0N uses satellite imageiy softwaie to assess
uamage on the giounu in affecteu aieas, aftei eaithquakes oi huiiicanes. Naps, satellite images
anu satellite positioning (uPS) meige on the Inteinet to cieate hybiiu stiuctuies, which aie much
fastei than any text in answeiing key questions such as: Who is pioviuing what kinu of aiu anu
wheie. Inteiactive maps aie much cleaiei than texts in many situations. Conveisely, the stiength
of texts is in theii uesciiption of complex situations, incluuing the political backgiounu to a given
situation. The acceleiateu uata flow incluuing moie anu moie infoimation, maps anu giaphs can
theiefoie also mean a loss of uiffeientiation. Again, this is a paiauigm shift occuiiing as a iesult
of the Inteinet: a cultuie of liteiacy giauually tiansfoiming into a visual cultuie.
Peacebuiluing in the Infoimation Age: Sifting hype fiom ieality
ICT4Peace Founuation, Ianuaiy 2u11 | www.ict4peace.oig
Page | "'
!"#$$O!"#$%&%'($%)*+)!+,-+.)//)*+
!"#$%&'()%*+,%&%-#&-+%).+
!"#$#$%&''#()#

Sanjana Battotuwa anu Baniel Stauffachei




As uefineu in the IASC uuiuelines Common 0peiational Batasets (C0Bs) in Bisastei
Piepaieuness anu Response uiaft ciiculateu to the Intei-Agency Stanuing Committee (IASC) Task
Foice on Infoimation Nanagement in Iune 2u1u:

Common opeiational uatasets aie pieuictable, coie sets of uata neeueu to
suppoit opeiations anu uecision-making foi all actois in a humanitaiian
iesponse. Some of the C0Bs, such as uata on the affecteu population anu
uamage to infiastiuctuie, will change uuiing the uiffeient phases of the
iesponse anu theiefoie will neeu to be fiequently upuateu anu maintaineu.
0thei C0Bs, such as iiveis anu village locations, aie likely to iemain the
same thioughout the iesponse. The C0Bs aie pioactively iuentifieu anu
maintaineu piioi to an emeigency as pait of uata piepaieuness measuies
anu maue available by the 0niteu Nations 0ffice foi the Cooiuination of
Bumanitaiian Affaiis (oi pie-agieeu in-countiy alteinate) within 48 houis
of a given humanitaiian emeigency. All C0Bs must meet minimum ciiteiia
foi foimat anu attiibute infoimation in accoiuance with national stanuaius.

The Intei-Agency Stanuing Committee (IASC) is a unique intei-agency foium foi cooiuination,
policy uevelopment anu uecision-making involving the key 0N anu non-0N humanitaiian
paitneis. The IASC was establisheu in Iune 1992 in iesponse to 0niteu Nations ueneial Assembly
Resolution 46¡182 on the stiengthening of humanitaiian assistance. ueneial Assembly
Resolution 48¡S7 affiimeu its iole as the piimaiy mechanism foi intei-agency cooiuination of
humanitaiian assistance. 0nuei the leaueiship of the Emeigency Relief Cooiuinatoi, the IASC
uevelops humanitaiian policies, agiees on a cleai uivision of iesponsibility foi the vaiious
aspects of humanitaiian assistance, iuentifies anu auuiesses gaps in iesponse, anu auvocates foi
effective application of humanitaiian piinciples. Togethei with Executive Committee foi
Bumanitaiian Affaiis (ECBA), the IASC foims the key stiategic cooiuination mechanism among
majoi humanitaiian actois.
11


Seven C0Bs have been iuentifieu in a piocess that took ovei two yeais.

T303F70
P7/2<<7.E7E
U2678.3./7
S3.E3028C#T303#GA383/0781F01/F
M-<3.103813.#D82;147
(uisaggiegateu by
aumin level anu
populateu place)
- uuaiuian: 0CBA
- Sponsoi: 0CBA
- Souice: uoveinment,
Assessments, 0NBCR
- Inteinally Bisplaceu
12

- Non-uisplaceu affecteu
- Bost family¡iesiuent community
affecteu
- Refugee
1S

- Beau

11
See http:¡¡www.humanitaiianinfo.oig¡iasc¡pageloauei.aspx.page=about-uefault
12
As uefineu in the 0N uuiuing Piinciples on Inteinal Bisplacement 0N Boc. E¡CN.4¡1998¡SS¡Auu.2
1S
As uefineu in Refugee: Aiticle 1, The 19S1 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees
Peacebuiluing in the Infoimation Age: Sifting hype fiom ieality
ICT4Peace Founuation, Ianuaiy 2u11 | www.ict4peace.oig
Page | "(
- Injuieu
- Nissing
D2?-43012.#=0301F01/F#

- uuaiuian: 0CBA
- Sponsoi: 0NBP,0CBA,0NFPA
- Souice: uoveinment
- Total population by aumin level
(Inuiviuuals)
-Total population by aumin level
(Numbei of Bouseholus)
- Age
- Sex
- Aveiage family size by aumin level
- 0nique iuentifiei
NE<1.1F0830167#
V2-.E3817F
(ueogiaphic)#
- uuaiuian: 0CBA
- Sponsoi: 0NBP, 0CBA
- Souice: uoveinment
- 0nique iuentifiei (P-Coue)
- Name
D2?-4307E#D43/7F
(ueogiaphic)
- uuaiuian: 0CBA
- Sponsoi: 0NBP, 0CBA
- Souice: uoveinment
- 0nique iuentifiei (P-Coue)
- Names
- Size classification
- Population statistics
- Status if capital of auministiative
uivision
- Type (village, spontaneous settlement,
collective centie, planneu settlement)
@83.F?2803012.#
W70928L
(ueogiaphic)
- uuaiuian: 0CBA
-Sponsoi: Logistic Clustei
-Souice: uoveinment
- Roaus (Classifieu by size)
- Railways
- Aiipoits¡helipaus
- Seapoits
MCE8242BC
(ueogiaphic)
- uuaiuian: 0CBA
- Sponsoi: 0NBP, 0CBA
- Souice: uoveinment
- Riveis (Classifieu by size)
- Watei bouies
MC?F2B83?AC
(ueogiaphic)
- uuaiuian: 0CBA
- Sponsoi: 0N0SAT
- Souice: Remote sensing,
uoveinment
-Elevation
-Resolution

Thiee key factois contiibuteu to the ICT4Peace Founuation's expansion of these C0Bs in Iune
2u1u.

1. Ciises this yeai, most notably Baiti in Ianuaiy, uemonstiateu cleaily that actois outsiue the
0N system aie touay, with theii own sophisticateu technology platfoims anu an appioach to
uistiibuteu woik calleu ciowusouicing,
14
vital fiist iesponueis piouucing, uisseminating anu
aichiving infoimation befoie anu often uespite the 0N anu goveinmental actois. Though as
yet embiyonic, waits anu all, this movement now bioauly calleu ciisismapping, affoius an
oppoitunity to link up the compaiably slow-moving ciisis iesponse platfoims anu piocesses
of the 0N anu uoveinments with moie iesponsive, uynamic, intuitive, mobile uevice fiienuly,
giounu-tiuth centiic, locally implementeu anu owneu systems.
2. Challenges within the 0N system to iesponu to ciises of this scale. The Beau of 0N 0ffice foi
the Cooiuination of Bumanitaiian Affaiis (0CBA), Sii Iohn Bolmes, in a stiongly woiueu
email in Febiuaiy expiesseu his fiustiation ovei the 0N's aiu effoit in Baiti, noting that "only
a few clusteis have fully ueuicateu clustei cooiuinatois, infoimation-management focal
points anu technical suppoit capacity" anu auuing that the uisjointeu effoit is casting uoubts
on the 0N's ability to effectively pioviue ielief.
S. The cieation anu cuiation of the ICT4Peace Founuation's Ciisis Infoimation Nanagement
(CiN) wikis
1S
foi Baiti, Kyigyzstan, the uulf 0il Spill, the Chilean eaithquake anu the Pakistan
floous engageu with hunuieus of uata souices foi each wiki, both within the 0N system anu
outsiue it. Souices like local new anu social meuia anu mainstieam meuia on the web in
paiticulai stoou out as vital iesouices, along with examples such as the uevelopment of the

14
http:¡¡en.wikipeuia.oig¡wiki¡Ciowusouicing
1S
http:¡¡wiki.ict4peace.oig
Peacebuiluing in the Infoimation Age: Sifting hype fiom ieality
ICT4Peace Founuation, Ianuaiy 2u11 | www.ict4peace.oig
Page | ")
People Finuei Inteichange Foimat (PFIF) to aiu the cataloguing of missing peisons anu
infoimation geneiateu by, uisseminateu via anu aichiveu on the platfoims uevelopeu by
0shahiui, Sahana, CiisisCommons, 0penStieetNaps anu InSTEBB in paiticulai.
4. Impoitantly, the Founuation's CiN wikis uemonstiateu that even foi C0B uatasets, key
infoimation aftei a suuuen-onset ciisis often came fiom souices outsiue the 0N anu official
uoveinments channels - foi example with mapping anu uIS infoimation, health
infiastiuctuie ielateu infoimation, giounu conuitions anu au hoc Inteinally Bisplaceu
Peisons (IBP) camp locations. The wikis also flaggeu a cential issue with some key C0B
uatasets - that even though theie was agieement about what neeueu to be shaieu befoie a
ciisis, actual infoimation population showeu gieat vaiiance.

Baseu on the Founuation's expeiience, an expanueu fiamewoik, connecting the IASC C0Bs to
exteinal iesouices anu souices was uistiibuteu to CiNAu membeis in Iune 2u1u.

In auuition to this, at the ietieat of 0N Ciisis Infoimation Nanagement Auvisoiy uioup (CiNAu)
on S 0ctobei 2u1u at IBN Palisaues in New Yoik, the ICT4Peace Founuation unueiscoieu the
point maue in the IASC uiaft uocument on C0Bs that" <.+=&" +>" %4&" 56:.!" ./*4" (." -(%(" +$" %4&"
(>>&*%&-" 7+7/)(%#+$" ($-" -(=(0&" %+" #$>'(.%'/*%/'&!" ,#))" *4($0&" -/'#$0" %4&" -#>>&'&$%" 74(.&." +>" %4&"
'&.7+$.&" ($-" %4&'&>+'&" ,#))" $&&-" %+" ?&" >'&@/&$%)A" /7-(%&-" ($-" =(#$%(#$&-BC Even without an
expansion of the existing C0Bs, the Founuation's submission was that /81F1F<3??1.B# /2-4E# 3.E#
FA2-4E# ;77E# 1.02# 0A7# -?E301.B# 2;# XW# E303F70F# 3;078# 3# /81F1F# 2//-8FY# /2<?47<7.01.B# 01<74C#
7;;280F#IC#XW#3B7./17F#3.E#0A7#/4-F078#473EF#02#-?E307#0A1F#1.;28<3012..

0ne useful metaphoi foi this exeicise came fiom The Inteinational Netwoik of Ciisis Nappeis
(CN*Net) confeience in Boston, helu fiom 1-S 0ctobei. Following the keynote auuiess at this
confeience by Bi. Soon-hong Choi, the 0N Chief Infoimation Technology 0ffice (CIT0), many
ciisis mappeis calleu foi an 'API' between the 0N system anu ciisismapping community, an iuea
moie than just a technical biiuge seen as a way to cioss-tianslate anu cioss-populate infoimation
especially aftei a suuuen onset uisastei oi ciisis. We pioposeu that the 'API's envisioneu unuei
the CiN stiategy foi infoimation shaiing anu inteiopeiability ,#%4#$ the 0N system - on a puiely
technical level anu with slight mouifications - coulu be leveiageu foi this puipose.







Peacebuiluing in the Infoimation Age: Sifting hype fiom ieality
ICT4Peace Founuation, Ianuaiy 2u11 | www.ict4peace.oig
Page | "*
A iough map of uata souices foi such an API woulu be, foi the uatasets that will neeu to be
upuateu the most aftei a ciisis:

G5T#E303F70# D2FF1I47#07/A.1/34#
ND:F#02#I81EB7#E303#
G81F1F<3??1.B#E303#F2-8/7F#
Bumanitaiian Piofile
(uisaggiegateu by aumin
level anu populateu
place)
0penueoSpatial
16
,
Simplegeo
17
, 0penueo
18

BesInventai
19
, Relief anu Infoimation
Systems foi Eaithquakes Pakistan
2u
,
0shahiui instance, CiisisCommons
21
,
uoogle PFIF
22
, ulobal voices 0nline
2S
,
Baitivoices
24
, uoogle Resouice Finuei
Populateu Places
(ueogiaphic)
9?#-" 0penStieetNap, ueoCommons
2S
,
FiontlineSNS
26
, uiassioots mapping
27
,
0shahiui instance, uoogle
28

Tianspoitation Netwoik
(ueogiaphic)
9?#-" 0penStieetNap, Sahana instance,
CBAC¡Inteinews baseu community
feeuback
29


It is also possible to look at the post-ciisis population of the hyuiology anu hypsogiaphy C0Bs
with uata fiom uoogle anu othei pioviueis of infoimation, not stiictly falling into the
ciisismapping community, but incieasingly tailoiing theii output to meet key uemanus of actois
anu platfoims outsiue the 0N system (e.g. uoogle Resouice Finuei foi Pakistan
Su
).

#
Z7C#/A3447.B7F#
Key challenges to the establishment of a technical API incluue the haimonisation of uata
gatheiing to 0N uefineu stanuaius, the piocess anu yaiusticks thiough which ciowusouiceu
infoimation is vetteu anu veiifieu, the points of entiy into the C0Bs which have to be manuateu
by the 0N anu IASC anu the points of contact amongst the ciisismapping community in chaige of
liaising with the 0N.

The 'API' also neeus to be moie than just a technical biiuge. The constituent membeis anu
cultuies of the ciisismapping community, the 0N system anu uoveinment aie funuamentally
uiffeient, iequiiing those within the 0N to ieach out to the ciisismapping community as paitneis
in piogiess anu iecipiocally, those in the ciisismapping community to be moie patient than they
geneially aie with buieauciacy, to acknowleuge moie fully the inuispensable iole of the 0N in
humanitaiian iesponse anu ielief woik anu to iealize that without veiifiable infoimation, the
meie population of maps anu platfoims uoes not meaningfully help conceiteu aiu anu ielief
effoits.

0nce a woiking ielationship between key peisons anu platfoims in both communities anu a
suitable piocess of veiification oi taxonomy foi ciowusouiceu infoimation is establisheu,
ciisismapping can also help in pievention, iisk ieuuction, anu long-teim iecoveiy piocesses of
the 0N.


16
http:¡¡www.opengeospatial.oig¡
17
http:¡¡simplegeo.com¡
18
http:¡¡opengeo.oig¡
19
http:¡¡www.uesinventai.net¡
2u
http:¡¡en.wikipeuia.oig¡wiki¡RISE-PAK
21
http:¡¡wiki.ciisiscommons.oig¡wiki¡Nain_Page
22
http:¡¡haiticiisis.appspot.com¡uevelopeis
2S
http:¡¡globalvoicesonline.oig¡specialcoveiage¡haiti-eaithquake-2u1u¡
24
http:¡¡www.haitivoices.com¡
2S
http:¡¡www.geocommons.com¡
26
http:¡¡www.fiontlinesms.com¡
27
http:¡¡giassiootsmapping.oig¡
28
http:¡¡www.google.com¡ielief¡haitieaithquake¡imageiy.html
29
http:¡¡ciisescomm.ning.com¡
Su
http:¡¡pakistan.iesouice-finuei.appspot.com¡.lang=en
Peacebuiluing in the Infoimation Age: Sifting hype fiom ieality
ICT4Peace Founuation, Ianuaiy 2u11 | www.ict4peace.oig
Page | $+
Champions of gieatei anu impoitantly, moie meaningful collaboiation anu leaining - be they
inuiviuual oi oiganisational - neeu to be iuentifieu anu empoweieu in the 0N system anu
ciisismapping community. This will be uifficult to sustain without institutional suppoit, which in
tuin will be anchoieu to peiceptions of iecipiocal gain on account of this collaboiation anu
minimising iisk. 0n this last point, the management of expectations will be impoitant, since
existing institutional investments into IT anu Infoimation Nanagement (IN) tiaining anu
platfoims, plus the veiy iuentity of the 0N system may be peiceiveu to be at iisk thiough the
intiouuction of oi inteiface with new ciisismapping systems.








0nuei the 0N CiN stiategy, a key 0N uiivei of this infoimation exchange neeus to be iuentifieu,
which by uesign can engage moie easily anu iobustly with the ciisismapping community anu its
key actois, anu by viitue of its location within the 0N system, also act as a catalyst to
appiopiiately populate key 0N platfoims, incluuing the C0Bs, with ciowusouiceu infoimation.

As noteu in the uiagiam above, if existing IASC C0Bs aie bettei populateu fiom within the 0N
clusteis as well as fiom souices outsiue the system in a mannei that uoes not iisk the 0N's uata
integiity anu stanuaius, it stanus to benefit not just the 0N but also the ciisismapping community
as well as goveinments that can use this infoimation anu platfoims foi uisastei iisk ieuuction
anu pievention, bettei ciisis iesponse anu moie iobust, sustainable, long-teim iecoveiy.
Peacebuiluing in the Infoimation Age: Sifting hype fiom ieality
ICT4Peace Founuation, Ianuaiy 2u11 | www.ict4peace.oig
Page | $!
!"#"$%#$&'()&*!!"#"$%&'!"#
!"#$%&'()*+",+-.#/0()/1(/0+
!!"#$%"!#

Results of the ICT4Peace Founuation Woikshop at the Woilu Summit on the
Infoimation Society 2u1u, ueneva




:G@F#1.#/81F1F#<3.3B7<7.0K#P7/2<<7.E3012.F#3.E#3873F#;28#;-0-87#87F738/A#

D4&'&"#."%4&",#.-+=",&"4(E&")+.%"#$"F$+,)&-0&G"HI8"J)#+%!"KLMNO"
D4&'&"#."%4&"F$+,)&-0&",&"4(E&")+.%"#$"#$>+'=(%#+$G"H8($P($("Q(%%+%/,(!"RSKSO

In the context of the Woilu Summit on the Infoimation Society 2u1u, hosteu by the Inteinational
Telecommunication 0nion in ueneva, Switzeilanu, the ICT4Peace Founuation helu a woikshop
focusing on the iole of infoimation anu communication technology in ciisis management. The
goal of the woikshop was to iuentify some of the key challenges iemaining in the effective use of
ICT in ciisis management, which woulu benefit fiom fuithei ieseaich (please see list below). In
auuition to iuentifying aieas in neeu of fuithei ieseaich, the woikshop also uevelopeu many
conciete iecommenuations to impiove the effectiveness of ICT in ciisis management.

#
[28LFA2?#;83<7928L#
Baiti is seen as a tuining point in the use of ICTs in Ciisis Nanagement but many lessons iemain
unheeueu fiom pievious uisasteis such as the 2uuS South Asian tsunami. Inueeu, theie is an
expectation that ICTs themselves can ievolutionize ciisis management anu pioviue a "quick-fix"
in solving intiactable, complex situations often in politically unstable locations aiounu the globe.
Bowevei, the fiamewoik in which the ICTs opeiate is often just as ciitical, if not moie so, than
the technology itself. Bow can we impiove inteiopeiability between 0N agencies anu othei aiu
agencies to ensuie the quick, ieliable shaiing of infoimation both in ciisis situations anu uisastei
mitigation. Bow can we piopeily assess the impact of ICTs in Ciisis Nanagement to uate. What
woiks. What uoesn't. Aie we investing in the iight technologies keeping in minu that they neeu
to function piimaiily in veiy uifficult enviionments. Is the humanitaiian community setting the
iight piioiities in the uevelopment of Ciisis Infoimation Nanagement tools. What about capacity
builuing in local communities.
#

@A7#.79#?43C78FK#/829EF2-8/1.B#?430;28<F#3.E#F2/134#.70928LF
The Baiti eaithquake anu ensuing ielief effoits maue the bioauei global community moie awaie
of the "ciowusouicing" movement, which has been ueveloping foi some time, anu social
netwoiking platfoims like Facebook anu Twittei. Ciowusouicing platfoims, such as 0shahiui,
InSTEBB's RIFF,
S1
anu Sahana pioviue unique tools, which the local anu inteinational community
can take auvantage of in ciisis iesponse anu iecoveiy. 0f paiticulai impoitance is that these new
platfoims aie not owneu by one agency oi goveinment but iathei constitute an open piocess,
allowing foi, anu encouiaging, bioau paiticipation. These new platfoims also pioviue an
oppoitunity to change outmoueu views on establisheu infoimation shaiing policies anu piactices
by biinging new infoimation anu ciisis management tools to the table. Platfoims such as

S1
http:¡¡www.insteuu.oig¡oui-woik¡technologies¡iiff
Peacebuiluing in the Infoimation Age: Sifting hype fiom ieality
ICT4Peace Founuation, Ianuaiy 2u11 | www.ict4peace.oig
Page | $"
0shahiui, RIFF, anu Sahana can empowei communities by stiengthening community iesilience,
piepaieuness anu iesponse potential without exteinal inteivention.


G81F1F# 87F?2.F7Y# <3.3B7<7.0# 3.E# 1.;28<3012.# 2678423EK# 97# .77E# 02# <267# 393C# ;82<# 3#
/2./7?0#2;#0224F#3.E#?82E-/0F#3.E#02938E#3#/2./7?0#2;#F7861/7FH#
Theie aie a giowing numbei of tools that can help the humanitaiian community iesponu to
ciises. Bow can this entiie piocess best be manageu. Is theie a uangei of focusing on the
inuiviuual elements anu neglecting the big pictuie. Bow can we move towaiu a compiehensive
anu haimonizeu seivices concept. Bow can we uevelop a meaningful "iapiu neeus assessment
piocess". Bow to manage infoimation oveiloau. Bow to cooiuinate all the uiffeient actois.
#
#
[A30#387#0A7#L7C#/A3447.B7F#;3/1.B#0A7#A-<3.103813.#/81F1F#87F?2.F7#/2<<-.10C\#
In the miu-199us, the humanitaiian community ielieu on coueu cables to communicate. Key
questions weie: Wheie is the infoimation. Bow uo we captuie it. Bow uo we uisseminate it.
Bow uo we make contact lists.

In 2u1u, the same pioblems still exist uespite the iapiu iise of ICT anu new tools to gathei anu
exchange infoimation. In paiallel to the iise of ICT platfoims, theie has also been an explosion of
actois who iesponu to uisasteis anu ciises aiounu the globe, incluuing humanitaiian iesponse
oiganisations, businesses, civil society actois, goveinments, Nu0s, anu piivate inuiviuuals. As a
iesult, the challenges in implementing a cooiuinateu iesponse have also giown.

Bespite the changing uynamics of uisastei iesponse, the humanitaiian community is essentially
using the same paiauigms as 1u-2u yeais ago. Bow can this community be bettei piepaieu anu
tiaineu to ueal with innovation.


N873F#87]-181.B#;-80A78#87F738/A#
1. The technology community neeus to examine the possible misuse of theii platfoims (e.g.
Rauio Nilles Collines in pie-genociue Rwanua) anu uevelop a "uo no haim" policy (like the
humanitaiian community). Noie iobust accountability anu monitoiing mechanisms shoulu
also be consiueieu.
2. Examine how to impiove uata-piepaieuness anu the piepaiation of "uata-sets":
S. Analyse civil-militaiy coopeiation mechanisms:
4. Impiove inteiopeiability anu avoiu "infoimation islanus":
S. Examine how to best integiate new systems anu ICT solutions into existing piocesses anu
systems. The new systems often woik outsiue tiauitional mechanisms anu uon't necessaiily
suppoit membei states anu humanitaiian actois.
6. Analyse how to manage the iisk of too much infoimation:
7. Assess how to align ICT with business piocesses:
8. Woik on technology acceptance issues, uiawing fiom ieseaich to uate on how people use
computeis, infoimation technology, new meuia tools:
9. Examine anu analyse complex systems:
1u. Examine how uata can be useu latei uuiing ieconstiuction:
11. Bow to manage the iisk of too much infoimation. Linua Stone of Niciosoft coineu the phiase
"continuous paitial attention": the moie we aie connecteu the less we aie awaie of what is
happening.
12. Examine how to sustain inteiest beyonu initial ciisis phase:
1S. Bevelop systems that aie sustainable, iepeatable anu pieuictable:
14. Examine how to ueal with new technology in aieas wheie humanitaiian woikeis uon't have
access to Inteinet anu have to ueal with high latency connectivity to the web.
1S. Examine how to soit out impoitant uata uuiing ciises (uuiing the Tsunami the 0CBA team
ieceiveu 1uu emails pei uay: uuiing Naigis, S uuu - 4 uuu: anu in Baiti, one email pei
minute) anu
16. Analyse how to effectively cooiuinate massive numbei of actois on-site.

#
Peacebuiluing in the Infoimation Age: Sifting hype fiom ieality
ICT4Peace Founuation, Ianuaiy 2u11 | www.ict4peace.oig
Page | $$
#
P7/2<<7.E3012.F#
• Keep ICT systems anu iesponses simple (the moie complicateu the system the moie that can
go wiong.)
• Bevelop ICT systems locally oi in coopeiation with local communities anu enu useis,
incluuing victims of tiauma anu uisasteis:
• Recognize the impoitance of political piocesses anu countiy-specific situations (in Baiti the
boiueis weie open to foieign aiu anu the humanitaiian community wheieas in many othei
ciises this is not the case):
• Shaie "uatasets" on the giounu between senioi management on all siues (except in situations
wheie secuiity issues take piioiity, with moie efficient anu effective measuies on how best
to juuge this):
• Encouiage the constiuctive engagement of the piivate sectoi:
• Reseive shoit coues that woulu allow victims to senu SNS messages out of uisastei zones
anu
• Impiove tiaining of ciisis iesponueis in the use of ICT, complex systems anu innovation.

!
#
D3801/1?3.0F#1.#0A7#928LFA2?#1./4-E7E##
^1.# [744F, Bistinguisheu Reseaich Piofessoi & Foice Tiansfoimation Chaii National Befence
0niveisity, 0SA: T3.174# =03-;;3/A78, Chaiiman, ICT4Peace FounuationY# Switzeilanu:# _-413.3#
P201/A, Co-Founuei anu Piogiam Biiectoi, 0shahiui, Kenya`# D3081/L# U28E2.Y# Beputy Chief a.i.,
Infoimation Technology Section: Beau, ITS Fielu Suppoit 0nit (FS0), 0CBA, ueneva`# V38074# a3.#
E7#[3447, Assistant Piofessoi, Infoimation Systems anu ISCRAN Chaii, 0niveisity of Tilbuig, The
Netheilanus`#=3.b3.3#M30020-93, Special Auvisoi, ICT4Peace Founuation, Switzeilanu`#V38I383#
[77L7FY#Senioi Auvisoi, ICT4Peace Founuation, Switzeilanu`#>E#U1838E70Y#Neuia21 Piogiamme
Cooiuinatoi & Authoi, Switzeilanu`# Z1<I784C# P2I78F2., Chief of Section, FICSS, Bivision of
0peiational Seivices, 0NBCR ueneva: W1B74# =.23EY Niciosoft, 0SA: D3-42# U2.c3467F, Associate
Piofessoi of Nanagement at 0SI & Acauemic Biiectoi, Auvanceu Nastei in Bumanitaiian
Logistics anu Nanagement, 0niveisity of Lugano, Switzeilanu`# T3B# W174F7., Boaiu Nembei,
ICT4Peace Founuation anu Foimei Biiectoi, Eiicsson Response, Sweuen.#

Peacebuiluing in the Infoimation Age: Sifting hype fiom ieality
ICT4Peace Founuation, Ianuaiy 2u11 | www.ict4peace.oig
Page | $%
!"#$%&'()$"*!"#"$%&%#'()#('*%(
!"#$%&'($")%*'+',-./#%.-0'12'
!!"#$%#&'()*+,!!"#$%#&'()*&+$%&
!!"#$%&#

Nigel Snoau, ICT4Peace Founuation
S2






The suuuen blossoming of volunteei anu community technology initiatives in iesponse to the Ian
2u1u Baiti eaithquake has been uesciibeu by many, paiticulaily in the meuia, as a "game-
changei" in the humanitaiian infoimation enviionment.

Initiatives like Pioject 46S6's SNS gateway anu tianslation woikflow giew seemingly out of
whole cloth in those fiist few uays anu weeks aftei the uevastating eaithquake, anu weie tieu to
pie-existing but ielatively iecent initiatives like the Thomson Reuteis Founuation's Emeigency
Infoimation System, Ciisis Camps anu new uses of existing tools like the Tufts Fletchei School's
ueployment of the 0shahiui platfoim. At the same time longstanuing volunteei piojects like
Sahana anu 0pen Stieet Naps ueployeu anu iesponueu to peiceiveu gaps in the infoimation
enviionment.

While the uiiect impact of paiticulai piojects might be questioneu, theie's no uoubt that the
uiveisity anu enthusiasm of the iesponse has eneigizeu the volunteei technical community anu
geneiateu a welcome uebate anu engagement fiom the "tiauitional" humanitaiian sectoi of 0N
Agencies, Nu0s anu uoveinments.

As a sometimes paiticipant in some of these initiatives, anu a long teim pioponent of volunteei
anu community engagement in ciisis infoimation tools like wikis, open uata stanuaius anu SNS
iepoiting anu bioaucast, I was exciteu to see the enthusiasm anu cieativity that was biought to
these activities. But as someone who's playeu an infoimation management anu opeiational iole
in the fielu in seveial majoi emeigencies ianging fiom Iiaq to the 2uu4 Tsunami anu the Suuan I
can see that theie's a lot of misunueistanuing about how a laige-scale humanitaiian iesponse
actually woiks on the giounu. Theie aie immense infoimation anu cooiuination challenges faceu
by affecteu populations anu goveinments, anu by local anu inteinational (fly-in) humanitaiian
actois. Iuuging by the numbei of "why uon't they just.|inseit someone's veision of the iight anu
obvious thing]" conveisations I've hau this past yeai most of these challenge aie unuei-estimateu
oi even uniecognizeu by many new actois in the humanitaiian infoimation space.

Theie aie alieauy many souices of infoimation about the ioles anu manuates of the "foimal"
humanitaiian community, anu in the inteiests of moving beyonu this I've attempteu to outline
below an anecuotal anu only slightly tongue-in-cheek "cheat sheet" foi those wonueiing what
happens on the infoimation management fiont uuiing a laige-scale iesponse like Baiti oi the
Inuian 0cean Tsunami. It's by no means compiehensive, oi even iepiesentative (a non-
iepiesentative 0shahiui-appiopiiate sample if you will), but accoius with my expeiiences ovei

S2
This aiticle ieflects the peisonal opinion of the authoi anu uoes not ieflect the views oi policies of his cuiient oi
pievious employeis.
Peacebuiluing in the Infoimation Age: Sifting hype fiom ieality
ICT4Peace Founuation, Ianuaiy 2u11 | www.ict4peace.oig
Page | $&
the yeais, anu those of many colleagues. Seveial bloggeis anu othei wiiteis have wiitten
extensively (anu usually bettei) on this, in the Baiti context anu otheis.
SS


The context: on Ianuaiy 12 2u1u I was, by chance, visiting the Washington BC heauquaiteis of
the Ameiican Reu Cioss, uiscussing with senioi staff possible ioles foi new technologies anu
stiategies foi infoimation management anu community iesilience in ciises. The next uay I was
flying to the Bominican Republic with a Pelican Case filleu with geai, on loan fiom my employei
anu tiying to finu my way to Poit-au-Piince to join the 0N Bisastei Assessment anu Cooiuination
Team, helping cooiuinate infoimation anu whatevei else I coulu uo. I was also mouining the
ueath of colleagues anu close fiienus anu hoping to act as a biiuge between the on-the-giounu
infoimation anu humanitaiian actois anu the ciisismapping community.

In no paiticulai oiuei:
1. =1B.# -?# 02# UTNG=# 34780F. http:¡¡www.guacs.oig¡. I ieceiveu a SNS text message within the
houi of the eaithquake fiom this seivice that uiaws on the iesouices of the E0 Ioint
Reseaich Centie, 0N0SAT anu 0N0CBA's ReliefWeb anu many othei souices. The site is an
example of how one oi two people can make a uiffeience to the iest of the humanitaiian
community with a caiefully taigeteu infoimation seivice.
2. W7678Y# 7678Y# B70# F7?38307E# ;82<# C2-8# 4-BB3B7H# Asiue fiom the fact that many agencies get
annoyeu when you lose theii expensive satellite geai, tuining up in an emeigency
enviionment iequiies being ieauy foi almost anything. 0nfoitunately theie aie always those
who aiiive missing bags, usually because they agieeu to have them fly "on the next flight"
which nevei came. Assuming theie aie any flights: it's usually a piocess of begging oi
cajoling a lift uuiing the eaily uays of a iesponse unless you'ie lucky enough to woik foi an
oiganisation with the money foi it's own aiiciaft chaitei. In Baiti I spent the fiist week
sleeping on a caiuboaiu box steps fiom the aiifielu, with one showei between seveial
hunuieu people at the 0N Logs base. Anu while this is nothing compaieu to the uepiivations
enuuieu by those affecteu, it's unconscionable to become an auuitional buiuen on a ielief
effoit. Coiollaiy: biing as small a bag as you can. Bespite knowing this iule I enueu up
cuising myself when tiying to lug 12ulb of someone else's geai acioss the aiifielu fences at
two in the moining in Poit-au-Piince aiifielu.
S. T1F/2678# 0A30# 3F# F2<72.7# 9A2# 928LF# 2.# d1.;28<3012.e# C2-f44# .7678# 47367# C2-8# 928L#
07.0gE7FLH# In the fielu infoimation management is mostly papeiwoik, file management, lots
of uata entiy, meetings anu meetings, anu millions of emails anu that you enu up woiking
twenty-houi uays, on anu on.# Theie's always moie to uo, moie situation iepoits to wiite,
moie emails to ieview, moie meetings to attenu anu people to see. Life uoing IN in a suuuen
onset emeigency is about always playing catch-up anu peipetual tiiage. In a slowei
ueveloping "complex" emeigency you'ie still hammeieu 12 plus houis a uay. In Baiti if we
weien't spenuing all uay anu night upuating contact lists then we weie iesponuing to
thousanus of iequests foi uata about the situation, all expecting moie uetail than existeu.
4. G2<<-.1/3012.F# E2.f0# 928L# 3F# ?82<1F7EH# Bespite having the latest satellite
communications geai youi Inteinet connection anu email uoesn't woik at least half the time.
Anu invaiiably youi B0 colleagues will not ieally believe that all that expensive satellite
equipment uoesn't woik as piomiseu. Text messages aie often the most ieliable thing,
assuming the toweis aie still stanuing.
S. :.;28<3012.# 2678423E# 1F# 0A7# .28<H# Email volumes aie oveiwhelming, but it's still ciitical.
Which means you miss many impoitant pieces of infoimation.#This challenge is at the coie of
the inevitable infoimation oveiloau in the fielu anu in heauquaiteis. You have to skim youi
email, but iaiely have time to woik thiough it thoioughly, let alone ieau ueeply the 12
situation iepoits that aiiiveu in the past uay. In a cooiuination iole it's even woise: in Baiti
we hau two people woiking seveial houis a uay just foiwaiuing items fiom the shaieu inbox
to the appiopiiate peison. Theie was no time to uo a moie complete job of extiacting
auuitional useful infoimation like contacts oi assessment uata that wasn't immeuiately
actionable.

SS
Foi example of fiisthanu wiiting about Baiti fiom expeiienceu aiu woikeis see:
http:¡¡humaniights.change.oig¡blog¡categoiy¡humanitaiian_ielief anu http:¡¡talesfiomethehoou.com¡tag¡haiti¡
http:¡¡talesfiomethehoou.com¡2u1u¡u2¡2S¡as-long-as-it-takes¡
Peacebuiluing in the Infoimation Age: Sifting hype fiom ieality
ICT4Peace Founuation, Ianuaiy 2u11 | www.ict4peace.oig
Page | $'
6. h2-#E2.f0#87344C#L.29#9A30fF#B21.B#2.#2-0F1E7#C2-8#I-II47H# This is a iesult of points S-S
above. Bespite being in the miuule of it youi woilu-view shiinks until those outsiue the ciisis
aiea know much moie than you uo about what's going on. I've always spent the months aftei
the immeuiate ciisis iesponse leaining fiom fiienus anu colleagues what happeneu half a
mile away fiom wheie I was sitting. In Baiti I spent two weeks less than Su feet fiom one of
my best fiienus woiking foi anothei agency, anu saw him once. Coiollaiy: you stiuggle to
ieau even youi own oiganisation's situation iepoit.
7. N.C0A1.B#0A30fF#.20#?380#2;#C2-8#/8101/34#?30AY#28#?87O?43..7E#B70F#<1FF7E#28#?-0#3F1E7H#
While ueploying# to Baiti I hau assumeu that I coulu act as a biiuge between the tiauitional
humanitaiian infoimation effoits anu the ciisismapping community. It tuins out that getting
the contact list completeu was moie impoitant iight then anu theie. The entiiety of my
engagement with fiienus anu colleagues woiking on the 0S baseu volunteei iesponse was
ieauing a mailing list once oi twice, peihaps two Skype chats anu finally senuing a list of
hospital facilities with auuiesses to be mappeu to the Tufts Fletchei School team.
8. =2#08C#3.E#B70#2-0#3.E#F77#F2<70A1.B#20A78#0A3.#3#07.0g2;;1/7H#Belp loau some WFP foou
into a helicoptei oi take pait in a Seaich anu Rescue (SAR) mission. As a foimei SAR team
leauei I can state that foi outsiueis the lattei is a countei-piouuctive anu often tiaumatic
expeiience. The ieal ieason to get out of the office¡camp is to tuin the numbeis back into
human beings, to connect with the ieason foi woiking on this ciisis, to test anu think foi
youiself, as an expensive foieign piofessional, why you'ie theie.
9. P7<7<I78# 0A30# *&i# 2;# 344# A-<3.103813.# 87F?2.F7# 1F# ?78;28<7E# IC# 0A7# 42/34#
/2<<-.10CH It might be 99%: local neighbouis pulleu most people fiom the iubble aftei the
Baiti eaithquake, incluuing all of my fiienus who weie tiappeu alive anu suiviveu. Au-hoc
maikets weie opeiational in many paits of Poit-au-Piince meie uays aftei Ianuaiy 12 2u1u,
though piices weie too expensive foi the pooi anu those who hau lost theii livelihoous.
1u. U2# 2.# 3.# 3FF7FF<7.0# <1FF12.# -F1.B# 747/082.1/# E303# /2447/012.# 0224F# 3.E# 87OE1F/2678#
0A30# 0A7C# 387# A38E4C# 7678# 7;;7/0167H Time anu again technologists (incluuing myself)
piopose using mobile tools foi uata-collection in emeigencies. 0nless the team using them is
pie-tiaineu, anu have the iight uevices, then this effoit is bounu to be incomplete anu fail as
a compiehensive assessment. That saiu theie aie many solutions, like WalkingPapeis
S4
anu
SNS text foims that seem likely to make a uiffeience in the futuie.
11. h2-f44# A367# 02# 1.67.0# 30# 473F0# 092# .79# FCF07<F# 3.E# ?82/7FF7FH Some blinuingly obvious
piocess oi system won't woik oi is wiong foi the context oi none of the people involveu
have hau the iight tiaining, so you'll have to cieate a new¡bettei¡simplei
foim¡website¡tool¡woiking gioup. 0utsiueis will say "but why isn't theie a stanuaiu way of
uoing that." oi "why uiun't you use my gieat tool, it was all ieauy to go if you'u only lookeu at
this website" anu you'll be unable to explain why that isn't possible. Theie will be a lot of
manual uata entiy even though "the impoit¡expoit shoulu just woik."
12. P7<7<I78# 0A30# <2F0# /228E1.3012.# A3??7.F# 30# ?ACF1/34# <7701.BFY# 3.E# 0A7# <7701.B#
67.-7Fg07.0F# 87<31.F# 0A7# /7.087# 2;# 1.;28<3012.# 7J/A3.B7# ;28# 0A7# 1.078.3012.34#
87F?2.F7H The clustei anu cooiuination meetings (oi at least the fiee-foim gatheiings befoie
anu aftei) aie tiuly wheie most actionable infoimation exchange occuis amongst
inteinational actois. 0nline tools pioviue an impoitant foium anu souice of infoimation foi
those who can't make it in peison. Eveiybouy piesent iealizes that this gioup is piivilegeu by
language (often English) anu access, but iecognize that local goveinment anu Nu0 meetings
happen elsewheie. In Baiti seveial local gioups attenueu meetings, but foi the most pait
access to the 0N Logs Base was iestiicteu. All this leaus to agencies ueuicating people as
"meeting monkeys" anu ultimately a whispei-net effect of impeifect infoimation flow
between multiple cooiuination locations such as the uoveinment, 0S embassy anu the 0N
Logistics Base.
1S. U2# 02# 0A7# 87/7?012.# 07.0gA74?E7FLgM:GH If you'ie lucky the 0NBAC team oi 0N0CBA has
setup one of these, anu theie aie maps anu contact lists to pick-up oi uownloau. You might
even be askeu to fill out foims foi the SW (Who What Wheie). In Baiti this was mostly
inaccessible to local gioups, but we still hau people coming in eveiy houi with heait-
wienching stoiies, asking foi someone to help them pioviue foou¡watei¡meuical caie to
theii oiphanage¡village¡neighboui¡school¡hospital. It's gut-wienching as a cooiuination
woikei to only be able to point them to someone "who might be able to help". Funuamentally

S4
http:¡¡walking-papeis.oig¡ anu the foim-baseu ueiivative Talking Papeis.
Peacebuiluing in the Infoimation Age: Sifting hype fiom ieality
ICT4Peace Founuation, Ianuaiy 2u11 | www.ict4peace.oig
Page | $(
the Watei, Foou anu Bealth clusteis cooiuinate aiu aimeu at laige oi wiue-scale uistiibutions,
anu iueally woik thiough local goveinments. Baiti challengeu all these stanuaiu ways of
opeiating.
14. >678C2.7# 93.0F# <3?FH# Piinteu anu electionic maps aie still the most in-uemanu way of
communicating analysis anu actionable infoimation at a glance. Theie's a insatiable uemanu
foi piinteu maps in the fielu, anu in most cases this is the main luie you have as an
infoimation woikei to gathei oi exchange uata with otheis.
1S. ^22L# 30# 0A7# 1.078O3B7./C# 97IO?430;28<Y# I-0# 9A1/A# 2.7\# In Baiti 0neResponse.net was
manageu by 0N0CBA anu the clusteis, but eveiy emeigency has multiple platfoims, anu
souices of infoimation, foimal anu infoimal. Pick one (piefeiably the most official one you
have access too, but also that with the most active community) anu hope that it will be
upuateu iegulaily. Contiibute youiself.
16. h2-f67#B20#02#B167#F2<70A1.B#02#B70#F2<70A1.B. While not stiictly tiue, it ceitainly helps to
have something useful to pioviue at a meeting oi to colleagues when you'ie asking them to
uo something foi you, oi to shaie infoimation. See the comment on maps above.
17. h2-# 9144# F?7.E# A34;# C2-8# E3C# /A3F1.B# ?72?47# E29.H# The phones aie unieliable, anu email
oveiwhelming, which means that you wanuei aiounu camp oi stuck in tiaffic in the city
tiying to tiack uown the best peison to uo something about the ciitical iequest that's come
in to the inbox, oi to the ieception tent.
18. N4<2F0# 344# E7/1F12.F# 387# <3E7# ;82<# F10-3012.# 87?280FH#0nstiuctuieu uata is still the most
common foim of iepoiting anu analysis. Which makes it even haiuei to extiact anu compile
stiuctuieu uata piouucts like thematic maps.
19. =2<72.7# 9144# 3493CF# 7J?7/0# <287# ;82<# C2-# 0A3.# C2-# /3.# B167# 3.E# C2-f44# 47367# ;7741.B#
B-140C# ;28# .20# A361.B# E2.7# 7.2-BAH# Beauquaiteis will continually uemanu moie
infoimation, moie uetail, moie gaps analysis. Local management will expect miiacles. This is
exactly what they shoulu be uoing, but it can be haiu to explain why, with ueuicateu
infoimation manageis piesent, it's not so easy to compile an accuiate pictuie of what's going
on. You'll always make mistakes, anu iealize things that you shoulu have uone, that woulu
have maue a uiffeience. If you'ie lucky you'll also know the goou that you've uone, anu leain
foi next time.
2u. M3101# 7380A]-3L7# 87F?2.F7# 93F# 3.2<342-F 1.# F2# <3.C# 93CF, both goou anu bau: a
peimissive secuiity enviionment, a suuuen onset uisastei iathei than an on-going complex
emeigency (though that was piesent too), massive amounts of money, an existing 0N
Nission, with the 0N, uoveinment anu Nu0 opeiations affecteu by the theii own tiageuies,
anu peihaps most ciitically: the pioximity to the 0S meant oveiwhelming meuia attention,
anu an oveiwhelming volunteei iesponse fiom people who hau nevei paiticipateu in an
emeigency befoie.

This might seem like a mostly negative list, though it uoes outline some of the challenges woiking
in the fielu in a massive suuuen-onset uisastei. Bespite this I think theie aie ieasons foi looking
foiwaiu positively: my peisonal obseivation is that while some things seem to nevei change, in
many ways iesponses to majoi uisasteis aie getting bettei. The suppoit anu ueployment of
volunteei technical gioups like NapAction anu TSF have maue a uiffeience in suuuen onset
uisastei iesponses, as has the emphasis on tiaining anu tools by 0N0CBA anu the clusteis.
Compaieu to the Tsunami iesponse in Baiti theie weie moie anu bettei maps, contact lists anu
situation iepoits available immeuiately. Cell-phone toweis aie iepaiieu quickly, people have a
bettei unueistanuing of theii ioles uespite the piesence of evei moie Nu0 actois anu a moie
complex humanitaiian stiuctuie.

Bespite some healthy scepticism fiom many colleagues I can also cleaily see how new
technologies anu volunteei gioups may make an incieasingly significant impact on humanitaiian
iesponses anu on the welfaie of affecteu populations. This is uiscusseu at moie length anu uetail
in othei places in this volume, but many of the challenges iaiseu in the points above, paiticulaily
on infoimation oveiloau, woulu be helpeu by having the "volunteei clouu" peifoim a filteiing anu
aggiegation iole, anu to take othei time-consuming anu iepetitive tasks out of the theatie of
opeiations. This is the ciitical value of effoits like the ICT4Peace wiki
SS
, anu the oppoitunity
glimpseu in task-"tuiking" woik like Pioject-46S6's tianslation tools anu the Tufts Fletchei

SS
See http:¡¡wiki.ict4peace.oig¡w¡page¡172S4282¡Baiti%2uEaithquake%2u-%2uIanuaiy%2u2u1u
Peacebuiluing in the Infoimation Age: Sifting hype fiom ieality
ICT4Peace Founuation, Ianuaiy 2u11 | www.ict4peace.oig
Page | $)
School team's geo-couing effoits. Resolving the social, political anu technical challenges to
making use of these systems will take time anu multiple fielu ueployments. Theie aie similai
challenges anu oppoitunities to effective infoimation exchange anu inteiopeiability. As an
example it's cleai that platfoims like Sahana have the capability to act as a pait of the Who What
Wheie seivice anu hence uistiibute the task of collecting anu maiiying contact anu opeiational
uata.

Funuamentally the ability of new technologies to engage affecteu populations uiiectly anu builu
biiuges to the Biaspoia puts them on a new path that will hopefully leau to incieaseu community
iesilience anu, eventually, a new way of engaging anu uiiecting inteinational iesponses. The
giowth of the Communicating with Bisastei Affecteu Communities (CBAC) initiative alieauy
points the way to how this might biiuge with the "foimal" inteinational humanitaiian iesponse.
0ltimately without a massive investment in human anu systems iesouices along the lines of what
sustains national militaiies, the humanitaiian community will always have chaotic elements anu
fiactuieu iesponses. As a complex system coheience is enableu by builuing systems - human anu
technical - that enable (enough) shaieu goals, (enough) shaieu stanuaius, (enough) shaieu
situational awaieness anu ultimately (enough) communication links between the actois, local
anu inteinational, affecteu oi not.

No mattei what happens with new technologies anu communities, woik on the giounu in
emeigencies will always be exhausting, fiustiating, iewaiuing anu, in my expeiience, leave you
wonueiing how you might have uone things bettei.

#
Peacebuiluing in the Infoimation Age: Sifting hype fiom ieality
ICT4Peace Founuation, Ianuaiy 2u11 | www.ict4peace.oig
Page | $*
!"#$%&'("##

Paul Cuiiion




1. :82.1/344C#7.2-BA#/2.F1E781.B#0A7#?82b7/0F#:j67#I77.#1.62467E#1.Y#:j<#3#F/7?01/#9A7.#10#
/2<7F# 02# A29# 07/A.242BC# 1F# -F7E# 02# F-??280# :G@%D73/7H# @A1F# 1F.j0# I7/3-F7# 2;# F2<7#
E28<3.0#^-EE107#07.E7./CY#I-0#I7/3-F7#1.#0A7#?3F0#!+#C738F#:j67#A3E#A1BA#7J?7/03012.F#
3I2-0# A29# 07/A.242BC# /2-4E# /A3.B7# 0A7# 93C# 1.# 9A1/A# 0A7# A-<3.103813.# /2<<-.10C#
E1E#I-F1.7FF#O#3.E#0A2F7#/A3.B7F#A367#F0144#.20#388167EH#

Few of us that have been woiking since those eaily uays have many illusions about the limits
of technology, but we unueiestimateu the ineitia that exists in oui systems of eaily waining,
conflict iesolution, uisastei iesponse anu nation-builuing. In essence we weie tiying to apply
21
st
centuiy technology to 2u
th
centuiy systems, anu that expeiience ovei the last ten yeais
has maue me ask a uifficult question: what if failuie is built in to those systems.

Theie's giowing iecognition that nobouy ieally unueistanus how to geneiate economic
uevelopment: that humanitaiian assistance can anu uoes contiibute to the political pioblems
whose effects it is supposeu to mitigate: that post-conflict ieconstiuction is uiiven by
paiochial secuiity inteiests iathei than genuine concein: that eaily waining systems aie
pointless when the political actois that ieceive those wainings have little incentive to
iesponu. Bowevei most ciitics - some of whom aie wiiting in this papei seiies - stait fiom
the funuamental assumption that even if those systems aie bioken, they can be fixeu.

Ny aigument is slightly uiffeient, because I uon't necessaiily believe that those systems aie
bioken in the fiist place. Ny aigument - as woiiying to me as I hope it is to you - is not that
these systems aie uysfunctional, but they function in exactly the way they weie uesigneu to.
If that's tiue, then all the technology in the woilu won't help those systems uelivei what they
piomise: it will just keep them in business as usual while eveiybouy watches the cameia pan
smoothly acioss the most up-to-uate satellite imageiy fiom the latest uisastei zone.

If we want technology to have an impact, we neeu to unueistanu the political economy of
ICT4Peace.
#
2. [A7.# F2<7I2EC# 41L7# <7# F0380F# 034L1.B# 3I2-0# F2<70A1.B# 41L7# 0A1FY# 0A2F7# 3/0-344C#
3;;7/07E# IC# /81F1F# 387# -F-344C# 0A7# 43F0# 3F?7/0# 0A30# 97# 034L# 3I2-0Y# F2# 470jF# 87678F7# 0A30#
A787H#:j67#38B-7E#74F79A787#0A30#97#FA2-4E#I7#/2./7.08301.B#2-8#7;;280F#2.#E76742?1.B#
07/A.242BC# 0A30# 9144# A74?# /2<<-.1017F# 02# 1<?8267# 0A718# 29.# 87F1417./7Y# F2# 0A30# 0A7C#
A367#02#874C#47FF#2.#7J078.34#28B3.1F3012.F#02#F-??280#0A7<#1.#01<7F#2;#/81F1FY#3.E#0A30#
1.;28<3012.#1F#3#/8101/34#?380#2;#0A30#87F1417./7H#
#
0nfoitunately that isn't the mouel that we have iight now, especially when it comes to
technology: histoiically infoimation has been extiacteu fiom affecteu communities by
oiganisations claiming to woik on theii behalf. The assumption is that, in exchange foi that
infoimation, the communities will ieceive physical oi financial assistance fiom those
oiganisations. Raiely uo communities ieceive infoimation back again in a useful foim, anu
this mouel neeus to change, foi thiee ieasons.

Fiist, infoimation is one of the most valuable iesouices an affecteu community can ieceive,
in some ways as valuable as any mateiial assistance, enabling them to make moie infoimeu
uecisions about theii own lives. Seconu, accountability is ciitical foi this sectoi, but few pick
up on the fact that infoimation is essential foi enabling communities to holu aiu
Peacebuiluing in the Infoimation Age: Sifting hype fiom ieality
ICT4Peace Founuation, Ianuaiy 2u11 | www.ict4peace.oig
Page | %+
oiganisations accountable, to juuge oui effectiveness compaieu to the commitments we
make, anu to the woik of othei oiganisations.

Thiiu, theie is a funuamental question of public inteiest at stake. If a public oiganisation
suppoiteu by public funus anu woiking foi the public goou collects uata, that uata shoulu be
public by uefault. The only possible exemptions to this aie on giounus of secuiity oi piivacy,
but both of these can be manageu much moie easily than most people assume. Yet
oiganisations continue to act as if the value in uata is how much of it you can hoaiu, iathei
than how much of it you can shaie.

At the moment, affecteu communities (anu theii goveinments) tenu to be tieateu like
chiluien by the inteinational community. The piice they pay foi exteinal assistance is a loss
of autonomy, which is maue possible thiough theii lack of access to infoimation -
infoimation about uonoi funuing, foi example, oi infoimation about Nu0 activities. This has
staiteu to change ovei the last few yeais, paiticulaily since the tsunami, but the pace of
change is slow.

We have yet to see the killei app that will change the extiactive ielationship that cuiiently
exists.
#
S. @A7# 83?1E# F?873E# 3.E# 61F1I47# F-//7FF# 2;# 1.;28<3012.# 07/A.242BCY# 28# <287# 3//-83074C#
0A7# F-//7FF# 2;# 092# ?3801/-438# 07/A.242B17FY# 0A7# :.078.70# 3.E# 0A7# <2I147# ?A2.7Y# A3F#
A74?7E# 02# /2.F08-/0# 3# -02?13.# 61F12.# 2;# A29# 07/A.242BC# 9144# /A3.B7# 0A7# 9284EH# S287#
0A3.# 3# ;79# ?72?47# k# .20# .7/7FF3814C# 0A7# 2.7F# 98101.B# 1.# 0A1F# 624-<7Y# :# A3F07.# 02# 3EE# k#
A367# 3FF-<7E# 0A30# 0A7F7# /A3.B7F# 9144# .7/7FF3814C# 473E# 02# B873078# 7;;1/17./C# 3.E#
B873078# 7<?2978<7.0H# [7j87# 1./873F1.B4C# 39387# 0A30# 0A1F# 1F# .20# 0A7# /3F7Y# 0A30# 0A787#
387#41<10F#02#9A30#07/A.242BC#/3.#3/A1767H#

A useful countei-example in the case of efficiency is humanitaiian co-oiuination, which will
always suffei fiom the tiansaction costs of collective action. Technology can help minimize
those costs - foi example, by impioving communication - but it cannot eliminate them anu,
in some cases, it auus to tiansaction costs (as anybouy who stiuggles to manage theii email
inbox will tell you).

As foi empoweiment, I've alieauy outlineu how the ielationship between the poweiful anu
the poweiless is usually a one-way stieet when it comes to infoimation exchange. At fiist
glance, some of the new technology looks like it uoes auuiess this imbalance, offeiing tools
foi use by those affecteu by emeigencies. 0nfoitunately none of these tools ieally ueliveis
when it comes to empoweiing affecteu communities: the tiaffic is still laigely one-way.

Noie woiiyingly, this technology usually offeis a cultuially specific conception of technology
use as inuiviuualistic anu technociatic anu is not necessaiily a goou fit with eithei the
cultuies oi the capabilities of affecteu communities. As much with technology as any othei
aspect of ICT4Peace, the involvement of communities in ueveloping theii own solutions is
essential if we want those solutions to be sustainable. Community paiticipation by itself is
not enough in times of ciisis, howevei.

0ne of the few lessons that has been leaint by oiganisations woiking in ICT4Peace is that
top-uown solutions iaiely woik. We've leaint it so well that we've faileu to iealise that the
ieveise is also tiue: that bottom-up solutions iaiely woik eithei. Theie's a balance to be
stiuck between the emeigent activities of inuiviuuals anu the uiiecteu activities of
oiganisations, especially when we'ie chasing the latest technology uown the iabbit hole.

Balancing top-uown anu bottom-up iequiies moie seiious ieflection than it's pieviously
been given.
#
4. =2# A29# E2# 97# I7F0# b-EB7# 9A7.# 3# .79# 07/A.242BC# 1F# 9280A# 3E2?01.B\# @A7# <2F0#
?78F1F07.0# /A3447.B7# 1.# :G@%D73/7# 1F# 0A7# 3IF7./7# 2;# -F7;-4# <7081/F# 2;# F-//7FFH# X.41L7#
/2<<78/134# 07/A.242BC# E76742?<7.0Y# F-//7FF# A3F# .20A1.B# 02# E2# 910A# A29# <3.C# -F78F#
Peacebuiluing in the Infoimation Age: Sifting hype fiom ieality
ICT4Peace Founuation, Ianuaiy 2u11 | www.ict4peace.oig
Page | %!
C2-#A367#28#0A7#634-7#0A30#0A7C#<1BA0#E78167#;82<#0A7#07/A.242BCH#@A7#L7C#<73F-87#1F#
9A70A78# 0A30# 07/A.242BC# 1<?8267F# 0A7# 4167F# 2;# 1.E161E-34F# 3.E# /2<<-.1017F# 3;;7/07E#
IC#/2.;41/0Y#710A78#E187/04C#28#1.E187/04CH##

Neasuiing impact is uifficult enough, but at fiist glance measuiing this kinu of impact looks
impossible. Peihaps it is impossible to uefinitively uemonstiate the impact of a paiticulai
tool - inueeu, theie aie some who believe that it's impossible to uemonstiate the impact of
humanitaiian assistance itself - but at the moment, beyonu a basic appiaisal of customei
satisfaction (with the customeis usually being laige inteinational oiganisations), veiy little
attention has been paiu to this.

The tenuency insteau is to iely on anecuotal eviuence pioviueu by opeiational agencies oi
assumptions impoiteu fiom the technology sectoi - both of which have a vesteu inteiest in
piomoting theii woik. We iemain laigely in the uaik about the impact all this technology has
hau, except foi an unsettling feeling that we aien't ieally leaining fiom oui mistakes.

The uifficulty of measuiing impact, howevei, is not an excuse foi not attempting it. In some
ways it is peihaps moie impoitant foi us to piopeily measuie the impact of technology,
because we have moie to piove. 0iganisations woiking on ICT4Peace issues aie geneially
iesouice-constiaineu anu - in biutally simplistic teims - eveiy cent spent on technology is a
cent that uoesn't go to affecteu communities.

The oppoitunity costs of technology - not just ueveloping, but implementing anu
maintaining it - aie ielatively high, making the sectoi conseivative iathei than innovative.
We can aigue about whethei those limits to innovation aie a goou thing oi a bau thing, at
least when people's lives aie on the line. What it means in piactice is that innovation usually
comes fiom outsiue establisheu actois, usually in the foim of paitneiships with smallei,
moie agile oiganisations, the piivate sectoi, oi both.

This leaus to moie challenges: those fiom the piivate sectoi have uifficulty unueistanuing
how the public sectoi woiks: those fiom a technology backgiounu have uifficulty
unueistanuing how people fiom an opeiations backgiounu woik: those fiom uevelopeu
countiies have uifficulty unueistanuing how people in ueveloping countiies woik. Biinging
those uiffeient gioups togethei, it's impoitant to iemembei that the uefinition of 'success'
may look uiffeient fiom each siue.

Innovation challenges aie not insuimountable, but they'll come back to bite you if you'ie not
caieful.
#
S. :..263012.# 1F# 344# 9744# 3.E# B22EY# I-0# C2-# /3.# 73F14C# <1FF# 0A7# ;287F0# ;28# 0A7# 0877FH# @A7#
3FF3-40# 2;# 61F-341F3012.# 0224FY# 2;# 8734O01<7Y# 2;# E303O<1.1.BY# 2;# /829EF2-8/1.BY# 2;#
B2678.<7.0#"H+`#344#0A7F7#2IF/-87#0A7#;3/0#0A30#2-8#3I1410C#02#87F?2.E#02#/81F7F#E27F#.20#
3??738# 02# 1<?8267# <-/AY# C738# 3;078# C738H# @A7# 873F2.# ;28# 0A1F# 1F# F1<?47K# ?24101/34#
?82I47<F# /3..20# I7# F2467E# IC# 07/A.242B1/34# F24-012.FY# 3.E# 30# 8220# <2F0# ?82I47<F# 1.#
:G@%D73/7#387#?24101/34#1.#2.7#93C#28#3.20A78H##

This is tiue whethei we'ie talking about the complexities of iegional geopolitics oi the
banalities of uay-to-uay intia-oiganisational politics: technology changes, but people iemain
the same. Technology pioviueis have an inteiest in peisuauing us that theii piouucts anu
seivices will change the way we uo business, but many successful ICT4Peace piojects aie
successful because they weie bounu to existing business piocesses, iathei than tiying to
ieinvent them in a new foim that bettei suiteu the technology on offei.

In paiticulai we neeu to be caieful when we consiuei whethei technology will change how
ICT4Peace oiganisations woik in ways similai to how they've changeu piivate oiganisations
in global maikets. The obvious countei to this is that conflicts aien't maikets, anu those
types of oiganisations aie veiy uiffeient cieatuies. Technologies uon't opeiate in isolation
but aie woven into complex political, economic anu social systems.

Peacebuiluing in the Infoimation Age: Sifting hype fiom ieality
ICT4Peace Founuation, Ianuaiy 2u11 | www.ict4peace.oig
Page | %"
Because of those complex ielationships, technology is both the iesult anu the cause of
change: anu we baiely unueistanu eithei uynamic. This complexity is one ieason that we
uon't have a goou tiack iecoiu in pieuicting how technologies will be useu, oi what theii
effects will be - the spieau of mobile telephony being a peifect example. 0nce those uses aie
obvious anu theii effects aie cleai, howevei, we like to peisuaue ouiselves that they weie
inevitable, anu plan accoiuingly.

Theie's a steep leaining cuive foi people appioaching the fielu of ICT4Peace foi the fiist time,
anu a uistinct tenuency to fall into the tiap that Abiaham Naslow apociyphally uesciibeu: "If
the only tool you have is a hammei, then eveiything looks like a nail." Nobouy can aigue that
technology uoesn't change the way oui oiganisations woik, but that's not the ieal uiscussion
we shoulu be having. The uiscussion we shoulu be having is which technologies aie a goou fit
foi the woik we'ie engageu in.

uiven the iate of technological change, we neeu the iight tools foi the job moie than evei
befoie.
#
6. h2-#E2.j0#A738#<-/A#3I2-0#0A7#?82b7/0F#0A30#?82<1F7#3#420#0A7.#;314#02#E741678Y#28#3I2-0#
0A7# ?82b7/0FY# 9A1/A# 387# I-140# 2.# 07/A.242BC# 0A30# 1F# 2-0O2;OE307# IC# 0A7# 01<7# 0A7C# B2#
?-I41/H# [7# E2.j0# E1F/-FF# 0A7# 873F2.F# 9AC# ?82b7/0F# F0380# F082.B4C# I-0# 0A7.# B81.E# 02# 3#
A340#9A7.#0A7#/A3<?12.#2;#0A30#?82b7/0#<267F#02#3#.79#?2F1012.Y#28#0A7#?82b7/0F#9A1/A#
E741678#.1/7#B83?A1/F#I-0#410047#2?783012.34#634-7H#NF#F22.#3F#0A7#F03L7F#387#831F7EY#3.E#
0A1F# 1F# 08-7# ;28# ?816307# 3.E# ?-I41/# 28B3.1F3012.FY# 0A787# 1F# 3# A-B7# 1./7.0167# .20# 02#
E1F/-FF#;314-87Y#28#767.#02#470#10#F77#0A7#41BA0#2;#E3CH#

Yet these aie exactly the piojects, which we neeu to heai about, anu these aie the uiscussions
that we neeu to have, if the sectoi is to leain fiom its mistakes. We have an obligation to
leain fiom those mistakes, anu to pieuict what othei mistakes might be out theie waiting foi
us: 'failing foiwaiu' is a concept that ICT4Peace oiganisations neeu to become much moie
familiai with. 0ne of the key ioles of this seiies of papeis will be to exploie successes - anu
failuies - anu see what lessons can be uiawn fiom them. I'll be watching this piocess veiy
caiefully because, as I saiu at the beginning, I'm a sceptic when it comes to technology.

But to paiaphiase ueoige Cailin: sciatch a sceptic, anu you'll finu a uisappointeu iuealist
unueineath.
Peacebuiluing in the Infoimation Age: Sifting hype fiom ieality
ICT4Peace Founuation, Ianuaiy 2u11 | www.ict4peace.oig
Page | %$
!"#$%&%'(&)$%'#*+#
#
S38001# NA01F3381, is a foimei Piesiuent of Finlanu (1994-2uuu), Nobel Peace Piize lauieate anu
0niteu Nations uiplomat anu meuiatoi, noteu foi his inteinational peace woik. Ahtisaaii was a
0N Special Envoy at the Kosovo status piocess negotiations, aimeu at iesolving a long-iunning
uispute in Kosovo, which ueclaieu its inuepenuence fiom Seibia in 2uu8. In 0ctobei 2uu8, he
was awaiueu the Nobel Peace Piize "foi his effoits on seveial continents anu ovei moie than
thiee uecaues, to iesolve inteinational conflicts." The Nobel statement saiu that Ahtisaaii has
playeu a piominent iole in iesolving many conflicts in Namibia, Inuonesia, Kosovo anu Iiaq,
among othei aieas.

_3/]-7F# V3-E, Colonel (ueneial Staff) of Swiss Aimeu Foices. Nasteis in Econometiics fiom
0niveisity of ueneva, Postgiauuate uegiee in Inteinational Secuiity fiom uiauuate Institute foi
Inteinational Relations in ueneva. Seveial yeais in stiategic intelligence. Befoie cuiient position
as Chief Policy anu Boctiine in 0ffice of Nilitaiy Affaiis (0N BPK0), Senioi Nilitaiy Auvisei in the
Ninistiy of Foieign Affaiis. As to his expeiience in Peacekeeping, he was Nilitaiy Secuiity
Auvisei of 0NBCR uuiing the Rwanua Emeigency (199S). Be uesigneu anu cieateu the ueneva
Inteinational Centie foi Bumanitaiian Bemining (uICBB) as well as the Infoimation
Nanagement System foi Nine Action (INSNA). Be seiveu two yeais with 0N Nine Action Seivice
anu was active in Chau, Suuan, Ethiopia anu Somalia (1997-1999). Bis last fielu assignment was
as Chief Ioint Nission Analysis Centie (INAC) in Suuan (2uuS-2uu6).
#
T8H#S1/A374#^H#V7F0 is assistant piofessoi at the Sam Nunn School of Inteinational Affaiis anu the
School of Inteiactive Computing at ueoigia Institute of Technology wheie he is also ieseaich
faculty with the uv0 Centie anu uiiects the Technologies anu Inteinational Bevelopment Lab. Be
is also a Faculty Associate of the Beikman Centie foi Inteinet & Society at Baivaiu 0niveisity.
Piofessoi Best is co-founuei anu Euitoi-in-Chief of the wiuely ieau jouinal, 9$>+'=(%#+$"
I&*4$+)+0#&."($-"9$%&'$(%#+$()":&E&)+7=&$%. Be is a fiequent consultant to the Woilu Bank, IT0,
anu 0SAIB. Be holus a Ph.B. fiom NIT anu has seiveu as Biiectoi of Neuia Lab Asia in Inuia anu
heau of the eBevelopment gioup at the NIT Neuia Lab.

D3-4# G-8812. specialises in infoimation management foi humanitaiian opeiations
(www.humanitaiian.info). Since 1999 he has woikeu as Infoimation Nanagei foi the WASB
Cooiuination Clustei in Banglauesh anu ueoigia, Regional Infoimation Nanagei foi WFP foi the
Inuian 0cean Tsunami iesponse, anu in Bumanitaiian Infoimation Centies foi 0CBA in Kosovo,
Afghanistan, Iiaq anu Libeiia. Foi two yeais he was Nanagei of the ICT Initiative of the intei-
agency Nu0 Emeigency Capacity Builuing Pioject, anu pieviously woikeu as an Nu0 cooiuinatoi
in the Balkans. Be co-wiote the 1T6" 9$>+'=(%#+$" I&*4$+)+0A" ($-" U&@/#'&=&$%." V..&..=&$%"
(Emeigency Capacity Builuing Pioject 2uu6), 95IWX&(*&Y"%4&"'+)&"+>"95I"#$"7'&E&$%#$0!"'&.7+$-#$0"
%+" ($-" '&*+E&'#$0" >'+=" *+$>)#*% (0N ICT Task Foice 2uuS), anu the" Q/=($#%('#($" 9$>+'=(%#+$"
5&$%'&"Q($-?++F (0CBA 2uuS).

>81/# U-b78 sums up a uecaue of iepoiting uuiing which he was ueimany coiiesponuent foi the
Neue Züichei Zeitung (NZZ). As a young jouinalist he witnesseu the ueiman ieunification
piocess in East Beilin, anu was subsequently NZZ coiiesponuent in Ieiusalem anu Noscow.
Extenueu tiavel took him to the Caucasus, to Cential Asia, Pakistan anu Inuia. In 1998 he
ietuineu to Beilin. Since 2uu7 he has been commentatoi anu foieign coiiesponuent foi the NZZ
in Zuiich.

=3.b3.3# M30020-93 (http:¡¡about.me¡sanjanah) is a Special Auvisoi to the ICT4Peace
Founuation baseu in ueneva, Switzeilanu. Thiough the Founuation, Sanjana woiks to fuithei the
use of ICTs in ciisis infoimation management anu peacekeeping initiatives at the 0niteu Nations.
As a Fellow of the Centie foi Infoimation Technology anu Bispute Resolution at the 0niveisity of
Nassachusetts, Boston, Sanjana contiibutes to the evolution of 0nline Bispute Resolution (0BR),
Peacebuiluing in the Infoimation Age: Sifting hype fiom ieality
ICT4Peace Founuation, Ianuaiy 2u11 | www.ict4peace.oig
Page | %%
with a special focus on mobile communications. Be is the founuing euitoi of T'+/$-E#&,.
(www.giounuviews.oig), an inteinational awaiu-winning web baseu citizen jouinalism initiative
now wiuely iecogniseu as one of the most vital sites foi online uissent in Sii Lanka. In 2u1u,
Sanjana ieceiveu a TEB Fellowship, two yeais aftei he was awaiueu a News & Knowleuge
Entiepieneui Fellowship fiom the Ashoka Founuation. Both awaius iecognise pioneeiing effoits
to cieate anu use citizen jouinalism anu new meuia to beai witness anu stiengthen uemociacy,
human iights anu just peace. With a significant bouy wiiting, ieseaich anu on the giounu
expeiience, Sanjana is globally iecogniseu as an expeit in the uesign anu implementation of ICTs
anu new meuia in peacebuiluing.

T8H#X8F#U3FF78 is the Executive Biiectoi of the Beikman Centie foi Inteinet & Society at Baivaiu
0niveisity. Be teaches at Baivaiu Law School, at the 0niveisity of St. uallen (Switzeilanu) anu
Fuuan 0niveisity School of Nanagement (China). Be is a visiting piofessoi at KEI0 0niveisity
(Iapan) anu a Fellow at the uiutei Institute foi Law anu Behaviouial Reseaich. 0is uassei has
wiitten seveial books, is the co-authoi of Z+'$" :#0#%()Y" [$-&'.%($-#$0" %4&" \#'.%" T&$&'(%#+$" +>"
:#0#%()" 1(%#E&. (Basic Books, 2uu8, with Iohn Palfiey) anu has publisheu ovei 7u aiticles in
piofessional jouinals on vaiious infoimation policy ielateu topics.
#
G241.#S3/43C#is the managing uiiectoi of the Beikman Centie foi Inteinet & Society anu woiks at
the inteisections new meuia, institutions, anu inteinational uevelopment. Be seeks to link
piactice with ieseaich, often paiiing innovative multi-stakeholuei collaboiations with the
geneiation of infoimation that ieveals tienus, challenges anu oppoitunities foi the inteiactions
of ICTs anu ueveloping woilu communities.

D3081/L# S7178 is the Biiectoi of Ciisis Napping at 0shahiui http:¡¡www.ushahiui.com anu the
co-founuei of the Inteinational Netwoik of Ciisis Nappeis http:¡¡www.ciisismappeis.net. Be
was pieviously the co-uiiectoi of the Baivaiu Bumanitaiian Initiative's (BBI-
http:¡¡www.hhi.haivaiu.euu) Piogiam on Ciisis Napping anu Eaily Waining anu has consulteu
foi many inteinational oiganisations incluuing the 0N, 0SCE anu 0ECB on numeious ciisis
mapping anu conflict eaily waining piojects in Afiica, Asia anu Euiope. Be is completing his PhB
at The Fletchei School of Law anu Biplomacy at Tufts 0niveisity anu is cuiiently a visiting
Fellow at Stanfoiu 0niveisity's Piogiam on Libeiation Technologies. Patiick blogs at
iRevolution.net (http:¡¡www.iRevolution.net).

W1B74# =.23E cuiiently auvises 0N 0CBA on Ciisis Infoimation Nanagement. Nigel is faculty at
Paisons the New School foi Besign's Bumanitaiian Besign Lab, is an auvisoi to the ICT4Peace
founuation anu the Institute foi State Effectiveness, anu pait of the auvisoiy boaiu foi NIT's
ueospatial Bata Centie anu Kopeinik, a technology anu uevelopment Nu0 stait-up. Pieviously
Nigel leu ieseaich insiue Niciosoft on Bumanitaiian Systems, woiking in Afghanistan anu
elsewheie on new ciisis collaboiation concepts. Nigel also uevelopeu piojects on citizen anu
community iesilience anu uisastei iesponse as a pait of Niciosoft's Public Safety Initiative anu
Bisastei Response team. Befoie joining Niciosoft Nigel was with the 0niteu Nations, most
iecently as a global Panuemic contingency plannei foi the 0N System anu befoie that with the
0N Ioint Logistics Centie wheie he was ueployeu to Iiaq, the 2uu4 Tsunami in Inuonesia, the
Suuan anu elsewheie. At 0NILC Nigel manageu the mapping anu infoimation management teams
anu leu logistics cooiuination in the fielu foi majoi emeigencies. Nigel has a PhB in Complex
Auaptive Systems, has woikeu as a ieseaichei anu lobbyist, founueu tech stait-ups, anu jumpeu
off way too many cliffs ovei the yeais.

T8H# GA21# =22.OA2.B cuiiently seives as 0niteu Nations Chief Infoimation Technology 0fficei at
the level of Assistant Secietaiy-ueneial. Be was appointeu to the position by 0N Secietaiy-
ueneial Ban Ki-moon in Iuly 2uu7. Choi has expeiience both in the public sectoi anu the piivate
sectoi. Staiting his caieei as 0uality Assuiance Nanagei at Systems Automation Coipoiation in
1977, he also woikeu as Infoimation Systems Analyst at TRW, Inc. between 198u anu 1981. In
1981, he joineu the Inteinational Nonetaiy Funu (INF), wheie he seiveu in numeious technical
anu business opeiations anu team leaueiship positions until 1997. Be was Bivision Chief of
Technology Infiastiuctuie in between 1997 anu 1999 anu Senioi Buuget Nanagei anu Stiategy
Auvisei fiom 1999 to 2uu4. Latei on, he seiveu as Beau of Infoimation Technology Seivices at
INF fiom 2uu4 to Febiuaiy 2uu7. Be has been the INF iepiesentative to the Infoimation anu
Peacebuiluing in the Infoimation Age: Sifting hype fiom ieality
ICT4Peace Founuation, Ianuaiy 2u11 | www.ict4peace.oig
Page | %&
Communications Technology Netwoik of the 0niteu Nations Chief Executives Boaiu foi
Cooiuination, anu a membei of the 0niteu Nations Inteinational Computing Centie's
Nanagement Committee since 2uuS. In his new position as 0N Chief Infoimation Technology
0fficei, he is in chaige of all substantive anu opeiational neeus ielating to infoimation anu
communications technology of the 0niteu Nations, incluuing ueveloping, maintaining anu
monitoiing the implementation of the effective infoimation anu communication stiategy. Choi
has conuucteu ieseaich anu lectuieu on public policy, stiategic management anu innovation. Bis
iecent ieseaich inteiests aie globalization, technology competition, uigital society, knowleuge-
shaiing anu infoimation anu communications technology foi uevelopment. Choi holus a
bacheloi's uegiee in engineeiing fiom Sogang 0niveisity, a mastei's uegiee in computei science
fiom ueoige Washington 0niveisity, an NBA fiom the Whaiton School of the 0niveisity of
Pennsylvania, anu a Ph.B. in stiategic management anu public policy fiom ueoige Washington
0niveisity.

T8H#T3.174#=03-;;3/A78 is a foimei Ambassauoi of Switzeilanu, Co-Founuei anu Chaiiman of the
ICT4Peace Founuation, Special Auvisoi to the 0N Chief Infoimation Technology 0fficei (CIT0)
anu to the 0nueisecietaiy-ueneial foi Economic anu Social Affaiis, New Yoik. Be is also a Co-
Founuei anu Piesiuent of the ueneva Secuiity Foium, anu seives on the Boaiu of Biiectois,
Woilu Wiue Web Founuation, anu as Senioi Auvisoi, The uulf Reseaich Centie Founuation,
ueneva. Be woikeu foi the uistiict couit of Zuiich anu the Swiss piivate sectoi befoie joining the
0niteu Nations in 1982 to woik in New Yoik, Laos anu China. In 199u he joineu the Swiss
Ninistiy of Economy iesponsible foi inteinational economic anu financial coopeiation. In 199S
he was posteu to the Swiss Nission to the Euiopean 0nion in Biussels as the Counselloi foi
Economic anu Financial Affaiis. In 1999, he became an Ambassauoi of Switzeilanu to the 0niteu
Nations in ueneva (until 2uuS) anu the Special Repiesentative of the Swiss uoveinment foi the
hosting of the Woilu Summit on Social Bevelopment 2uuu in ueneva anu the Woilu Summit on
Infoimation Society (WSIS) in 2uuS in ueneva anu the Swiss Ambassauoi to WSIS in Tunis 2uuS.
Be was a membei of the foimei 0N ICT Task Foice anu the foimei 0N Task Foice on Financial
Nechanisms foi ICT4B. Since 2uu6 he woiks in the piivate sectoi anu in 2uu7 he cieateu Bi.
Baniel Stauffachei + Paitnei, a consulting fiim in Zuiich anu ueneva, Switzeilanu, auvising
uoveinments, the 0N, business companies anu Founuations. Stauffachei holus a mastei's uegiee
in inteinational affaiis fiom Columbia 0niveisity, New Yoik, anu a Ph.B. fiom the 0niveisity of
Zuiich.

V38I383# [77L7F is CE0 of the ueneva Secuiity Foium anu membei of the policy auvisoiy boaiu
of the ICT4Peace founuation (www.ict4peace.oig). Baibaia also woiks in close collaboiation
with Bi Stauffachei + Paitnei Consulting, Zuiich-ueneva. Baibaia, in coopeiation with Smauja &
Associates (2uu6- ), has woikeu on the piogiams foi the Futuie of Euiope Summit, Anuoiia: The
ulobal Automotive Foium, Chenguu: The Futuie China Foium, Singapoie: anu the Aiab ulobal
Foium. Baibaia has auviseu clients on content anu high-level symposiums incluuing the Schulich
School of Business, Toionto, anu in paitneiship with the Inteinational Chambei of Commeice,
Paiis, conceiveu anu executeu the business iounutable: Z/#)-#$0" .%'(%&0#*" '&)(%#+$.4#7." ,#%4"
#$%&'0+E&'$=&$%()"+'0($#.(%#+$."H9T6.O, ueneva, Febiuaiy 2uuS. As leau of the global affaiis team
at the Woilu Economic Foium she was a key peison in the uevelopment anu execution of the
piogiam foi the Annual Neeting in Bavos fiom 199S to 2uuu, in auuition to uesigning the
piogiams foi the Woilu Economic Foium´s Southein Afiica Economic Summits in Capetown,
Winuhoek anu Baiaie. Piioi to hei woik at the Woilu Economic Foium, Baibaia was a membei
of the policy staff at the Bepaitment of Foieign Affaiis anu Inteinational Tiaue, Canaua
iesponsible foi the piepaiation of the u-7 Summit in Balifax, 199S.


Peacebuiluing in the Infoimation Age: Sifting hype fiom ieality
ICT4Peace Founuation, Ianuaiy 2u11 | www.ict4peace.oig
Page | %'
!"#$%&%'()&*$"+(,-%(#.#





• ,83<7928L: An euiteu seiies of biief papeis baseu on:

1. Paiagiaph S6 of the WSIS Tunis Beclaiation in 2uuS
We value the potential of ICTs to piomote peace anu to pievent conflict, which, #$%&'"()#(,
negatively affects achieving uevelopment goals. ICTs can be useu foi iuentifying conflict
situations thiough eaily-waining systems pieventing conflicts, piomoting theii peaceful
iesolution, suppoiting humanitaiian action, incluuing piotection of civilians in aimeu
conflicts, facilitating peacekeeping missions, anu assisting post conflict peace-builuing
anu ieconstiuction.

2. In Septembei 2uuu, the ueneial Assembly of the 0niteu Nations auopteu the 0N
Nillennium Beclaiation as a ieaffiimation of theii faith in the 0niteu Nations
0iganisation anu the 0niteu Nations Chaitei as founuations foi "a moie peaceful,
piospeious anu just woilu." The Nillennium Beclaiation emphasizeu the neeu foi "a
fully cooiuinateu appioach to the pioblems of peace anu uevelopment", while the eight
Nillennium Bevelopment uoals (NBus) agieeu at the same time foimeu a bluepiint to
meet the neeus of the woilus pooiest.

S. Taiget S of uoal 8 of the 0N Nillennium Bevelopment uoals (NBus):
In coopeiation with the piivate sectoi, make available benefits of new technologies,
especially infoimation anu communications.


• >E1028F: Baniel Stauffachei (Chaiiman, ICT4Peace Founuation), Baibaia Weekes (Senioi
Auvisoi, ICT4Peace Founuation), 0is uassei (Executive Biiectoi, Beikman Centie foi
Inteinet anu Society, Baivaiu 0niveisity), Colin Naclay (Nanaging Biiectoi, Beikman Centie
foi Inteinet anu Society, Baivaiu 0niveisity), anu Nichael Best (Assistant Piofessoi at the
Sam Nunn School of Inteinational Affaiis anu the School of Inteiactive Computing at ueoigia
Institute of Technology).

• The ICT4Peace Founuation in collaboiation with the Beikman Centie foi Inteinet anu
Society, Baivaiu 0niveisity, anu the ueoigia Institute of Technology (ueoigia Tech)
commissioneu the contiibutions incluueu in this publication.

Peacebuiluing in the Infoimation Age: Sifting hype fiom ieality
ICT4Peace Founuation, Ianuaiy 2u11 | www.ict4peace.oig
Page | %(
!"#$%&'(&)*+,-.'/0+-#
www.ict4peace.oig




ICT4Peace took ioot with pioneeiing ieseaich on the iole of ICTs in pieventing, iesponuing to
anu iecoveiing fiom conflict in 2uuS anu leau to the auoption of Paiagiaph S6 by the 0N Woilu
Summit on the Infoimation Society (WSIS) in Tunis in 2uuS which iecognises <]%4&"7+%&$%#()"+>"
95I." %+" 7'+=+%&" 7&(*&" ($-" %+" 7'&E&$%" *+$>)#*%" ,4#*4!" #$%&'" ()#(!" $&0(%#E&)A" (>>&*%." (*4#&E#$0"
-&E&)+7=&$%" 0+().B" 95I." *($" ?&" /.&-" >+'" #-&$%#>A#$0" *+$>)#*%" .#%/(%#+$." %4'+/04" &(')A^,('$#$0"
.A.%&=." 7'&E&$%#$0" *+$>)#*%.!" 7'+=+%#$0" %4&#'" 7&(*&>/)" '&.+)/%#+$!" ./77+'%#$0" 4/=($#%('#($" (*%#+$!"
#$*)/-#$0"7'+%&*%#+$"+>"*#E#)#($."#$"('=&-"*+$>)#*%.!">(*#)#%(%#$0"7&(*&F&&7#$0"=#..#+$.!"($-"(..#.%#$0"
7+.%"*+$>)#*%"7&(*&^?/#)-#$0"($-"'&*+$.%'/*%#+$C.

The ICT4Peace Founuation woiks to piomote the piactical iealisation of Paiagiaph S6 anu looks
at the iole of ICT in ciisis management, coveiing aspects of eaily waining anu conflict pievention,
peace meuiation, peacekeeping, peace-builuing as well as natuial uisastei management anu
humanitaiian opeiations.

Follow us on Twittei - www.twittei.com¡ict4peace
Ioin oui Facebook gioup - www.facebook.com¡ict4peace


Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful