Resource to Aid in Analysis of Trends and Contribute to Future Efforts
A new interactive digital tool visualizes more than 200 data- and tech-driven global peacebuilding organizations and projects, offering a real-time picture of the scope of peace work and its use of cutting-edge technologies. Developed by the NYU Center on International Cooperation, the Data for Peacebuilding and Prevention Ecosystem Map comes at a time of increasing global unrest, amplifying the need for information that can better guide decisions and actions.
“This map is a crucial resource for policy makers, journalists, academics, and others to analyze trends, provide insights, and do further research in a fast-paced, rapidly changing environment,” says Paige Arthur, deputy director of the Center on International Cooperation (CIC). “It is also intended to foster greater transparency and collaboration as well as to support practitioners who contribute to the field’s growth by identifying gaps and tackling challenges.”
As artificial intelligence, machine learning, and predictive analytics transform the way we live and work, they are also being put in the hands of peacebuilders to detect violence hotspots, to warn civilians about impending airstrikes, to monitor hate speech on social media, and to help policymakers make better-informed decisions in building resilience to violence.
Yet these initiatives are not broadly known, nor are they documented in a centralized location. The map seeks to overcome these limitations by placing peacebuilding work on a single platform, thereby offering organizations and projects a means to break down silos and to instill a shared understanding of how new methodologies are reshaping the peacebuilding ecosystem.
Moreover, this work is heavily weighted in the northern hemisphere. Only 18.5 percent of all organizations on the map have their headquarters outside of Europe and North America.
“This fact points to a deep digital divide in peace work, in which those most affected by conflict may not have the cutting-edge tools needed to build peace in today’s technological landscape,” explains Arthur.
The tool also balances the accessibility of information with safety considerations, the creators note.
CIC Fellow Branka Panic illustrates how technologies are used in peacebuilding work in this video, focusing, in particular, on Ethiopia’s Tigray region.
“We are aware that many mapped organizations are working in sensitive areas and conditions and with vulnerable populations,” says Panic. “Therefore, we are mapping only information made publicly available through various online platforms, websites, and social media or received directly from organizations. In this sense, one of our main priorities in designing the tool was ensuring transparency, while protecting privacy and reducing vulnerabilities of organizations that may be at risk.”
The new tool is a visual companion to and expands upon CIC’s Ecosystem Mapping Report, released last fall, marking the first time that an organization conducted an analysis on the current state of the existing global ecosystem of data-driven approaches to peacebuilding and prevention.
About the Center on International Cooperation
The Center on International Cooperation (CIC) is a non-profit research center housed at New York University. Our vision is to advance effective multilateral action to prevent crises and build peace, justice, and inclusion. Our mission is to strengthen cooperative approaches among national governments, international organizations, and the wider policy community to advance peace, justice, and inclusion. For more, please visit its website.