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The Lab's Roundup highlighting stories on technology, media, and data in peacebuilding.
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PeaceTech In Action

Stories of peacebuilders using technology, media, and data in the field. 


Peace Park

Peace Park - a new computer game developed by Elva Community Engagement and StormBringer Studios, with consultations from Mark Rein-Hagen, hit the web and mobile market last year to teach young people conflict mediation and resolution skills. 

Set in a communal space shared by five different families, the game combines fun and strategy to allow gamers to achieve the ultimate goal of peaceful coexistence. While playing, a gamer is put in a position of a park owner, otherwise known as a mediator, and is challenged to make decisions. in the sense that even the most conflicted individuals or families enjoy interaction. The rationale of Peace Park demonstrates that at the times of conflict, one should take different perspectives and provide environment where everyone’s interests are met and commonalities between people become bases for peaceful coexistence.

Development of Peace Park was made possible by the generous support of the Confidence Building Early Response Mechanism (COBERM) of the EU and UNDP. The game is accessible on all web and mobile platforms. In less than 6 months, it was played 10,000 times by children throughout the South Caucasus.

PeaceTech Commentary

PeaceTech Lab staff provide analysis on an important trend in the news.
Anastasia-Areti Gavrili | Making All Voices Count | June 21, 2016

"Most civic tech initiatives collect and visualize data for governments or other stakeholders to see, understand and use. But what’s the context around the points on a map or the numbers we see on an infographic poster? And most importantly what happens next? How do we see change through? Is taking a step ‘backwards’, to the stories of individual people, the next step in tech for development?"

Citizen journalists around the world are increasingly relying on digital platforms like Storymaker, Storify, and hardware like GoPro and digital microphones to report on complex problems in their communities. These affordable, easy-to-use tools allow citizen journalists to broaden their impact through improved information gathering, editing, and sharing capabilities.

This is My Backyard (TIMBY) is a new suite of digital tools that enable citizen monitors to perform on-the-ground reporting on issues ranging from deforestation and corruption in Liberia to election violence in Kenya and South Africa. The software was developed in close collaboration with user groups across the African continent, including journalists, activists and NGOs.

At PeaceTech Lab, we believe in the power of citizen journalism and actively incorporate these tools into our PeaceTech Exchange (PTX) program. PTX is designed to connect networks of talented young technologists with civil society and government leaders in conflict zones, paving the way for innovative solutions to global challenges through technology. 
 
Commentary by Tim Receveur | Director, PeaceTech Exchanges | PeaceTech Lab

PeaceTech News Roundup

This week's compilation of the most important news stories highlighting the role of technology, media, and data in conflict zones. 
Fighting ISIS With an Algorithm, Physicists Try to Predict Attacks
Pam Belluck | The New York Times | June 16, 2016

After Orlando and San Bernardino and Paris, there is new urgency to understand the signs that can precede acts of terrorism. A physicist may not seem like an obvious person to study such activity. But for months, Neil Johnson, a physicist at the University of Miami, led a team that created a mathematical model to sift order from the chaotic pro-terrorism online universe.

Journalists, endangered species in war zones
Paul Omo ObadanNational Mirror Online I June 19, 2016

Amidst mounting prospect of global conflict posed by the threat of terrorism as depicted by Boko Haram, Al-Qaeda, ISIS and the likes, the rate at which members of the Fourth Estate of the Realm, otherwise described as the watchdogs of the society have increasingly had their ranks depleted by death through occupational hazards, particularly in crisis zones gives cause for concern. 

How technology can help educate child refugees
Attila Mong | DW Akademie | June 20, 2016

Around 30 million children worldwide are denied education because of conflict. Many have fled war and have no, or limited, access to education. Others live in areas where it's too dangerous to attend school or where conflict has ravaged infrastructure. Digital technologies are seen as one way of helping meet the challenge of getting education to children displaced by conflict.

The Journalist Keeping Tabs on Airstrikes Against ISIS
Bruno Bayley | Vice | June 21, 2016

Former BBC Panorama producer and investigative journalist, Chris Woods set up Airwars.org, a collective of journalists and researchers across the Middle East and Europe dedicated to tracking airstrikes against the Islamic State, attempting to keep tabs on civilian casualties, and pressing for transparency and accountability in the war on terror.

Bogus Mediterranean Migrant Rescue App Removed From App Store 
Coby McDonald | Popular Science | June 21, 2016

"The app promises to show recent or active satellite data and present the user with a way to report the location of suspicious objects ... But it can't do that since it's not showing any actual images," [Rosyna Keller, an iOS app developer and reverse engineering expert] said. "It retrieves this static image and you can confirm that by comparing it, errors and all, to the one shown in the app."

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