Mobile Technology, Crowdsourcing and Peace Mapping: New Theory and Applications for Conflict Management
This chapter develops a conceptual framework to highlight how mobile technologies can play a role in preventing, resolving and containing conflict. The rapid and worldwide proliferation of mobile phones means that access to mobile communication is far higher than access to the Internet. We draw on The Third Side (3S) framework for conflict management to demonstrate how mobile technology, crowdsourcing and crisis mapping can be leveraged to promote peace. The 3S framework was developed by Harvard University’s Program on Negotiation (PON) to democratize conflict management. The approach is designed to empower community stakeholders to prevent, resolve and/or contain potentially violent conflict. In both low intensity and high intensity conflict situations, the ability to respond quickly and effectively can significantly improve outcomes and reduce risks of escalating violence. We apply the 3S to Ushahidi’s crisis mapping platform and suggest Peace Mapping as a powerful tool to engage and empower individuals to manage conflict in their communities. Ushahidi is a free and open source platform used for crowdsourcing crisis information and crisis mapping. The purpose of Ushahidi is to democratize the collection and documentation of crisis information. The chapter articulates a theoretical approach for the use of mobile technologies in grassroots peace building.
KeywordsMobile Technology Conflict Management Violent Conflict Collective Action Problem Destructive Conflict
We would like to thank Sisi ni Amani in conjunction with Digital Democracy and Building Bridges in conjunction with Butterfly Works for promoting the vision of peace mapping in Kenya, empowering the third side and bringing fresh ideas and new lessons to the field.
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