Recent developments in digital technologies are increasingly impacting on conflicts globally. Digital tools play an evolving role in violent conflicts and their strategic and tactical use poses a challenge to peace, justice, and social cohesion. At the same time developments in digital technologies offer peacebuilders and conflict transformation practitioners new and exciting ways to address these very dynamics, overcome these threats, and shift the power to more locally owned peacebuilding agendas.
This seminar will assess how digital technologies impact conflicts and how peacebuilders can respond to these new challenges. Building on the initial analysis of key threats when digital technologies are weaponized, participants will explore the immense potential that these technologies bring to the peacebuilding field. From improved, more inclusive, and timely conflict analysis processes to capacity development in times of lockdown and shrinking spaces for civil society; from building online communities of peacebuilders to participatory documentation of human rights abuses; from intergenerational work around land and resource conflicts to mass mobilization and social justice campaigning - the possibilities are endless. The course will look at concrete examples where digital technologies have been used for conflict transformation and peacebuilding work - often developed in the Global South, with limited resources, and according to the needs. Exploring these concrete examples more in depth will allow participants to draw out key lessons for their own work. By the end of the seminar, each participant will be able to design a simple piece of digital peacebuilding and share it with the others for feedback and comparative learning.
Key concepts (3-5 bullet points):
- Digital approaches in conflict analysis and early warning
- Digital approaches in conflict transformation, training, and campaign work
- Live online, remote online, and hybrid formats to meet various needs
By the end of the seven weeks online course participants will…
...have a sound understanding why digital peacebuilding is an essential component of any conflict transformation and peacebuilding approach in the early 21st century.
...have explored the potential digital peacebuilding concepts offer in an environment of shrinking spaces for constructive civil society engagement, online misinformation, and Covid19 lockdowns.
...have been introduced to concrete examples of what digital peacebuilding can look like and learned about their pros and cons.
...have explored simple first steps to move conflict transformation and peacebuilding online and know about free/cost-effective resources that can help them to get started.
…have developed their own concrete intervention using digital technologies.
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