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Post ZIF

ICT4Peace contributes to the work of the UN Expert Panel on Technology and Innovation in Peace Operations at ZIF, Berlin 22 – 22 August 2014.

In June 2014, UN Under-Secretaries-General Hervé Ladsous (DPKO) and Ameerah Haq (DFS) announced the appointment of a five-member Expert Panel, lead by ASG Jane Holl Lute, to  advise them on how best to use new technologies and innovations to benefit United Nations peacekeeping to be a force for peace, force for change, and a force for the future.”(See also here).

Along with other partner organisations, ICT4Peace’s Daniel Stauffacher was invited to discuss with the UN Expert Panel inter alia the following questions:

  1. What available  technologies  have  the  potential  for  improving  the  conduct  of  peace operations?
  2. (How) are they employed by the United Nations and other organizations? What lessons have been learned?
  3. What are the challenges evolving around the use of these technologies? How can they be addressed properly?

More specifically, Daniel Stauffacher was invited to present on the question of Information Management & Operational Decision-Making Support in Peace-keeping Operations. Decision makers increasingly rely on high quality, near real-time data to inform operational and administrative decision-making. The data that is fed into information management tools can come from various sources. At the operational level, this data might be captured by reports from peacekeepers in the field, GPS tracks or satellite data. In addition, “crowdsourcing” can play an important role. Cell phones and smart phones, now cheaper and more available to the average citizen, can produce and transmit decentralized/public data, to produce reports on violence or damaged infrastructure.

In his presentation, Daniel Stauffacher highlighted the UN Secretary General’s Crisis Information Management Strategy (CiMS) (A/65/491)which ICT4Peace has helped shape and implement since 2007 and discussed its opportunities and challenges. In particular he presented the work with the UN Chief Information Technology Officer (UN CITO), OCHA and other members of the members of the UN Crisis Information Management Advisory Group (CIMAG). He also highlighted the cooperation of ICT4Peace with UN DPKO/DFS in New York and the UN Peace-Keeping Mission in the Democratic Republic Congo (DRC) (MONUSCO) on improving information management and situational awareness for better decision making, to save lives and protect human dignity. Ethical questions in using ICTs and social media for peace operations and crisis management in general were also discussed, as well as a the emerging use of UAVs for non-lethal and humanitarian purposes.

In particular he put forward concrete strategic recommendations on how to further improve Crisis Information Management and Situational Awareness in UN Peace-keeping and humanitarian operations.