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At the kind invitation of the Global Public Policy Institute (GPPi) based in Berlin, Germany, Sanjana Hattotuwa, Special Advisor at the ICT4Peace Foundation met with researchers and other programme staff on 5 May 2015 over an hour long discussion, spilling over into lunch. Sanjana's presentation and subsequent discussion was anchored to the following broad points which he fleshed out in greater detail,

  • Following from the ‘Performance Peacekeeping’ report, what are the central challenges for peacekeeping in our digital age? What impact will the Internet of Things (IoT) tomorrow, and the democratisation of mobile devices today have for the peacekeeping domain?
  • What implications does the use of big data and data from telcos have on the rights, privacy and safety of host communities and target groups, who are often vulnerable to violent conflict?
  • Are the normative assumptions around the use of drones, big data and other technologies unsuited to be applied easily to contexts framed by systemic violence and chronic instability?
  • Have legislative and institutional architectures to facilitate and govern the use of Big Data in peacekeeping domains kept pace with tech developments and indeed, use case scenarios?

After Sanjana's submissions, the discussion were anchored to questions around Big Data, anonymity and privacy in our digital age, the challenges of informed consent, ethics and a rights based approach to technology, questions around power relations including power asymmetries that guide the use and appreciation of technology in peacebuilding as well as more general questions around social media and ICTs in today's peacekeeping and conflict transformation contexts.

Background information for the points discussed were taken from the following articles and resources,