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From 17 to 21 March at the European Academy Grunewald in Berlin, Germany, Sanjana Hattotuwa, Special Advisor at the ICT4Peace Foundation led the training of a new and unique ENTRi course on the use of new media for crisis management.

The training was conducted in collaboration with the renowned Zentrum für Internationale Friedenseinsätze gGmbH (ZIF), based in Berlin, and introduced 24 participants from a range of backgrounds to a variety of new media tools and platforms used in the collection, presentation, verification, and dissemination of information.

Participants used several leading web based tools, apps and services as part of interactive activities and group work, while learning about digital communications security as well in order to protect information and sources.

Photo from the training course can be found here.

Cedric Vidonne from UNHCR, Rina Tsubaki from the European Journalism Centre, which recently published the acclaimed Verification Handbook, and Eoghan Mac Suibhne, from the world renowned social media verification agency Storyful were also part of the training. Both delivered compelling presentations and took the class through exercises, based on real world scenarios and content, that familiarised them with key concepts and tools to sift through the tsunami of information and data in order to find actionable, verified content.

Tweets we published around each of their presentation are copied below.

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The ICT4Peace Foundation designed and led several exercises as well anchored to the information visualisation and mapping, in addition to a comprehensive exercise introducing participants to around 30 of the world’s leading crisis information management platforms and websites currently active, and getting them to use each one. Participants were introduced to OpenStreetMap, and also to Google’s Map Engine Lite. Using Field Papers, participants went out of the class, and literally walked around the training venue’s neighbourhood in order to collaboratively map it.

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Feedback from the class strongly suggested the need for on-going training courses by ENTRi and ZIF on similar lines, and a new found appreciation, from every single participant, of the ways through which new media can help strengthen the effectiveness of their professional work and institutional mandates.