23 December 2011
Dear colleagues and friends,
2011 was, as the year before, rather tumultuous with the Arab Awakening and with political, economic and social upheaval affecting every corner of the globe. The year has also been marked by terrible natural disasters. It was a very busy year for the Foundation and as a larger community interested in promoting peace, democracy, human rights and development through the use of ICTs and social media. We believe great progress was made in increasing awareness and better understanding of the international community on the enormous potential that we have in using these social media, online platforms and ICTs in general.
An important event for the Foundation this year was the successful hosting, together with the Swiss Government and the EU Joint Research Centre, of the 2011 International Crisis Mappers Conference in Geneva. It was the largest ICCM gathering to date.
We continued our rich cooperation with UN ASG and CITO Dr. Soon-Hong Choi to support the implementation of the UN Crisis Information Management Strategy as part of the UN Secretary General’s overall UN ICT strategy. The Foundation also supported UN OCHA in building the Humanitarian Response – Common and Operational Datasets (CODs) Registry to make critical information during a humanitarian crisis more widely available and accessible.
The Foundation developed and carried out training courses in Crisis Information Management (CIM) for multidimensional and multi-stakeholders missions in peacekeeping and peace-building. The content was anchored to new dimensions in peacekeeping and disaster management, including harnessing the potential of new media, the web, Internet and mobile technologies for increased situation awareness.
The work on the ICT4Peace Ushahidi Matrix Plug-in on information validation continued over 2011 and tested during the recent Egyptian elections, as well as the historic first democratic elections in Tunisia.
Late this year, the Foundation underwent an evaluation of its work since 2006 by the Swiss Government. The very useful findings and recommendations reaffirmed the unique role and relevance of the Foundation and will help refine its strategy from 2012 to 2016. We hope to continue to champion the use of ICTs in all aspects of peacebuilding, peacekeeping and crisis management over 2012, and beyond.
With my best wishes,