The ICT4Peace Foundation explores and champions the use of ICTs for crisis management, humanitarian aid
and peacebuilding, and offers insights, strategic guidance and conduct after-action
reviews of ICTs designed and deployed for such purposes.
History of the Foundation and FAQ
The ICT4Peace project was launched in 2004 with the publication of a book by the UN ICT Task Force on the practice and theory of ICT in the conflict cycle and peace building and the approval of para. 36 of the Tunis Commitment of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in 2005. The ICT4Peace Foundation was established in spring 2006. In March 2007, the ICT4Peace Advisory Board under the Chairmanship of President Marti Ahtisaari decided to focus its work primarily on improving crisis information management by the international community in general, and by using better ICT.
Subsequently ICT4Peace signed an MOU with OCHA to help organize the second OCHA Symposium on crisis information management and to bring the results of this symposium to the political level including with member states. The ICT4Peace Foundation then consulted the concerned UN organisations and important member states in order to organize in October 2007 a High Level meeting hosted by the former Permanent Representative of Switzerland to the UN in New York, Ambassador Peter Maurer, and chaired by President Martti Ahtisaari.
As a result of the meeting, ICT4Peace Foundation was invited by the UN ASG/CITO, Dr. Soon-hong Choi to undertake a Stocktaking exercise of UN crisis information management activities, capabilities and best practice. The results of the Stocktaking report indicated, that- although having developed a number of promising Crisis Information Management “point solutions”- many tools, solutions and processes within the UN are unknown and isolated from one another. A need for increased strategic guidance, best-practice identification, interoperability and most critically, inter-agency best practice sharing was clearly brought out in the stocktaking exercise.
Furthermore, ICT4Peace has started to provide capacity building for (training) institutions on the ground (training, curriculum development).
Activities and programmes the Foundation is carrying out
The ICT4Peace Foundation aims to raise awareness about the WSIS Tunis Commitment and promote its practical realization in all stages of crisis management. The ICT4Peace Foundation focuses on Original research and Policy development; Advocacy on key issues; Advisory Services and Training; Targeted networking. It also looks at, inter alia:
Who else is involved in the ICT4Peace Foundation’s work?
How can I get involved in the ICT4Peace Foundation’s work?
If your organisation is using ICTs in an innovative way to deal with conflict management based on our understanding of and approach to ICT4Peace , we would like to hear from you.
What is the history of the ICT4Peace Foundation?
The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) 2003
The Declaration of Principles and Plan of Action of WSIS Phase 1 emphasized the potential of ICTs to help achieve the Millennium Development Goals of the United Nations. However, in many countries, armed conflict undermines progress towards the Millennium Development Goals. After the WSIS meeting in Geneva, Daniel Stauffacher (Chairman of the ICT4Peace Foundation, in his capacity as Ambassador of Switzerland to the WSIS) held a number of meetings including consultations with HPCR at Harvard and CMI to set up the ICT4Peace Project, with the support of the Swiss and Nowegian Governments, the Francophonie as well as private Foundations and hosted by the University for Peace, Geneva Office, as a vehicle for the promotion of ideas on ICT for conflict mitigation and peacebuilding. In 2004, the ICT4Peace Project held a series of meetings, including side meetings at:
This process resulted in the research and publication of the report “Information and Communication Technology for Peace: the role of ICT in preventing, responding to and recovering from conflict”. The ICT4Peace project, after its ground-breaking research and advocacy successes in 2005, then established itself as a Swiss Foundation in Geneva in early 2006. This Foundation will serve as a hub for research, advocacy and networking on the topic of ICT use to prevent, respond to and recover from conflict.
ICT4Peace Foundation representatives also attended:
World Summit on the Information Society 2005
The second phase of the World Summit on the Information Society occured on November 16-18 2005 in Tunis. Paragraph 36 of the Tunis Commitment states that:
“We value the potential of ICTs to promote peace and to prevent conflict which, inter alia, negatively affects achieving development goals. ICTs can be used for identifying conflict situations through early warning systems preventing conflicts, promoting their peaceful resolution, supporting humanitarian action, including protection of civilians in armed conflicts, facilitating peacekeeping missions, and assisting post conflict peace-building and reconstruction.”
This paragraph was proposed and introduced to the WSIS negotiations by Daniel Stauffacher (Chairman of the ICT4Peace Foundation, in his capacity as Ambassador of Switzerland to the WSIS) on behalf of the Swiss Government and with the support of the Government of Tunisia, the host of the WSIS in Tunisia in 2005, and with the support and feedback of many delegations.
The ICT4Peace report “Information and Communication Technology for Peace – The Role of ICT in Preventing, Responding to and Recovering from Conflict ” was launched at the panel hosted by ICT4Peace at the WSIS on 18 November 2005.
You can purchase this report from Amazon here.
Panel on “ICT for Peace” at WSIS 2005
The panelists were a collection of oustanding individuals from diverse backgrounds:
The panel moderator was Hilary Bowker, former CNN anchor. The panel was chaired by Daniel Stauffacher. The report was introduced by William Drake, Paul Currion and Julia Steinberger.
Paragraph 36 was introduced to the WSIS diplomatic negotiations in 2004 by Daniel Stauffacher, Chairman of the ICT4Peace Foundation, and former Swiss Ambassador to the World Summit on the Information Society (2003 in Geneva and 2005 in Tunis), on behalf of the Swiss and Tunisian Governments for its adoption as part of the WSIS Tunis Commitment in 2005.
The ICT4Peace Foundation was subsequently established in spring 2006 to raise awareness about the Tunis Commitment and promote its practical realization in all stages of crisis management. The ICT4Peace Foundation focuses on Original research and Policy development; Advocacy on key issues; Advisory Services and Training; Targeted networking. It also looks at, inter alia:
In October 2006, the ICT4Peace Foundation was invited to a partnership with the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) and the UN Global Alliance for ICT and Development (GAID) as the focal point for overseeing and promoting the spirit of Paragraph 36 of the WSIS Tunis Declaration.
Key initiatives and programmes to date