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Data for Peace Conference 2023 Program

Data for Peace Conference 2023 • Day 4

Time (ET)

Thursday October 19

08:00 – 09:00
Panel Discussion

Session 1: Data and Analysis for Frontline Conflict, Atrocity Prevention and Response

There is a notable surge in the collection, analysis, and utilization of a seemingly endless amount of information that pertains to the precipitation, escalation, and mitigation of violence. Yet, despite continued efforts to gather data for conflict and atrocity early warning systems, significant data gaps persist, hindering the ability of organizations to detect and/or respond to early warning signs within the communities they serve. There remains a significant gap between the indicators and analytic methods used by high-income countries and academic communities and those utilized by frontline practitioners. This panel convenes practitioners from organizations that operationalize conflict early warning systems to discuss current data collection methods, analytics, and the lingering gaps and challenges that persist.

Organizer: Harvard Humanitarian Initiative
09:15 – 09:45
Short Presentation


Meeting ID: 949 2479 1616
Passcode: 959525
Session 2: Dynamic Early Warning and Action Model

Policy makers engaged in preventative action need to navigate the trade-off between being too active (and thus wasting resources on crises that never materialize), and not being active enough (and thus acting too late). We have developed a policy evaluation tool to guide policy-makers that builds on our existing conflict forecast. By examining the dynamics of conflict in the past with a Hidden Markov Model, we distill the cycle of peace and conflict into a spectrum of 12 risk stages that represent the underlying severity of the situation in a given country. This allows us to simulate policies with realistically imprecise forecasts, typical conflict dynamics, realistic future damages, various levels of policy effectiveness and policy costs. Our approach shows that, for a large range of assumptions on the effectiveness and costs of policies, interventions in high risk situations yield the highest benefit per cost ratio. These ratios are extremely large, hinting at the huge economic and humanitarian benefits of early action.

Organizer: Conflictforecast

Hannes Mueller
Margherita Philipp
10:00 – 11:00
Panel Discussion
Session 3: INFORM WARNING: Quantified, multi-hazard information to support anticipatory action

Organizer: UN OCHA

Andrew Thow, Coordinator, INFORM UNOCHA
Sun-joo Lee, Data science specialist, UNDP
11:15 – 11:45
Short Presentation
Session 4: How to Change the World from Space

The use of geospatial data is a game-changer in conflict prevention, peacemaking, and peacebuilding efforts. It serves multiple critical purposes, from detecting water shortages via satellite imagery to address climate change challenges, to monitoring ceasefires and facilitating humanitarian analyses. This panel discussion will bring together practitioners and scholars to explore emerging trends and potential innovations in utilizing geospatial data for conflict resolution and peace efforts. The panel will showcase practical examples of geospatial data in the peace and security context, delve into details on technical advancements, and share best practices in leveraging open-source earth observation data for peace and conflict-related initiatives.

Organizer: UN DPPA

Rawaa Khalid, Geospatial consultant for the UN in Iraq
Trevor Skaggs, Climate Resilience and Disaster Response Lead at Element 84
Einar Bjørgo, Director of the United Nations Satellite Centre (UNOSAT)
Andrew Zolli,Chief Impact Officer at Planet
Angelina Savchuk, Information Manager, 510, Netherlands Red Cross

Moderator: Martin Waehlisch, Team Leader, UN DPPA
12:00 – 12:30
Short Presentation
Session 5: Climate and Migration in East and the Horn of Africa: A spatial analysis of migrants' flow data

The drivers of human displacement are becoming increasingly complex, ranging from conflict to economic insecurity, heightened mobility, and, of escalating importance, climate change. In an effort to understand the complex variables that influence migration, the authors, in collaboration with International Organization for Migration in the East and Horn of Africa, spatially analyzed data from the region’s Displacement Tracking Matrix. Subsequently, open source environmental and historical disaster and conflict datasets were used to explore the relationships between these variables. This presentation will summarize the outcomes of these analyses, discuss challenges and limitations, and provide insight into how valuable a spatial methods tool can be in understanding the intersection of climate, conflict, and migration.

Organizer: Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, Humanitarian Geoanalytics Program

Speaker: Erica L Nelson, MD, PhM, MAS, Co-Director, Humanitarian Geoanalytics Program
12:45 – 13:45
Panel Discussion

Session 6: Listening for Peace: Local feedback loops and peacebuilding success

Several Scholars of peacebuilding argue that the effectiveness of external peacebuilding interventions is at least partly determined by local perceptions about their legitimacy, and the integration of this perceptual data into decision-making. These findings are relevant to the implementation of the Global Fragility Act, UN peacekeeping missions, and other donor-sponsored conflict stabilization initiatives. This panel will explore ideas to operationalize this method of data
collection and analytics, and fits into two conference themes: Data Gaps/Needs and Data for Peace at the UN. The panel brings together scholars and practitioners who have studied and implemented these methods in fragile and conflict contexts.

Organizer: Center for Global Development and US State Department's Office of Foreign Assistance

Dr. Susanna Campbell, Associate Professor, School of International Service, American University and Director, Research on International Policy Implementation Lab (RIPIL)
Bushra Hassan, MEL Advisor, UN Peacebuilding Support Office
Ruth Rhoads Allen, President, CDA Collaborative Learning Projects
Dr. Patrick Vinck, Assistant Professor, Harvard University and Director, Peace and Human Rights Data program

Moderator: Dr. Michelle Sieff, Evidence in Policy Fellow from the Center for Global Development detailed to the State Department’s Office of Foreign Assistance
17:00 – 18:00
Panel Discussion
Session 7: Identifying Patterns in Complex and Fragmented Conflict Landscapes: Papua New Guinea

Many countries are experiencing increasingly complex and fragmented conflicts. Poor documentation and over-simplification of community grievances along ethnic, tribal, clan, or identity lines often contribute to a sense of randomness and unpredictability in violence. Understanding patterns of violence can not only contribute to early warning systems that identify emerging threats before they escalate, but help local leaders identify more targeted and effective intervention points. Analytical methods play a pivotal role in comprehending patterns of conflict, yet determining the most suitable approach is essential. This panel explores analytical techniques, data collection strategies, replicability of analysis, and the dangers of extrapolating findings across different groups, looking at the case of Papua New Guinea. While Papua New Guinea’s highly localized, enduring, and fragmented fighting has posed particular challenges to data collection and analysis, panelists will discuss innovative analytic methodologies that are being used to clarify our understanding of violence.

Organizer: US Department of State, Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations

Laura Sorica, Research Manager, Armed Conflict and Location Event Data's (ACLED) East Asia Pacific desk
William Kipongi, Research Officer, National Security and International Relations Research Program at the Papua New Guinea (PNG) National Research Institute
Dr. Miranda Forsyth, Professor, School of Regulation and Global Governance, College of Asia and Pacific, Australian National University
Dr. Luke Condra, Associate Professor, Public and International Affairs Program Director, University of Pittsburgh

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