Podcast: "Digital Pieces of Peace – Do No Harm, Conflict Sensitivity and Data Responsibility in the Digital Age"

Session Track: Harnessing the digital sphere for peace

New and emerging technologies, data science, and other data-driven methods can bring immense potential to support peacebuilding and humanitarian work. However, we must recognize that these methods come with extreme risk to both the privacy and lives of vulnerable populations if the data is misused or used inappropriately. Although these risks exist across different contexts, the sensitive nature of conflict or violence-affected areas uniquely exacerbates these challenges. In order to “do no harm” while utilizing the potentials of the digital sphere for peace, we must be able to understand and tackle both ethical and technical issues of working with data about crisis-affected people.

Afghanistan is the latest reminder of our urgent need to understand all aspects of merging new technologies with humanitarian, peacebuilding, and development work. As the Taliban seized control of major cities, people grew concerned that the group could use social media and other online information to identify citizens who previously worked for the Afghan security forces, civilian government, or foreign organizations. People still struggle to understand the full scope of the situation left behind by national and international actors and their data-driven projects. Activists are now stressing the risks to Afghans created by all actors who were providing assistance through data and digital tools and calling for greater protection. The situation in Afghanistan is another dire reminder about the need to establish a mechanism that ensures the responsibility of actors in conflict and fragile settings to protect vulnerable populations from both intended and unintended consequences.

Listen to the Digital Pieces of Peace podcast, where guests share their experiences and recommendation on how to ‘do no harm’ in the digital age and how to ensure conflict sensitivity, data and civilian protection in the digital age.

Moderator: Branka Panic NYU CIC Non-Resident Fellow, AI for Peace Founder, Al for Peace

Speaker: Delphine van Solinge Digital Threats Advisor, ICRC

Speaker: Jos Berens Data Policy Officer, UN OCHA Centre for Humanitarian Data

Speaker: Nanjira Sambuli Fellow, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Speaker: Jennifer Easterday Co-Founder & Executive Director, JustPeace Labs

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Apr 12, 2022
Branka Panic
Peace Operations