Embedding technology in peacebuilding programs

We believe there is great power in democratising technology design. That’s why we work with peacebuilders who want to introduce technology to their programs. Our approach takes organizations from a vague idea of how technology might increase their impact to a concrete pilot to supporting a sustainable technology platform or strategy. We have supported donors, international organizations and local NGOs delivering workshops to develop concrete ideas, research on appropriate entry points for technology, user-centered design processes, product management to develop a tool, and on the ground testing for a prototype.

The approach we take with an organization depends on their needs. Sometimes we are very hands-on, accompanying a process by providing day to day project management. Other times we are very light-touch, providing tailored training and remote technical advice. All of our technical support is grounded in research, tailored to the specific context, and draws on our extensive network of contacts.

british_council_logoInnovative Peacebuilding in Syria
In January 2016, the British Council commissioned Build Up to map current peacetech initiatives responding to the Syrian crisis and consider options for future work using technology for peacebuilding and development. The report ‘Innovative Peacebuilding in Syria: a scoping study of the strategic use of technology to build peace in the Syrian context’, which outlines the outcomes of the research, represents the first and only such mapping to date.

Read more about this project and download the research report.

eu-flagWhole-of-Society Conflict Prevention and Peacebuilding
The London School of Economics has concluded a grant agreement with the European Commission to conduct research into the EU’s conflict prevention work. As part of this research project, Build Up is leading the assessment of and recommendations for innovative and appropriate use of ICTs within conflict prevention and peacebuilding, with a particular emphasis on the EU’s role in relation to ICTs.

Read more about this project and download our scoping paper.

mahallaeCivic Engagement in Cyprus
Mahallae is a digital neighbourhood for civic engagement developed by Cypriot civil society and innovators from the Euro-Mediterranean region. Mahallae was funded and implemented by UNDP-ACT, who engaged Build Up to advise and accompany the project since its inception until June 2015. Mahallae was later handed over to the University of Cyprus, who Build Up is currently advising on strategy and project management for the platform.

You can visit the Mahallae platform here.

aswatAswat Faeela (Active Voices) Syria Program
The British Council Syria team is implementing a youth leadership project to develop young Syrians’ social leadership skills and capacity through practical action both inside Syria, as well as in countries affected by the Syrian Crisis, and to give them a voice in national and international discourse about peacebuilding and community resilience. Build Up is involved in supporting the introduction of a training component on new technologies in the curriculum. The aim is to supporting tech-enabled processes that facilitate vertical and horizontal connections to enable participants to have a stronger voice in national and international discussions on conflict and peacebuilding in Syria.

somaliaSomali Region Research & Technology Support
With the support of Interpeace, three local research organizations – the Academy for Peace and Development, the Heritage Institute for Policy Studies and the Puntland Development Research Center – are introducing technology-enabled solutions to increase participation in their peacebuilding work. Build Up supported the selection of adequate technology, provides tailored training, and works with the organizations to design methodologies for using these new technologies.

Read about participatory polling, one sub-set of this project.

downloadNews That Moves
In 2015, Internews launched NewsThatMoves, a news website for people who are displaced or seeking asylum, especially in Greece and the Balkans, that produces independent, verified information people can use. Internews contracted Build Up to design, develop and launch the NewsThatMoves site and related social media campaigns. We did this until August 2016; the site is now entirely run by Internews.

The site has been recognised as a critical resource for refugees. You can see ithere.

peaceapp_logos_newDigital Games to Prevent Violence
PEACEapp was a global competition to promote digital games and gamified apps as venues for dialogue and conflict management. The competition was funded and convened by the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations and the United Nations Development Program in 2014 – 2015. Over 100 submissions from 42 different countries tackled different aspects of peacebuilding and cross-cultural dialogue in engaging and innovative ways. Build Up coordinated the implementation and curation of the competition.

Read more about the competition.

sudiaSupport to Sudanese Civil Society
The Sudanese Development Initiative SUDIA actively incorporates technology into its peacebuilding and civil society empowerment programs. It runs a Community Communications System that combines SMS, online mapping and radio to disseminate information in remote communities at risk of conflict. Build Up supported the design and maintenance of this system, as well as collaborated on training for civil society.

Read more about this project.

glyn-cochCivic Crowdfunding Research Project
The CCRP advances socially-grounded research into the use of crowdfunding for projects that serve communities. It published the first study of civic crowdfunding, covering platforms in Brazil, Spain, the US and the UK. Build Up works with partners to analyze how alternative financing models, including donation and investment-based crowdfunding, can support their work.

Find out more about this project.