3.3 Technology Context Checklist

The following checklist includes a non-exhaustive series of questions that could be posed to enhance gender-sensitive conflict analysis in terms of the use and place of ICTs in a conflict situation. Not all questions will be relevant in all circumstances, and some circumstances may require further nuanced analysis. This initial list of questions is intended to be a starting point to incorporate ICT considerations in gender-sensitive conflict analysis frameworks and methods. 

Below each set of questions is a potential list of sources where some of this information could be found. It is indicative only, and in many instances, these documents may not exist for the countries or settings in question.

We invite you to consider these questions for the context in which you are working, and answer any that seem relevant. 

Situation Profile

  • What digital technologies do civilians (women and men) have access to in the country / setting in question?
      • What is the internet penetration rate?
      • Is sex-disaggregated data available? Is there a gendered imbalance in digital literacy? Are women impacted disproportionately when it comes to access to the internet?
      • What are the primary uses of smart phones / devices in-country? For example:
          • Verbal communication (i.e. non-smart communication)
          • Internet use (social media etc.)
          • Banking (e.g. m-pesa)
          • Accessing markets (e.g., for local / national / cross-border commercial trading purposes)
          • Other?
      • Which social media platforms are used the most in the country / region in question? Which languages are most predominantly used?
    • Are there reports of citizens / civil society groups including women-led civil society groups using digital technologies to mobilise / participate? If so, which online tools do they use?
    • Are there reports of government authorities censoring or putting in place limitations on the freedom of speech of individuals on the Internet? Are there protections in place against censorship, etc.?
    • Are there reports of digital technologies being used as an opportunity to amplify backlash against women?
    • Are there reports of government authorities using blocks against specific online services, throttled or shutdown part or all of the Internet? Are there reports of digital technologies being used to deepen the exclusion of women and undermine women’s participation and rights?
    • Are there protections in place against such practices?
    • Are there reports of gender-based hate speech?

    Possible sources of information

    • Toolkit on Digital Technologies and Mediation in Armed Conflict 
    • ITU’s Global Cybersecurity Index, and other publications on cybersecurity, developments in ICT, emergency telecommunications
    • Local and international news organisations
    • National cyber/digital security strategies (see ITU Repository; UNIDIR Cyber Policy Portal)
    • UNIDIR publications on ICT / digital technologies and international security
    • In-country national cyber security agency
    • National CERT / CSIRT
    • NGOs / CSOs, including specialised INGOs (see Annex B)
    • Threat intelligence agency reports (for examples of previous uses of ICT) (See Annex B)
    • Telecommunications companies/ internet service providers
    • Local business associations

    Gender Aware Stakeholder Mapping

    • What is the online presence of the major actors in the conflict (both individuals and parties / factions / informal groups / external third parties)? What is the gender composition of these actors? (Please use sex-disaggregated data, where available, to answer the below guiding questions.)
        • Where do they have presence (which social media / communication platforms)?
        • Are there any notable absences on social media (either of individuals or groups not present on the most commonly used platforms, or are entire platforms ignored)?
        • What is the size and make-up of their followers or reach?
        • Which social media (or other) networks do they connect with their followers on, and how do they disseminate their message?
        • What are the themes of the messages they typically disseminate on social media? Do any overlap with root causes, proximate causes or triggers of conflict? How might these messages be mobilised in conflict?
        • Do any of the messages address underlying gender dynamics in society, including discriminatory or exclusionary practices, as part of addressing the root causes of the conflict?
        • Do they use different social media accounts for different purposes?
        • Do they regularly facilitate the sharing of dis- / misinformation?
        • Is there an overview or analysis on the different roles of women and men, from combatants to peacemakers, and how these have changed due to the conflict?
      • Of the major actors in the conflict, do any have ownership / interests (including through friends, family, political or other connections) of digital technology firms that may be used or targeted in conflict?

      Possible sources of information

      • Social media platforms
      • Local and international news organisations
      • Threat intelligence agency reports (for examples of previous uses of ICT)
      • ITU’s Global Cybersecurity Index and other publications on cybersecurity, developments in ICT, emergency telecommunications.
      • In-country national cyber security agency
      • NGOs / CSOs, including specialised INGOs 
      • Local business associations

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