Appendix C
Terms of Reference

The Use of ICT in Peacemaking

National Academy of Engineering


Terms of Reference


January 2007


Summary: The National Academy of Engineering (NAE) proposes to convene a group of experts in diverse fields to consider the role of information and communication technology (ICT) in promoting peace and conflict resolution. The full-day workshop will consider current and emerging technologies and strategies for employing them in conflict management and diplomacy. It will also explore how organizations with a role in promoting peace, like the U.S. Institute of Peace, can most effectively leverage ICT in carrying out their missions.


Background and Rationale: The United States Institute of Peace, the project’s primary funder, is the only national organization with a Congressional mandate to help prevent and resolve violent international conflicts, promote post-conflict stability, and increase peace building capacity worldwide. The Institute’s work is based on best practices and research. Its programs are both analytical and operational. Institute initiatives are currently active in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Sudan, the Niger Delta, the Balkans, Colombia, and Southeast Asia, among other regions. The Institute has asked the NAE to organize and convene a meeting that will facilitate the organization’s efforts to more effectively use ICT in achieving its mission.


The project recognizes the potentially valuable role ICT can play in supporting international development and diplomacy, as well as the need for peacebuilding communities to work collaboratively with science and engineering communities. It leverages the reputation and convening powers of The National Academies, which have a long, distinguished history of examining issues at the nexus of science, technology and public policy for the betterment of humankind.


Objectives: The meeting will have two objectives:

  1. To explore the application of existing and on-the-horizon ICT that can facilitate conflict management (i.e., conflict prevention, mediation, and resolution, as well as post-conflict operations) with greater efficiency and efficacy; and



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Appendix C Terms of Reference The Use of ICT in Peacemaking National Academy of Engineering Terms of Reference January 2007 Summary: The National Academy of Engineering (NAE) proposes to convene a group of experts in diverse fields to consider the role of information and communication technology (ICT) in promoting peace and conflict resolution. The full-day workshop will consider current and emerging technologies and strategies for employing them in conflict management and diplomacy. It will also explore how organizations with a role in promoting peace, like the U.S. Institute of Peace, can most effectively leverage ICT in carrying out their missions. Background and Rationale: The United States Institute of Peace, the project’s primary funder, is the only national organization with a Congressional mandate to help prevent and resolve violent international conflicts, promote post-conflict stability, and increase peace building capacity worldwide. The Institute’s work is based on best practices and research. Its programs are both analytical and operational. Institute initiatives are currently active in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Sudan, the Niger Delta, the Balkans, Colombia, and Southeast Asia, among other regions. The Institute has asked the NAE to organize and convene a meeting that will facilitate the organization’s efforts to more effectively use ICT in achieving its mission. The project recognizes the potentially valuable role ICT can play in supporting international development and diplomacy, as well as the need for peacebuilding communities to work collaboratively with science and engineering communities. It leverages the reputation and convening powers of The National Academies, which have a long, distinguished history of examining issues at the nexus of science, technology and public policy for the betterment of humankind. Objectives: The meeting will have two objectives: 1. To explore the application of existing and on-the-horizon ICT that can facilitate conflict management (i.e., conflict prevention, mediation, and resolution, as well as post-conflict operations) with greater efficiency and efficacy; and 40

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2. To begin to develop an agenda for engaging other organizations in ICT-related conflict management and to explore the possibility of a sustained working group to continue to explore these issues. Planning and Logistics: Meeting planning, including selection of attendees and specification of an agenda, will be overseen by a steering committee of approximately five individuals, including at least one NAE member, who will chair the group. One member of the steering committee will represent the interests of the U.S. Institute of Peace. The committee will conduct its work via telephone conference calls. The meeting will be held on the West Coast at a location convenient to the majority of attendees. An effort will be made to have the meeting space donated as in- kind support. The meeting will begin in the morning and adjourn mid-afternoon, allowing most travelers to arrive and depart on the same day. Invitees will be sent background information and questions to consider in advance of the meeting. Possible Topics for Discussion: A number of discussion topics are possible, including 1. The use of ICT to extend and increase the impact of the education and training missions of peace-building organizations 2. The use of ICT to monitor and improve intelligence about potential and active conflicts 3. The use of ICT to improve communications in such areas as simultaneous translation, text categorization, and security 4. The use of ICT to support “virtual diplomacy” in zones of conflict Attendees: A total of 10 to 15 individuals will be invited to the meeting. It is expected that persons with the following backgrounds will take part: 1. Academic and industrial engineers expert in a variety of sectors, including the ICT sector, simulation and modeling, and gaming 2. Individuals who think creatively about the future of technology and of technology-society interactions 3. Experts in diplomacy and conflict management/peace building 4. Representatives of foundations and government agencies with an interest in encouraging collaboration between the science and engineering communities and peacemaking organizations. 41