potential government and nongovernment users of such technologies, USIP will publish a Special Report building on insights from the workshop and identifying the particular capabilities required in a next-generation data-sharing platform to improve coordination in peacebuilding.
According to Melanie Greenberg, president and CEO of the Alliance for Peacebuilding and cochair of the workshop, norms around the creation and use of information sharing1 are changing rapidly. Significantly more data are being generated and communicated, and these data can be analyzed much more quickly and the results disseminated much more broadly than in the past. For example, data generated in the course of our daily lives, such as information shared on social media sites, can be gathered and parsed to shed light on broad societal developments. Greenberg observed that these new technological capabilities to produce, analyze, and disseminate data are generating moral, ethical, and cultural challenges for producers and users alike. (Chapter 2 presents an analysis of these challenges.)
Additional challenges arise because different organizations have different ways of gathering, analyzing, disseminating, and storing data, said the workshop’s other cochair, Elmer Roman, who is oversight executive in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Even if organizations want to cooperate, cultural differences may erect barriers to doing so.
As an example of an organization that has been working to overcome these barriers, Greenberg cited the Alliance for Peacebuilding, which she heads. The Alliance is a platform for 80 organizations working on a very broad range of peacebuilding issues. To build a sustainable peace, these organizations need to cooperate by sharing information, whether they are involved in peacebuilding, defense, food security, health, science, development, democracy building, civil society building, or some other activity. In fragile and chaotic conflict environments, success requires an “inclusive vision” of what peacebuilding needs to accomplish.
Both Roman and Greenberg emphasized that information sharing can be formal or informal, within an organization or among organizations, and within a sector or across sectors. A common element of successful data sharing is a collective vision among the entities involved and some established common objectives so that they can function as a network of distinct but
1 The Roundtable uses information sharing and data sharing interchangeably.