SENSING AND
SHAPING EMERGING

CONFLICTS

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Report of a Workshop by the
National Academy of Engineering and United States Institute of Peace
Roundtable on Technology, Science, and Peacebuilding

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Andrew Robertson and Steve Olson, Rapporteurs

NATIONAL ACADEMY OF ENGINEERING
OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

UNITED STATES INSTITUTE OF PEACE

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS

Washington, D.C.

www.nap.edu



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Andrew Robertson and Steve Olson, Rapporteurs UNITED STATES INSTITUTE OF PEACE

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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS   500 Fifth Street, NW   Washington, DC 20001 NOTICE: This publication has been reviewed according to procedures approved by the National Academy of Engineering report review process. Publication of signed work signifies that it is judged a competent and useful contribution worthy of public consideration, but it does not imply endorsement of conclusions or recommendations by the National Acad- emy of Engineering. The interpretations and conclusions in such publications are those of the authors and do not purport to present the views of the council, officers, or staff of the National Academy of Engineering. The Roundtable on Technology, Science, and Peacebuilding, the sponsor of the workshop on which this report is based, is supported by funding from the U.S. Department of Defense (JDDM-3663-1), Qualcomm, National Science Foundation (ENG-1136841), U.S. Depart­ ment of Agriculture (59-0790-2-058), U.S. Department of State, and CRDF Global. Any opinions, findings, or conclusions expressed in this publication are those of the workshop participants. International Standard Book Number-13:  978-0-309-28611-4 International Standard Book Number-10:  0-309-28611-5 Copies of this report are available from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street NW, Keck 360, Washington, DC 20001; (888) 624-8373 or (202) 334-3313; online at www.nap.edu. For more information about the National Academy of Engineering, visit the NAE home page at www.nae.edu. Copyright 2013 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America

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The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Charles M. Vest is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsi- bility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scien- tific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Charles M. Vest are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. www.national-academies.org

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The United States Institute of Peace is the global conflict management center for the United States. Created by Congress in 1984 to be independent and nonpartisan, the Institute works to prevent, mitigate, and resolve international conflict through nonviolent means. USIP operates in the world’s most challenging conflict zones, and it leads in professional conflict management and peacebuilding by applying innovative tools, convening experts and stake- holders, supporting policymakers, and providing public education. The Institute translates its on-the-ground experience into knowledge, skills, and resources for policymakers, the US military, government and civilian leaders, nongovernmental organizations, practitioners, and citizens both here and abroad. The Institute’s permanent headquarters and conference center are located at the northwest corner of the National Mall in Washington, DC. The facility also houses the Academy for International Conflict Management and Peacebuilding and the Global Peacebuilding Center. www.usip.org

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WORKSHOP STEERING COMMITTEE Prabhakar Raghavan (Cochair), Vice President of Engineering, Google Lawrence Woocher (Cochair), Research Director, Science Applications International Corporation Dennis King, Senior Humanitarian Affairs Analyst, Humanitarian Information Unit, US Department of State Neil Levine, Director, Office of Conflict Management and Mitigation, US Agency for International Development Patrick Vinck, Research Scientist, Department of Global Health and Population, Harvard Humanitarian Initiative Duncan Watts, Principal Researcher, Microsoft Research Staff Genève Bergeron, Research Assistant, US Institute of Peace Sheldon Himelfarb, Director, US Institute of Peace Greg Pearson, Senior Program Officer, National Academy of Engineering Proctor P. Reid, Director, NAE Program Office Andrew Robertson, Senior Program Officer, US Institute of Peace Frederick S. Tipson, Special Advisor, US Institute of Peace v

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Acknowledgments T his summary has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Academies. The purpose of the independent review is to provide candid and critical comments to assist the NAE in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manu- script remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We thank the following individuals for their review of this report: Dennis King, Senior Humanitarian Affairs Analyst, Humanitarian Information Unit, US Department of State Jason Matheny, Program Manager, Open Source Indicators Program, Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity Joseph Bock, Director of Global Health Training, Eck Institute for Global Health, Notre Dame University Rita Grossman-Vermaas, Senior International Policy Advisor, Logos Technologies Inc. Patrick Meier, Director of Social Innovation, Qatar Computing Research Group Sharon Morris, Director, Conflict Management Group, Mercy Corps vii

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viii ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Although the reviewers listed above provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the views expressed in the report, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Venkatesh (Venky) Narayanamurti, Benjamin Peirce Professor of Technology and Public Policy, Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Science, and director, Science, Technology and Public Policy Program, Harvard Kennedy School. Appointed by NAE, he was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authors and NAE.

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Contents 1 INTRODUCTION AND THEMES 1 The Role of Information in Sensing and Shaping Conflict, 3 Archetypal Challenges, 5 Themes of the Workshop, 6 2 THE TECHNOLOGICAL POTENTIAL 11 The Technological Capabilities, 11 Perspective from a Social Scientist, 13 Big Data for Conflict Prevention, 15 Technological Challenges for Peacebuilding, 18 Discussion, 20 3 USES OF TECHNOLOGY IN THE FIELD 23 Election Monitoring, 23 Crowdsourcing in Kenya, 26 Technology in Sri Lanka, 27 Discussion, 30 4 THE MISUSE OF TECHNOLOGIES 33 Exerting Control over Information, 33 The New Social Realities of Cyberspace, 36 Discussion, 40 ix

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x CONTENTS 5 MAJOR ISSUES DISCUSSED AT THE WORKSHOP 43 From Sensing to Shaping, 43 The Digital Divide, 45 The Role of the Private Sector, 45 The Need for Unity, 47 Looking at the Big Picture for Peacebuilding and Technology, 48 Appendixes A Agenda 51 B Attendees 55