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New app lets public help map disasters, conflicts and outbreaks

By Lin Taylor LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) — Swiping right or tapping on a mobile phone are not typical ways of helping poor communities, but a new app launched by a medical charity on Friday aims to use technology to help aid workers map areas at risk of conflict, disasters and disease. Using the latest

Facebook’s Free Basics Incubator

Facebook and its Internet.org initiative (now called ‘Free Basics’), have faced their fair share of criticism, but I’m guessing that neither is going away anytime soon. So, here’s something that may be of interest to folks working with and/or designing mobile tools for lower income populations or those with lower end phones. Praekelt Foundation is partnering with Facebook on an open source toolkit of technologies and strategies that will open the Free Basics platform to more organizations and/or tech developers to adapt existing services or create new ones for distribution through the web and the Free Basics platform. Praekelt Foundation will be running this incubator for Free Basics. It will provide 100 social change organizations with tools, service and support worth a total of $200,000

Community Survey: Use of Digital Clinical Resources

Digital clinical resources are on- and off-line tools that are used in the context of medical education and/or care delivery with the overarching goal of Read More

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Doing good? Or do-gooder?

We all like to think our work makes a difference, even if we’re not really sure if it does. I’m well known for ‘doing good in the world’ yet even I question what that really means, or who precisely where might be better off in some way because of my chosen career path. For many people, feeling like they’re doing good is likely enough. For me, it’s not.


In celebration of an approach less travelled

I’m in San Francisco this week on a surprise trip to collect an award for a product I designed and built over a decade ago. The fact the early work of FrontlineSMS is still being recognised twelve years on speaks volumes to the approach, and the impact it had – not only in the hands of users themselves, but also in the minds of others looking to apply technology for social good. It struck a chord with an emerging narrative that said we should build appropriate tools that genuinely empowered the people closest to the problem, and that our job was, if anything, to build those tools, hand them over and then get the hell out of the way. If you look at the tweets from the many ICT4D and social innovation conferences today, this remains an approach popular within our sector. But while tweeting and speaking are one thing, doing is another


ICT4Peace presents Tech Against Terrorism project at OSCE in Vienna

ICT4Peace Foundation introduces the UN CTED-ICT4Peace Tech Against Terrorism Project at 2017 OSCE-wide Counter-Terrorism Conference On 23-24 May 2017 David Cliff and Daniel Stauffacher of ICT4Peace were invited to participate in the 2017 OSCE-wide Counter-Terrorism Conference on “Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism and Radicalization that Lead to Terrorism”. Hundreds of representatives of governments, civil society, and academia attended the Hofburg Palace in the heart of the Austrian capital. David Cliff spoke on the first day and introduced the UN CTED-ICT4Peace – Tech Against Terrorism project (www.techagainstterrorismproject.org), explaining to the hall that there are currently three main strands of the newly created project underway: In 2017 UN CTED and ICT4Peace are organising workshops especially for tech startup companies in London in partnership with Facebook, Google, Twitter, Microsoft and others and plan to extend this work beyond the UK in due course including other locations in the Middle East, Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas, to address the issue of preventing the use of ICTs for terrorist purposes; The project will also facilitate the provision of operational support to technology startups on both the technical and legal aspects (e.g


Field report: Workshops on strategic communications & CVE in Balkans

As we posted recently, the ICT4Peace Foundation, with CIJA US in cooperation with BIRN and Talks 2.0 is conducting a series of interactive, hands-on workshops in the Balkans to support community leaders, civil society, independent media and technologists with online communication strategies to effectively respond to online dangerous content in their communities. With direct guidance and feedback, participants leave the workshops with practical ideas about how to carry their project ideas forward. Sanjana Hattotuwa, Special Advisor at the Foundation, is one of the two lead trainers for these workshops


One last throw of the dice.

I’ve always found the global development system frustrating. It was the 1980’s when it first got my attention, with suffering and extreme poverty dominating my daily news feed. The Ethiopian famine in 1985 was the turning point, forcing me to seriously question why a sector awash with money and resources could have so little visible impact (and when it does, how it struggles to effectively communicate the change). While I still don’t have all the answers I think I know a lot more about what needs to be fixed.


Promoting Norms of Responsible Behaviour in Cyberspace

The Cyber Security Agency (CSA) of Singapore, in collaboration with ICT4Peace Foundation, held the inaugural ASEAN Cyber Norms Workshop in Singapore from 8 to 9 May 2017 under the auspices of Singapore’s ASEAN Cyber Capacity Programme. This Workshop aimed at launching a regional conversation on the promotion of(1) norms of responsible behaviour by states and non-state actors in the cyberspace, and (2) the use of ICTs for peaceful purposes by providing an opportunity for participants from ASEAN countries to receive updates on and discuss significant recent developments in international cybersecurity norms discussions, including those at the UN Group of Governmental Experts (UN GGE) on Developments in the field of Information and Telecommunications in the context of International Security.


Strategic Communications Workshops on Dangerous Content Response in the Balkans

Based on extensive experience and work around countering violent extremism online in Asia, the ICT4Peace Foundation’s Special Advisor Sanjana Hattotuwa was invited to be a key resource person and trainer in a series of workshops in the Balkans around effectively countering extremism, hate speech and intolerance online. These workshops, organized by CIJA US in cooperation with BIRN and Talks 2.0 aims to support community leaders, civil society, independent media and technologists with online communication strategies to effectively respond to online dangerous content in their communities. With direct guidance and feedback, participants will leave the workshop with practical ideas about how to carry their project ideas forward


Eugene L. Lawler Award for our work in mobile

A couple of weeks ago I received the surprising (and wonderful) news that I had been selected as the latest recipient of the Eugene L. Lawler Award for Humanitarian Contributions within Computer Science. The Award is given by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) every two years to a group or individual who has made a significant contribution through the use of computing technology. The ACM is the world’s largest educational and scientific computing society, uniting computing educators, researchers and professionals to inspire dialogue, share resources and address the field’s challenges.


ICT4Peace on Tech against Terrorism at 2017 Lomonosov Moscow State University Conference in…

Adam Hadley and Daniel Stauffacher from ICT4Peace participated on 24 April 2017 in the 2017 International Forum and Scientific Conference of the International Information Security Research Consortium in Garmisch — Partenkirchen, Germany, hosted by Lomonosov Moscow State University Institute of Information Security Issues. ICT4Peace is a member the Consortium.


ICT4Peace on ICTs and Human Rights Protection

ICT4Peace was invited by the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHRs) to participate in the consultations on its Management Plan 2018-2021. The comments of ICT4Peace’s Sanjana Hattotuwa in response to the questions posed by OHCHR can be found here and are as the follows: I. From your perspective what are the challenges and opportunities for positive human rights change in the current global context?


Turning point.

I remember that morning well. A week or so earlier I’d been informed via a random phone call that a group of Nigerians would be monitoring their forthcoming Presidential elections using FrontlineSMS. There had been frantic activity ever since, culminating in press releases and text messages with Bill Thompson, emails with Jon Fildes, and a Skype call with Gareth Mitchell – all journalists connected with the BBC. With the election only a couple of days away, the story had to break now else we’d miss the chance and it would no longer be news.


Swiss “Partners in Dialogue” panel on “Geopolitics and Cyberspace: Current Risks and…

ICT4Peace’s Daniel Stauffacher was invited by the Mission of Switzerland to the European Union and the Mission of Switzerland to NATO in Brussels to moderate a high-level panel on “Geopolitics and Cyberspace: current Risks and Challenges” on 30 March 2017 in Brussels. The Swiss ‘Partners in Dialogue’ discussion evening aimed to bring together high-profile decision-makers from Nato and EU as well as Switzerland to deepen the discussion on cyber risks. The following experts participated in the discussion: Mr


Workshop on strategic social media communications in Myanmar

Sanjana Hattotuwa, Special Advisor at the ICT4Peace Foundation, was tasked with the design and leading the delivery of a bootcamp workshop for seventeen individuals, comprising of six different teams, from across Myanmar, as part of a social media fellowship programme supported by Phandeeyar, an award winning innovation lab that is spearheading the development of Myanmar’s tech ecosystem. In various capacities, Sanjana has worked or interacted with Phandeeyar’s outreach and training programs on social media, countering violent extremism, social media verification and other related aspects for over two years. The social media fellowship programme, which will last five months, saw the selection of six teams from over thirty that had applied, interested in working around issues related to countering violent extremism, social justice, the freedom of expression, youth advocacy, as well as tackling fake news and the spread of hate speech.


Tech Against Terrorism launches to build bridges between technology companies and governments

(BRUSSELS) A new initiative launches this week at RightsCon to help tech startups counter the use of technology to support terrorism. Tech Against Terrorism, a joint project between The United Nations Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) and the Swiss NGO ICT4Peace will provide them with tools and tactics, the ability to learn from each other, and global networking and other opportunities to engage with governments more effectively. Tech businesses are under pressure to prevent their platforms from being used for terrorist purposes, and to provide access to law enforcement and intelligence agencies.


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