Questions about the promises and dangers of technology have recently dominated headlines—but less often covered are the stories of practitioners and start-ups leveraging their know-how to build peace. On May 31, the Justice Sector Training, Research and Coordination Program and the U.S. Institute of Peace hosted a symposium to tackle the difficult questions of how technology can be used to strengthen rule of law, security, community engagement, and relationships between states and the people they serve in developing and conflict-affected areas.

This included a series of expert panels on technology and rule of law, and an exciting networking session with local entrepreneurs that are driving technology forward to meet peacebuilders' needs. Review the conversation on Twitter with #RuleofLawTech.

Welcoming Remarks

Nancy Lindborg
President, United States Institute of Peace

Harry Bader
Acting Executive Director, U.S. Global Development Lab, U.S. Agency for International Development

Hamid Khan
Deputy Director, Rule of Law Collaborative, University of South Carolina

Session One: Innovations in Law Enforcement: Digital Investigative Analysis & Forensic Science: Advances and Setbacks

Lindsay Freeman, Moderator
Human Rights Center Research Fellow, School of Law, University of California, Berkeley

Mark D. Mogle
Deputy Assistant Director for Forensics, International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program, U.S. Department of Justice

Mark Grantz
Assistant to the Special Agent in Charge, Washington Field Office, U.S. Secret Service

Joe Varani
Digital Investigative Analyst, Cybercrime Lab, U.S. Department of Justice

Exhibitors

Keynote Address

Luis C. deBaca
Former Ambassador-at-Large to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons and Former Director Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking (SMART) U.S. Department of Justice

Session Two: Innovations in Engagement: From Mobile Apps to Social Media

Rohini SrihariModerator
Chief Data Scientist, PeaceTech Lab

Jeffrey Aresty
President, InternetBar.org

Karen Naimer
Director, Program on Sexual Violence in Conflict Zones, Physicians for Human Rights

Antoine Heuty
Founder and CEO, Ulula LLC

Zaid Zaid
Public Policy, Strategic Response, Facebook, Inc.

Session Three: Innovations in E-Governance: From Case Management to Consensus Building

Andrew SolomonModerator
Senior Rule of Law Advisor, U.S. Agency for International Development

Jeff Apperson
Vice President, National Center for State Courts

Julia Glidden
General Manager, IBM Global Business Services - Global Government Industry

Nino Vardosanidze
Senior Legislative and Oversight Manager, Good Governance Initiative, Tetra Tech ARD (Republic of Georgia)

Related Publications

A Sahel City’s Residents Take the Lead on Justice and Security

A Sahel City’s Residents Take the Lead on Justice and Security

Thursday, March 4, 2021

By: Abdoul Aziz Abouzeidi Sanoussi

A community here in Niger’s capital city is answering a security problem common across the Sahel. Nigeriens suffer violence by extremist organizations, drug smugglers, human traffickers—and the hazards of COVID. Yet Niger, one of the poorest countries in the world, has few financial resources to respond to this insecurity. So at little cost, a community here in Niamey has found ways to improve its own security in partnership with the local government. This has been critical to help the community improve safety despite COVID, floods and, most recently, the tensions of a national election.

Type: Blog

Justice, Security & Rule of Law

Months After Protests, Nigeria Needs Police Accountability

Months After Protests, Nigeria Needs Police Accountability

Thursday, February 25, 2021

By: Emily Cole

In Nigeria and more than a dozen nations—the United States, Brazil and Japan are others—public protests erupted in the past year against police brutality. Across the globe, police violence traumatizes the marginalized, spares the powerful and remains unaddressed until the abuse is illuminated to broad public view. While brutality is typically rooted among a minority of officers, it persists because weak systems of police accountability offer impunity, even to repeat offenders. In Nigeria, as in other countries, the solution will require building strong accountability mechanisms—both within police agencies and externally, in the communities they serve.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Justice, Security & Rule of Law; Democracy & Governance

Global Fragility Act: A Chance to Reshape International Security Assistance?

Global Fragility Act: A Chance to Reshape International Security Assistance?

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

By: Calin Trenkov-Wermuth, Ph.D.; Paul M. Bisca

When the new U.S. administration gets to work, domestic priorities will be front and center on the agenda. Preventing state fragility and violent extremism abroad may seem less urgent. But implementing the Global Fragility Act (GFA)—which aims to fulfill those goals—should remain a top priority. Successfully advancing the GFA would directly benefit U.S. national security and help establish a more values-driven foreign policy. To this end, the United States should work with allies to create a global architecture for security sector assistance built on principles of aid effectiveness adapted from development financing. A U.S.-brokered international consensus on security assistance would help stabilize fragile states, prevent violence, and increase the value of dollars spent on the GFA.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Justice, Security & Rule of Law; Fragility & Resilience

Amid Sahel’s Crises, a Community in Niger Builds Peace

Amid Sahel’s Crises, a Community in Niger Builds Peace

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

By: Emily Cole; James Rupert

The 135 million people of Africa’s Sahel region work with thin resources as they labor to stabilize their countries against layers of crises—extremist violence, the COVID pandemic and natural disasters. But in one of the world’s poorest regions and countries, a community in Niger’s capital city has united to produce what can seem like a small miracle of self-reliance. With the simple tools of community meetings, cellphones and voluntarism, a network of residents worked with police services and officials to help contain COVID, prevent violence, reduce crime—and even save residents from a disastrous flood.

Type: Blog

Fragility & Resilience; Justice, Security & Rule of Law

View All Publications