PeaceTech Exchanges are workshops organized by the U.S. Institute of Peace to empower peacebuilders in conflict zones with low-cost, easy to use technology.

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These highly interactive conferences bring peacebuilders together with local and international technology for social good experts. Over the course of two days, participants learn about a broad array of tools to enhance their work and receive personal training for technologies they believe will assist them in their work. By the end of each event, attendees have formed teams with like-minded civil society organizations to tackle projects together, incorporating technology learned at the PTX into their work. PTXs also foster project design - guiding participants in how to define their problems, developing solutions, and creating projects that implement technologies learned at the workshop.

Supporting Local Peacebuilders

A key feature of PeaceTech Exchange is helping projects conceived during the workshops get off the ground through through a series of micro-awards, selected through a process that supports well-thought out proposals for sustainable projects. Among the projects PTXs have supported are the creation of crowdmaps to track violence against journalists, websites that host the stories of citizen journalists within communities of internally displaced people, and initiatives that track legislation and activities of local government. Through supporting peacebuilders on the ground, the PTX program has an impact long beyond the workshop event.

Success Stories

The PeaceTech Exchanges are effective, not simply because of the technologies they bring to bear, but in how those technologies enhance the work performed by participants.

One standout is Tahseen Alzrikiny, a journalist who participated in the first PeaceTech Camp. Tahseen went on to apply the skills he gained at the PeaceTech Camp to report on the farmers from his province who struggle with the extinction of their crops. Alzrikiny’s story, which was recorded, edited, and published entirely from his mobile phone, won the United Press Unlimited award for the Best Story of 2013 “which would have remained untold without mobile storytelling.”

PeaceTech Exchanges can tackle a variety of issues related to peacebuilding, including Transparency and Accountability, Open Government, Women’s or Youth Empowerment, Social Inclusion, Internet Freedom, Elections, Education, Crime and Security, Disaster Response, and many more - the possibilities are endless as the communities and hosts determine which issues PeaceTech Exchanges will address. PeaceTech Exchanges are adaptable to every country in the world, and work closely with local experts to determine the most effective technologies and organizations to bring together.

Latest Publications

Struggle for Sinjar: Iraqis’ Views on Governance in the Disputed District

Struggle for Sinjar: Iraqis’ Views on Governance in the Disputed District

Monday, April 12, 2021

By: Osama Gharizi

Iraq’s Sinjar district and its communities have struggled to recover from the recent conflict against the Islamic State group (ISIS). This is due in large part to the fact that the district is one of 14 territories under dispute between Iraq’s federal government and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). As a result, Sinjar has become an arena for competition between the federal government, KRG and other actors in the post-ISIS period. This reality has led to frustration, anger and disillusionment among the communities in Sinjar, the majority of whom are Yazidi (Ezidi).

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Democracy & Governance

New Talks Could Help Iraq Find Room to Stabilize Amid Crises

New Talks Could Help Iraq Find Room to Stabilize Amid Crises

Thursday, April 8, 2021

By: James Rupert

As Iraq’s government struggles to build stability in the face of economic decline, COVID, political protest and periodic violence, it may see new hope for some maneuvering room in its narrow political space between the United States and Iran. One day after U.S. and Iranian officials agreed through intermediaries to work toward restoring the 2015 accord over Iran’s nuclear program, American and Iraqi diplomats announced an intent to remove U.S. combat forces from Iraq. Both initiatives face deep uncertainties. But if successful they could widen Iraq’s difficult path toward peace.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Global Policy; Mediation, Negotiation & Dialogue

Getting to the Source: The Importance of Field Research

Getting to the Source: The Importance of Field Research

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

By: Alastair Reed; Boglarka Bozsogi

Travel restrictions and social distancing practices put in place in response to the COVID-19 pandemic have largely ground field research to a halt. Fieldwork plays an essential but often underappreciated role in both understanding violent extremism and developing policy responses to it. It is vital, therefore, that funders and policymakers support the return of such important work in a post-pandemic world.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Conflict Analysis & Prevention; Education & Training

How Military Chaplains Are Key Agents for Peace for the U.S. Armed Forces

How Military Chaplains Are Key Agents for Peace for the U.S. Armed Forces

Monday, April 5, 2021

By: Knox Thames; Melissa Nozell

Over the past few decades, U.S. military chaplains have increasingly played a key role in promoting peaceful resolutions in conflict environments. While their primary mission across the service branches is pastoral care — leading religious services, providing counsel and offering spiritual guidance, for example — military chaplains have also, at times, served as liaisons and bridge-builders with local religious leaders.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Religion

China’s High-Stakes Calculations in Myanmar

China’s High-Stakes Calculations in Myanmar

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

By: Jason Tower

The ultimate outcome of Myanmar’s nine-week-old coup will affect a range of international actors — but none more than China. As Asia’s greatest power, China has strategic and economic stakes in its neighbor to the south that leave little space for genuine neutrality behind a façade of non-interference. Since February 1, Beijing has profoundly shaped the trajectory of post-coup violence and blocked international efforts to restore stability.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Conflict Analysis & Prevention; Global Policy

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