The PeaceTech Lab will work at the intersection of technology, media, and data to devise means of reducing violent conflict around the world. It will be a collaborative space where experts in technology work with experts in conflict management and with fellows from the conflict zones themselves to imagine, develop, and deploy new tools for the field.

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Technology has shifted the power of media and mass mobilization from corporate and state-controlled organizations to communities and individuals. At the same time, new insight into human dynamics and sentiment—the DNA of conflict—is being shared on social networking sites and analyzed more rapidly and profoundly than ever before.

The confluence of these factors is producing a transformation in conflict management and peacebuilding. From Kenya to Colombia, Afghanistan to Indonesia, we are seeing media and technology being used in innovative ways to counter age-old drivers of conflict, ranging from election violence and interethnic hatred, to resource shortages and gender violence.

And we can do better. We can accelerate the development of these new tools. We can distribute them faster. And we can engage more people in early warning, early response, and collaborative problem solving.

We believe the answer lies in moving beyond ad hoc innovation towards a more deliberate model, where engineers and scientists from industry and academia work each day alongside experts in peacebuilding from government, NGOs and the conflict zones themselves. The PeaceTech Lab will be an opportunity to do just this – the first facility of its kind, located adjacent to the US Institute of Peace (USIP) on the National Mall, and in close proximity to US and international agencies with the influence and resources needed to scale new solutions. The Lab will be a separate, privately-funded non-profit organization that will work collaboratively with USIP.

The lab will have three main areas of focus:

  • TECHNOLOGY: Developing technology tools that are customized to meet the needs of citizens and organizations working for peace and positive social change in conflict zones around the world. 
  • MEDIA: Producing curriculum-based radio, television, and other multimedia content to inspire changes in attitudes and behavior.
  • DATA: Using new methods of data collection, analysis, and visualization to improve peacebuilders’ decision-making and collaboration capabilities.

Latest Publications

Are There Lessons from Vietnam for U.S. Reconciliation with the Taliban?

Are There Lessons from Vietnam for U.S. Reconciliation with the Taliban?

Monday, September 27, 2021

By: Andrew Wells-Dang

The Taliban’s rapid victory in Afghanistan evoked many comparisons to the collapse of the South Vietnamese regime and U.S. evacuation from Saigon in 1975. Ironically, during the same week in late August that the last U.S. forces were withdrawing from Kabul, U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris carried out a remarkably successful visit to Hanoi. U.S.-Vietnam relations have arguably never been better — a stark contrast to the scent of failure in Afghanistan.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Peace Processes; Reconciliation

Zambia’s New Leadership and the Stakes for Africa

Zambia’s New Leadership and the Stakes for Africa

Friday, September 24, 2021

By: USIP Staff

Weeks after his election to lead his southern African nation, Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema vowed to reverse his country’s recent erosion of democracy and good governance, and to stabilize an economy in recession—all despite the burdens of COVID, environmental shocks, and a dangerous “mountain” of debt accumulated in recent years.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Democracy & Governance

Prioritize Building Resilience at this Year’s U.N. General Assembly

Prioritize Building Resilience at this Year’s U.N. General Assembly

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

By: Corinne Graff, Ph.D.

World leaders are gathering in New York this week for the 2021 U.N. General Assembly against a backdrop of unprecedented global crises, including the continued spread of COVID-19 due to lack of access to vaccines; a growing hunger crisis as more people around the world die every day from starvation than from COVID-19; and the fact that roughly one percent of the world’s entire population — or one in every 97 people — is now forcibly displaced. These humanitarian challenges are compounded by a generational climate crisis and rising tensions with Russia and China that will need to be carefully managed. 

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Global Policy

China and the U.S. Exit from Afghanistan: Not a Zero-Sum Outcome

China and the U.S. Exit from Afghanistan: Not a Zero-Sum Outcome

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

By: Andrew Scobell, Ph.D.

It has become fashionable to characterize recent events in Afghanistan as a loss for the United States and a win for China. This zero-sum interpretation framed in the narrow context of U.S.-China relations is too simplistic and off the mark. The reality is far more complex and nuanced. The end of the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan and the collapse of that country’s pro-Western government do not automatically translate into significant Chinese gains, nor do they trigger a swift Beijing swoop to fill the vacuum in Kabul left by Washington.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Global Policy

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