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Opening minds, reaching out


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Presentation made at "Enhancing Information and Communication: Issues for Policymakers, Ambassadors, and Commanders" organised by National Defence University, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, DC on …

Presentation made at "Enhancing Information and Communication: Issues for Policymakers, Ambassadors, and Commanders" organised by National Defence University, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, DC on 17 August 2011.

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  • 1. Opening minds, reaching outProspects & pitfallsSanjana Hattotuwa
  • 2. enduring challengesperceptions of the military and NGOs
  • 3. Strong Angel IIIPerceptions from 2006 still valid
  • 4. Strong Angel IIIPerceptions from 2006 still valid
  • 5. rebooting systemic thinking changing underlying mindset
  • 6. Eschewing the bell curveOld thinking stymies progress
  • 7. Eschewing the bell curveOld thinking stymies progress
  • 8. Reality in most CPEsComplex Political Emergencies (CPEs) and relief work
  • 9. Focus on process, not just spikesNarrow band over time adds richness, full spectrum adds context Local language(s) Culture Local actors Diaspora Hagiography and myth Identity and power Partisan politics Regional power blocs Inequity Demographics (Youth) Civic media Verbal storytelling
  • 10. New information networksFluid, spontaneous, viral, short-term spikes, long tail Event / Issue Witness / Victim Citizen media Army / Govt / MembersClosed Intel UN system states / Global / Local audiences
  • 11. the usual pitfallstirades, cons, propaganda, duplication
  • 12. A lesbian in DamascusAnd other tall tales Disinformation Misinformation Partial accounts Gaming the system Gender imbalance (e.g. rape reports in DRC) Lack of access leads to challenges in verification Multiple retweets mistaken for authenticity Anonymity online (esp. post-Norwegian terrorist attack) Machine translation / Lack of translation Little or no direct access Trauma Anxiety Fear Persecution Network infiltration and disruption Trust perceptions and authority markers Bias in mainstream media Bias in citizen media
  • 13. some fundamentalsengaging torrents meaningfully
  • 14. how do we know? Traditional media Citizen journalism / Digital, web based media Trusted intelligence from UN system Situational Awareness
  • 15. human security approach Human security is an emerging paradigm for understanding global vulnerabilities whose proponents challenge the traditional notion ofnational security by arguing that the proper referent for security should be the individual rather than the state. Human security holds that a people-centered view of security is necessary for national, regional and global stability.
  • 16. more open, not more closedOpen content generation and sharing (e.g. wikis)help in environments with conflicting and unreliable data and after sudden onset disasters.
  • 17. communicate effectivelyUse the same networks that civil society uses tocommunicate aims, objectives, vital information.Civilians will always suspect military domains.
  • 18. tune in without subscribing moreChoice kills. Determine through robust analysis that isrevisited often what and who to listen to, when, why and how. Use local knowledge and technology to increase signal to noise ratio.
  • 19. go beyond UN, UN going beyond UNDurable solutions, community resilience and early warning stem from people on the ground, increasingly producing their own content. UN is there over long term, but also needs to engagewith hyper-local, web and mobile based, alternative narratives.
  • 20. some technology to helpengage information torrents meaningfully
  • 21. Leverage crowd mapsBounded, geo-fenced models help contextualise unbounded, larger inputs
  • 22. ICT4Peace Matrix plugin for UshahidiSource reliability / Information probability
  • 23. Leverage algorithms based on community intelligenceOpen source / crowd powered curation tools
  • 24. Leverage existing social media verification guidesFacebook for journalists | Twitter resources for media
  • 25. Leverage private enterpriseUse the reach and power of volunteers using private enterprise platforms
  • 26. Leverage social networkingUN DPKO’s approach to Facebook post-Haiti
  • 27. Leverage value-added curationICT4Peace Foundation CiM wikis
  • 28. Leverage innovationUse the reach and power of new groups with shared goals
  • 29. Leverage UN CiM strategyUse the reach and power of UN system through UN CITO / OICT(“Traditional”)
  • 30. Leverage UN thought leadershipUse the reach and power of UN system (“Cutting edge / Technical”)
  • 31. thank you