Locales Framework, CSCW and Conflict Transformation


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Locales Framework, CSCW and Conflict Transformation

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Locales Framework, CSCW and Conflict Transformation

  1. 1. Locales Framework, CSCW and Conflict Transformation Sanjana Hattotuwa Rotary World Peace Scholar University of Queensland Brisbane Australia
  2. 2. Entrée • Dynamics of Conflict Transformation • CSCW and peacebuilding • Info Share – CSCW in a peace process • One Text • Final thoughts
  3. 3. A framework for conflict
  4. 4. What is Conflict Transformation? • A process of engaging with and transforming relationships, interests, discourses and, if necessary, the very constitution of society that supports the continuation of violent conflict. • CT argues against giving primacy to settlements, stressing the importance of recognising the transformation of conflicts. • Central to the understanding of conflict transformation is the conviction that actors and institutions in a process of conflict transformation co-exist in a vigorous dynamic of interacting interests.
  5. 5. Full field peacebuilding
  6. 6. And yet… • In Conflict Transformation, the potential for the use of ICT is augmented after a ceasefire agreement or peace agreement • the dynamics on the ground are relatively more receptive on the need for sharing information & collaboration to develop shared solutions.
  7. 7. Before / After? Ceasefire Levels of violence Peace Agreement Time after which ICT interventions can best help peacebuilding intervention Time
  8. 8. Furthermore… • Appropriation of CSCW systems for virtual peace processes must nourish the process • The process, and not the final agreement, is the cynosure
  9. 9. ICT creates opportunities Recognition of the immense potential of ICT Key parties to and developing inclusive, the conflict participatory long-term plans to expand existing access to ICT External actors / Internal divisions Donors / INGOs interventions can help ICT those who have traditionally been excluded from developmental processes to take part in the exercise of nation Civil Society / Grassroots Business building.
  10. 10. Locales Framework • Complex, dynamic and situation interactional aspects of work to be accounted for but not in isolation from where and how those interactions happen • The definition of locale as an ongoing relationship between people in a particular social world is of pivotal importance to conflict transformation, which places an emphasis on understanding the ongoing process and opposed to a final settlement or peace agreement.
  11. 11. Locales Framework • The locale framework recognises the different perspectives of each entity involved in a specific locale, because of their singular relationship with it on account of their historical associations and future aspirations. • The virtual negotiation of positions and the exploration of interests is a singular design challenge for CSCW systems in peacebuilding – where issues like virtual determinants of trust, asynchronicity, the use of swabasha (vernacular languages), the creation of content, availability etc are of pivotal importance.
  12. 12. CSCW in peacebuilding • While in the existing corpus of CSCW literature treats these problems as interesting design challenges, the use of CSCW in peace process is not purely an academic exercise – the cost of inappropriate design may often be too disastrous to contemplate. • The advantage, one may argue, of CSCW systems for peacebuilding over real world negotiations, is that it offers the potential to engender satsficing solutions by virtue of its ability to present multiple perspectives of the same locale to each participant. While this alone may not be enough to change ossified positions, it sensitises participants to acknowledge multiple truths.
  13. 13. CSCW in peacebuilding • Any appropriation of CSCW in a peace process must directly address complex, multifaceted layers of emotions and positions in physical and virtual domains in order to effectively design processes that gradually address the need to move beyond them. • Communications and collaboration in peace processes, even in virtual domains, is a canvass for the construction and reconstruction of identities and the loci of mediated differences, debate and struggle and reconstituting legitimacies.
  14. 14. CSCW in peacebuilding: Ways of helping The point here is that virtual spaces can • Framing allow stakeholders to explore options that their constituencies are not yet • Power Sharing ready to hear, thereby giving more flexibility to the negotiations that would not otherwise be possible. • Mirror Imaging • Goal Clarification • Finding and Borrowing Eloquent Statements of the Common Core Issues
  15. 15. CSCW in peacebuilding: Key tenets • Communication / cooperation within organizations • Communication / cooperation between organizations (bilaterally) • Communication / cooperation among organizations (multilaterally, as in a networked community) • Communication / cooperation with local leaders • Communication / cooperation with and between decision makers • Communication / cooperation with the media • Communication / cooperation within & amongst the parties in the conflict
  16. 16. The core issues • Engender sustainable communication within and between stakeholders • Be sensitive to the changing emotional needs of stakeholders, but not let stakeholders always take refuge in tired communal hagiography • The relationships between stakeholders is NOT dealt independently of the emotional realms which the relationship is rooted to • The inexhaustible search for mutual interests instead of ossified positions • The invention of options for mutual gain • Engender sense of legitimacy and ownership in multi-partisan dialogues
  17. 17. Final thoughts on LF • The ability to apply the locales framework to the macro, meso and micro levels of peacebuilding, from Track One to Track Three, within and between stakeholders, gives it a unique foothold in a broader range of theoretical frameworks that seek to engage with the complex problems of designing CSCW system for peacebuilding.
  18. 18. Info Share
  19. 19. The Problem
  20. 20. Info Share Overview • Multi-Stakeholder Engagement: helping policy makers and political stakeholders building an inclusive peace process • Informed Communication: Getting concrete information to policy makers on stakeholder concerns and aspirations for the peace process • Developing Capacity: Building a sustainable infrastructure for the exchange of information between stakeholders and policy makers
  21. 21. One Text • The One-Text procedure is a systematic process to elicit underlying interests and needs of parties and providing a mechanism and space to jointly explore and develop many options and deciding on one. The process is called the ‘One- Text’ because quite literally there is only one text - drawn on the texts of each of the stakeholders. • All the parties' positions - on every issue - are reflected in the workspace. New positions and proposals are captured daily and included in a dynamic document through a joint and collaborative process.
  22. 22. Other work • Screenshots of some of the other areas we are active in the Sri Lankan peace process
  23. 23. Theory vs. People • At the end of the day, computers and technology don’t create just and lasing peace. • Technology can only augment peacebuilding - we make peace between ourselves and within ourselves. • CSCW / ICT is at best a powerful catalyst that aids change. • People make the difference.
  24. 24. Thank you ! sanjana@info-share.org s4063612@student.uq.edu.au