The Role of ICTs in Post-Conflict Situations

Open Session
Kevin Donovan, Tim Kelly, Nicholas Friederici
Time: Thursday, March 15, 2012 16:15pm-17:30pm
Room: Conference C
Conflict, within and between countries, is a major cause and consequence of poverty. But conflicts do end, and the challenge then is to bring relief and stability quickly, through good governance matched with rising living standards, in order to create the right conditions for nation-building. Emerging successfully from conflict is fundamental to continued development success, and the wider development community is increasingly focused on making this a reality. Information and communication technologies (ICTs) can play an important role in that process. However, despite increasing use of ICTs during conflict, the ICT4D community is largely missing from the longer-term post-conflict discussion.

With the support of UKaid, infoDev, a division of the World Bank, is currently researching the role of ICTs in post-conflict situations. The study will serve as the first large-scale comparative analysis of the role that ICT plays in countries emerging from conflict. It will serve to raise awareness of the benefits of prioritizing ICT initiatives in reconstruction, stimulate discussion on the principles and priorities for policymakers and donors, and identify the role of information in post-conflict development and social cohesion. The input case studies, to be completed between March and May 2012, cover Timor-Leste, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Rwanda, Liberia, and Tunisia. Thereafter, infoDev will develop a high-level policy framework that distills the lessons from those countries.

This open session will serve to build momentum towards a broader research agenda and engagement on this key development issue. The case study researchers will be able to explain the insights from their time in-country. The discussion will then provide a first opportunity for critical review of the input studies and will help shape the policy framework. The session will take the form of a workshop, drawing upon audience interaction. There will be short presentations by the case study researchers, before the commenting panelists will provide initial feedback. Afterwards, at least 30 minutes will be dedicated to open discussion.

For more information, go to http://www.infodev.org/en/Project.133.html or contact Nicolas Friederici at nfriederici@worldbank.org.

Panelists
• Tim Kelly, Lead ICT Policy Specialist at infoDev (moderator)
• Prof. Michael Best, Georgia Tech, on the Liberia case study
• Prof. Rohan Samarajiva, founding CEO of LIRNEasia, on the Sri Lanka case study
• Zack Brisson, Principal of Reboot, on the Tunisia case study
• Prof. Colin Maclay, Managing Director of the Berkman Center at Harvard University (commentator)
• Heather Leson, Director Community of Engagement, Ushahidi (commentator)

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