The rapid expansion of social media and mobile phones has transformed how people communicate and share information in areas affected by violent conflict. The data associated with these “digital footprints” can revolutionize the ways in which local communities and peacebuilders tackle the drivers of violent conflict.
To take advantage of this opportunity, PeaceTech Lab has created a data hub called the Open Situation Room Exchange (OSRx), designed to provide critical insights into economic, social, and political conditions on the ground in conflict zones globally. Researchers, policymakers, practitioners, donors, legal and health professionals can use the OSRx to:
- Develop deeper awareness of conflict zones through trusted data sharing relationships
- Support peacebuilders in finding, collecting, analyzing, visualizing and publishing conflict-related data
- Produce open datasets for peacebuilding programs to inform policy decisions to prevent violent conflict
Data Hub Outputs
The OSRx incorporates customized dashboards of data to provide mobile, web and API access to datasets related to conflict. The initial release provides a baseline view of conflict and instability worldwide with dashboards for over 150 countries. These dashboards include:
- Real-time news and social media analytics - Analysis of news reports on protests and violent incidents and social media conversations surrounding violence and instability
- Structured indices related to peace and conflict - Indicators of governance, economic stability, access to technology, and security drawn from a variety of open data sources
- Forecasts of risk - Risk assessments depicting anticipated future trends in violence, political stability, and governance
The mission of the OSRx is to provide local peacebuilders with the same kinds of resources and information that corporations use to manage their brands. The PeaceTech Lab has established strong relationships in conflict zones with both technologists and peacebuilding organizations. As the OSRx develops, the Lab will expand these relationships with more organizations and individuals working in areas affected by violent conflict.
Funding and Future Growth
Funding for the OSRx has come from both private and US Government sources. Based on available resources, the OSRx plans to expand to cover topic areas related to conflict, such as gender, hate speech, countering violent extremism, and engaging youth. We also plan on providing comprehensive views into various conflicts. Longer term, the OSRx will connect with local peacebuilder networks to provide curated data dashboards to address specific challenges.