Those who would use information and communication technology (ICT) in the cause of peace need to be cognizant of the risks as well as the benefits. ICT can facilitate positive dialogue but also hate speech. It can be used to fight corruption but also facilitate it. Simply giving people more information does not necessarily lead to predictable or positive results. As people become more informed, they may become more motivated to change their circumstances and to do so violently.
On December 14, 2007, the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) convened a group of experts in diverse fields to consider the role of ICT in promoting peace and conflict resolution. The one-day workshop was designed to consider current and emerging technologies and strategies for employing them in conflict management and diplomacy. Giacomo Rambaldi presented a case study on "GIS and Participatory 3-D Modeling in Land-Use Negotiation" . The workshop also aimed to explore how organizations with a role in promoting peace, like the U.S. Institute of Peace, can most effectively leverage technology in carrying out their missions.
"Information and Communication Technology and Peacebuilding: Summary of a Workshop" reviews the group's discussions on number of key issues, illuminates certain practitioner needs, and suggests possible next steps.
The proceedings can be downloaded for free via this link.