On Wednesday 9 November 2011, UNDP’s Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery and the International Peace Institute hosted a discussion to explore applications of crowdsourcing technology to conflict prevention. UNDP has been a pioneer in this field, first using crowdsourcing to curb violence during Kenya’s 2010 constitutional referendum. Since then, similar tools have been effectively applied by UNDP in Kyrgyzstan and Nigeria, and UNDP is now looking to integrate crowdsourcing into its work in other countries.
Beth Liebert, a Google Project Manager who presented at the discussion, highlighted the speed and impact of such tools. Referring to the use of crowdsourcing in the immediate aftermath of March’s earthquake in Japan, Beth explained that “you can track within the hour when the earthquake happened just looking at the traffic to this tool… this map gets picked up and shared by everybody, because there’s something about information on a map that people find really useful during a crisis. Something that is local and impactful”.
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