Project Title

In What Ways and Under What Conditions are Internet and Communication Technologies (ICTs) Managing Election and Ethnic Violence in Kenya

Presenters

Academic department under which the project should be listed

RCHSS - Conflict Management, Peacebuilding and Development

Faculty Sponsor Name

Dr. Lepadatu

Abstract (300 words maximum)

In What Ways and Under What Conditions are Internet and Communication Technologies (ICTs) Managing

Election and Ethnic Violence in Kenya

In the moment of crisis, the wise build bridges and the foolish build dams. - Traditional African Proverb

This project begins with a synopsis of the new mobile technology and data analysis tools that are impacting the methods and techniques of conflict management. The past few years have witnessed an explosion in the distribution of mobile phones in areas of the world traditionally prone to conflict. Commensurately, advancements in data analysis and machine learning have effectuated the ability to rapidly scan Twitter and Facebook feeds. The project reviews the current literature, categorizes the early views into three camps, develops a framework, and proposes a case study in order to peel back the hype and determine the actual ways that the tools are or are not effectively transforming the field. Interviews of technologists, NGOs, and election officials will be the primary data collection method. Additionally, content analysis will be conducted on platform data sets. Affordance Theory then emerges as the primary conceptual framework in which to gauge efficacy. This work will contribute in a meaningful way to the dearth that many observers have noted. After a decade of ICT implementation in various humanitarian and governance applications, ironically little formal research has been conducted. The Kenyan election case study depicted in this proposal will serve to substantially advance this endeavor.

Project Type

Oral Presentation (15-min time slots)

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In What Ways and Under What Conditions are Internet and Communication Technologies (ICTs) Managing Election and Ethnic Violence in Kenya

In What Ways and Under What Conditions are Internet and Communication Technologies (ICTs) Managing

Election and Ethnic Violence in Kenya

In the moment of crisis, the wise build bridges and the foolish build dams. - Traditional African Proverb

This project begins with a synopsis of the new mobile technology and data analysis tools that are impacting the methods and techniques of conflict management. The past few years have witnessed an explosion in the distribution of mobile phones in areas of the world traditionally prone to conflict. Commensurately, advancements in data analysis and machine learning have effectuated the ability to rapidly scan Twitter and Facebook feeds. The project reviews the current literature, categorizes the early views into three camps, develops a framework, and proposes a case study in order to peel back the hype and determine the actual ways that the tools are or are not effectively transforming the field. Interviews of technologists, NGOs, and election officials will be the primary data collection method. Additionally, content analysis will be conducted on platform data sets. Affordance Theory then emerges as the primary conceptual framework in which to gauge efficacy. This work will contribute in a meaningful way to the dearth that many observers have noted. After a decade of ICT implementation in various humanitarian and governance applications, ironically little formal research has been conducted. The Kenyan election case study depicted in this proposal will serve to substantially advance this endeavor.