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Mobile Phones and Peacebuilding in Afghanistan

Event Date: 
June 24, 2010 - 09:00 - 13:00

Please note: This event will be webcast live beginning at 9:00am EDT on June 24, 2010 at Online viewers will be able to engage panelists and each other through live chat and Twitter discussions (hashtag: #usipmobile).

Mobile phone technologies are the subject of considerable enthusiasm in the peacebuilding sector. In the past few years, they have been used in connection with campaigns to restrain election violence, reduce corruption, develop the news media, and support counter-insurgency to name just a few. Success has been significant, but mixed. Yet little has been done to evaluate systematically the factors of success or failure in the use of mobile phones for peacebuilding.
So to best understand the true potential of these increasingly powerful tools, USIP -- in partnership with cell phone pioneer Mobile Accord (who raised a record sum of over $37 million within three weeks of Haiti’s earthquake crisis with their “Text HAITI to 90999” campaign), the National Defense University, the United Nation’s-mandated UPeace, and TechChange -- will bring together experts on international peacebuilding and mobile phone technology to focus on the use of mobile phones in one of the most difficult conflict environments today: Afghanistan.
Using techniques pioneered in the 2009 Smart Tools for Smart Power program, we will evaluate the reality of cell phone deployments along three vectors:
Improving governance - rule of law and anti-corruption
Countering extremism - media development and counter-insurgency
Delivery of essential services - education, health, agricultural development, commerce


Sheldon Himelfarb, Moderator
Executive Director, Center of Innovation for Science, Technology, and Peacebuilding
United States Institute of Peace

Colonel J.M. "Matt" Venhaus, Moderator
Jennings Randolph Army Fellow
United States Institute of Peace

Panel 1: Tackling Corruption and Improving Governance
Panel 2: Countering Extremism and Counter-insurgency
Panel 3: Delivering Essential Services
Panelists will include innovators from the DoD, Department of State, UN personnel, World Bank, Internews, Roshan, and NGOs (US and European) like Development Seed, Ushahidi, FrontlineSMS, and

Mobile Accord
UN-mandated University for Peace
National Defense University

U.S. Institute of Peace, 2nd floor conference room
1200 17th St, NW
Washington DC 20036
United States

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