The use of big data in peacebuilding is still in its infancy but an area of great interest and potential impact. The UN is currently undertaking a pilot program in Somalia that tracks fast amount of written and spoken data from social media and radio programs to understand the needs and concerns of the Somali people and their perceptions of the peacebuilding process, the extension of state authority, Al-Shabaab etc. Recognizing the importance big data can play in strengthening the peacebuilding work of the UN, and PBSO is undertaking an initial research on how big data can contribute to peacebuilding.
The proposed project will build on this initial research. The team will develop concrete proposals for how to use big data to the advantage of peacebuilding. It will take a deep dive in one or more of the avenues identified in the initial research by PBSO. The project will include analysis of relevant big data to elucidate challenges, strengths and weaknesses that may arise in such projects and the nature of the insights that can be developed.