Making All Voice Count Conference

ICT and Conflict Transformation Technology in early Warning and early Response Initiatives

Making All Voices Count (MAVC) recently hosted a learning and inspiration event that took place from May 26th to May 28th in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The ACTION Support Centre had the honour of being part of the event, as it will be starting a project aimed at assessing the effectiveness of the use of ICT and conflict transformation technology in conflict early warning and early response initiatives.

The project “From Early Warning to Response in Preventing Violence: Transforming Conflict through Citizen Engagement” engages three contexts through partnerships with the Zanzibar Interfaith Centre, People’s Voice for Peace in Gulu (Northern Uganda), and with Local Peace Committees in South Africa’s Gauteng Province. The Centre for Peace and Reconciliation Studies (CPRS) at Coventry University joins the ACTION Support Centre in eighteen months of engagement and investigation with our three partners as we seek ways to examine the communication gaps between citizens and institutions in contexts of conflict. Together we will explore the effectiveness of systems aimed at narrowing these gaps and we intend to establish systems that enable a more effective, collaborative partnership between local level stakeholders.

The Learning and Inspiration Event brought together a wide range of participants, including Making All Voices Count partners, potential partners, and experts in transparency, voice, accountability, and technology, to focus on: bridging different life-worlds and evidence into practice. The event provided a platform for the participants to share knowledge and experience, develop new relationships with others working on these issues, and offer space for reflection on the evidence that exists as they embark on the new initiatives Making All Voices Count is supporting.

The Learning and Inspiration Event also provided the participants with an opportunity to visit some of the villages in Dar es Salaam. The field visits allowed the participants to engage with the locals and leaders of the villages and find out more about how they engaged with their government. Some on the field visits argued that the prevailing conditions indicated that much needed to be done by the government in terms of providing basic free services. However, most locals felt the government was doing the best it can do, and there were many examples of people playing an instrumental role in their own development.

The event provided an opportunity for reflection, learning and information sharing and we as the ACTION Support Centre are ready to work together with the respective partners in support of preventing and eradicating violence in all its forms.