From gathering information right through to implementing preventive measures, the creative application of technological tools makes us more effective. Here are a few major technological aspects to our work:
- Information Gathering – Effective early warning may require access to large quantities of information. Modern tools such as social media and mobile technology have a lot of potential for gathering information directly members of threatened communities. Websites such as Twitter and Facebook have already demonstrated their potential for getting information out of countries with repressive governments since the post-election violence in Iran in 2009 right up to the 2011 protests throughout North Africa. Information can also be “crowdsourced” through mobile phones, as done by sites such as Ushahidi, which mapped the consequences of disasters like the 2010 Haiti earthquake based on information submitted by average citizens through text messaging. Such tools will be equally powerful when to monitoring potential genocides.
- Information Management – Our technology team is currently developing a database which will help to organize and analyze the information reported to us from all sources. This will be a great tool for our research analysts, especially as the quantities of information we work with increasing quantities of information.
- Visualization and Dissemination – Many of the processes we will be monitoring and reporting on are complex and challenging to fully understand. By devising a system to visualize the trends and patterns at work in a given situation of concern (SOC), we will be able to present this information to the public, other organizations, and policy makers in a clear format.
- Prevention – One of the most exciting areas where technology can play a role is in the actual prevention of genocide. Examples include the possibility of identifying and countering websites that incite hatred, using mobile phones networks to document abuses and warn threatened communities, and employing GPS technology to guide targeted people to safe areas.
Many different organizations make up the anti-genocide movement all around the world. Read this section to learn how the Sentinel Project is unique and how we relate to all of the others working towards a world without genocide.