©Feisar Omar, ICRC
One of the main causes of humanitarian crises is conflicts, which have evolved in the last decades:
- Conflicts are more protracted: For example, in 2017, the average duration of conflicts was 7 years, up from 4.3 in 2005.
- They are also more frequent: In 2017, there were 30 ongoing conflicts, which is almost double from the 16 in 2005.
- They now more often occur in urban environments and are mostly internal to the countries.
The EssentialTech Centre aims to contribute technology innovations that can enable better prevention, monitoring, containment, and extinction of conflicts. For example, the identification of potential sources of conflicts via digital monitoring technologies, in order to provide early warnings to the affected communities and stakeholders. During conflicts, the goal would be to develop innovative solutions that can reduce its nefarious effects and duration, and eventually bring back enduring peace. Post-conflict, technology could be leveraged to enable transparency and solidify trust between the conflicting parties to prevent them from reverting to war.