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digital humanitarianism

Random Hacks of Kindness November Edition

Guest Speaker:
Nov 28, 2015
10:00 AM Midnight, 10:00AM 6:00PM
HiVE Vancouver

Are you ready to #RHoK4Peace? Then join PeaceGeeks at the HiVE on November 28 & 29th for 24 hours of #Hacking4Humanity!

Are you a developer, designer, or UX pro? 
Are you a social media guru, media relations manager or communications specialist? 
Are you passionate about using technology for social change? 

Featured projects include:
- Expanding the capabilities of Services Advisor, our refugee services app in use by the UNHCR Jordan;
- Strategy development for a campaign to counter ISIL's social media recruitment;
- Building a secure electronic registrar of human rights violations in Kenya with the National Coalition of Human Rights Defenders;
- Continuing development of a SMS-based system to document sexual and gender-based violence in South Sudan;
...with more to come!

Bring your enthusiasm for peacebuilding and put your skills to use to help us help communities around the world build better, safer lives! #Tech4Good

Nov 4, 2015
Category: Hackathons
Time 2:
10 AM to 6 PM

Deploying The A Team: Engaging Tech in Social Change

Guest Speaker:
Renee Black (PeaceGeeks), Mike Simpson (BC Council for International Cooperation), Mack Hardy (Affinity Bridge), Britt Neale (Appnovation)
Oct 28, 2015
6:00 8:00 pm
BCTIA Innovation Hub
Join PeaceGeeks, the BCTIA and Appnovation Technologies at the BCTIA Innovation Hub on Wednesday, October 28 for an evening of engagement, innovation and shared expertise for creating change.
Panelists will discuss specific projects that local tech shops are already engaging with on human rights, the refugee crisis and gender-based violence. We will also explore how Vancouver can become a recognized leader in tech for good with the help of the local tech sector community. 

This panel, moderated by Michaela Davies, and will feature the following panelists: 
Renee Black, PeaceGeeks
Mike Simpson, BC Council for International Cooperation
Mack Hardy, Affinity Bridge
Britt Neale, Appnovation

The panel will begin at 6pm.
Thank You To:
Partnership With:
Oct 28, 2015
Time 2:
6 PM

Local Group Works for Peace in Conflict-Ridden South Sudan

Every two minutes another child becomes severely malnourished as a result of the conflict in South Sudan, according to the United Nations. The organization has estimated that 2.25 million people have been displaced by the conflict in South Sudan, half of whom are children.

The Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO) has been working at the local level to mitigate the situation and quell the violence.

One of CEPO’s approaches to reduce violence is to research factors that may trigger violent conflict between communities.

“CEPO also do conduct risk awareness and share knowledge of likely risks that the communities will face,” CEPO spokesperson James Bidal explained. “CEPO has the capacity to analyze, anticipate, and monitor the political will to respond to the divers of conflict.”

By mapping factors that may trigger violence, such as cattle raids, land grabs and competition over resources, and reporting them to stakeholders, CEPO has been working to keep the peace among neighbouring communities.

As South Sudan continues to move through the peace process, CEPO has also been working to assist the development of democracy. The group has been educating and engaging both citizens and political parties to facilitate dialogue between the two, in the hope of expediting the process.

According to Bidal, CEPO has been “organizing civil society and political parties dialogues on the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development-led peace mediation process.” Initiatives have included ‘Walk for Peace’ and public debates on the peace process.

Unfortunately, recent developments threaten to stall progress, including a decree by President Salva Kiir that would create 18 new states and news of the ruling party’s dissolution of its leadership secretariat. President Kiir remains chairman and is planning to appoint new leadership soon.

As the process moves forward, CEPO has been on the ground demonstrating the importance of civil peace-builders and uniting the groups and organizations that will be able to ensure safety and security for South Sudan citizens.

CEPO strives to “mobilize all civil society organizations, faith based organizations, pressure groups, interest groups, political parties, [and] the South Sudanese people to have a common position and pressurize IGAD, AU, EU, Trorika, UN and the international community to accept an inclusive strategy of reaching peace and impose on the warring parties.”

Media reports as of October 19 indicate South Sudanese residents may soon see peace in their country as the rival parties have agreed to resume talks regarding security arrangements.

Whenever peace comes to the country it will be up to citizens and groups like CEPO to help it succeed in the cities and towns in South Sudan.

For more information on CEPO visit their website.

Oct 26, 2015

Collecting Statistics to Combat Gender Based Violence in Kenya

PeaceGeeks is working in conjunction with the incredible efforts of our local Vancouver volunteers to establish an innovative statistics-collections app for Kenyan NGO Nakuru Gender Based Violence Network (Nakuru GBV Network). With a focus on empowering grassroots organizations that help victims of sexual and gender-based violence, the Network works to reduce the level of violence in Nakuru County through community sensitization, educational campaigns, and fostering connections for others committed to ending such atrocities.

PeaceGeeks has previously worked with the Nakuru GBV Network by developing their website last January, giving them the platform to fully utilize their efforts and provide their local communities with the skillset and knowledge necessary to develop self-reliance and sustainability.

In addition to working relentlessly on the individual level to empower and support survivors in the community, the Nakuru GBV Network also aims to make substantial changes on the grand scale to reduce the level of gender-based violence that has seen a recent increased.

One major hurdle on the path to improving conditions however, is the severe lack of critical information and accurate data surrounding the current state of affairs with regards to gender-based violence in Kenya. PeaceGeeks is currently supporting Nakuru GBV Network to overcome this impediment through an innovative app that uses SMS to collect disaggregated statistics in rural areas. This technological innovation will give the Nakuru GBV Network a more accurate picture of what citizens are truly enduring in areas of Nakuru that potentially may not receive the attention needed from the government. Such developments mean an increase in awareness for the Network, and in turn for the greater community at large, strengthening an already leading Network’s available scope of influence.

Oct 16, 2015

PeaceTalk #28: Digital Humanitariansim

Guest Speaker:
Roxanne Moore, Digital Humanitarians Network (Ebola Response Coordinator), Christopher Libby, BC Red Cross Society, Chad Pacholik, Province of BC
Oct 7, 2015
6:00 - 7:30PM
HiVE Vancouver

In the digital age, disaster response has never been as swift or sophisticated. While technology and 'innovation' has created new and interesting opportunities with respect to disaster preparedness and response, such as the introduction of 'digital humanitarians', it has also created new and complex challenges around information security and reliability.

Join PeaceGeeks and Amnesty International at the HiVE Vancouver on Wednesday October 7th to learn more about disaster response, management, and preparedness. Our speakers will include:

  • Roxanne Moore, from the Digital Humanitarians Network, who coordinated digital response efforts during the ebola crisis in 2014-2015
  • Christopher Libby, from the BC Red Cross Society, who works to engage local volunteers in internal response efforts
  • Chad Pacholilk, from the Government of BC,  who works on response and planning for disaseter in BC 
Thank You To:
Sep 23, 2015
Category: PeaceTalks
Time 2:
6 PM

Digital Humanitarians Network

Crisis Overview

When disasters strike, emergency responders must make quick and often poorly informed decisions based on limited data on how to most effectively deploy limited resources in order in support of affected populations. Yet enormous data seta are available to help decision-makers make more infomred decisions, as arepools of 'digital humanitarians' who can compile information into useful and actionable tools to help strengthen response. The Digital Humanitarians Network is a network of digital non-profit organizations and partners that are committed to strengthening the flows of information to help decision makers to respond to disaster. 

What They Do

The Digital Humanitarians Network (DHN) is a network of non-governmental organizations who contribute their technology skills to assist both people affected by disaster, as well as humanitarian actors responding to crisis on the ground so they can make more informed decisions. The DHN’s aim is to increase the effectiveness of these first responders by analyzing all available information, sorting it, and filling in the blanks so that disasters are assessed faster and more accurately, enabling those most in need to receive help first. In 2014 they responded to the refugee crisis created by the conflict in Syria, the Ebola crisis in West Africa, and Typhoon Hagiput in the Philippines.

Our Impact

PeaceGeeks collaborated with the DHN to prouce a strong, scalable and open-source website that could act as a hub for its members and volunteers to access information about past and upcoming activations, and that can be used to activate the network when disasters strike. The new website has made it easier for DHN members to update their organization’s profile, share stories about their contributions to a disaster response activation, and securely access relevant information and resources about the network. The new site has also made it easier for members to get updates on the latest news through the RSS feed and newsletter, and for humanitarian organizations to activate the network during a crisis of violence related to the conflict through the website mapping tools.

Deliverables Summary
  • Website development and deployment
  • Hosting
  • Training


PeaceGeeks Contributors

Renee Black - Project Coordinator - Mack Hardy - Developer - Magdi Rizkallah - Training & Documentation

Digital Humanitarians Network Contributors

Willow Brugh - Project Lead - Andrej Verity (UN-OCHA) - Advisor - Cat Graham - DHN Member

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