Learnings from ISA

Another March, another ISA conference. 2014 has been good, especially since the networking and socializing was matched by excellent feedback on what I presented. The highlights: What I thought was a failed experiment in getting Twitter to love me actually teased out some interesting methodological challenges that other panelists on the Crowdsourcing Violence panel faced. … Continue reading Learnings from ISA

Finding Big Data’s Place in Conflict Analysis

Daniel Solomon recently posted a piece on how we conceptualize (and often misconceptualize) the role of big data in conflict event prediction. His post got me thinking about what role big data plays in conflict analysis. This comes on the heels of Chris Neu's post on the TechChange blog about the limits of using crowdsourcing to … Continue reading Finding Big Data’s Place in Conflict Analysis

Peacekeeping, economic growth and technology

The economics of peacekeeping are difficult to unpack but there are signs that when a mission has a strategy that includes long-range economic planning, it can have positive long term effects on the host country’s economy.  This could help us understand the strategic value of communication technology as not just a tool for good governance … Continue reading Peacekeeping, economic growth and technology

Getting traction in the United Nations on Syria

As I've been following story of the chemical weapons attacks in Syria, and the resulting moves to prepare for military strikes, I've felt like the U.N. has been an under-utilized resource for dealing with the crisis.  A few friends mention that President Obama's 'red line' could be defined as something other than a military strike, … Continue reading Getting traction in the United Nations on Syria

Unpacking P-values: Turning statistical significance into practical significance

I often get questions about the veracity of using statistics to understand conflict and political behavior, especially when using predictive or confirmatory analytic methods.  The questions are well founded, since a recent article found that potentially up to 54% of statistical results in the medical field are spurious.  This should give social scientists pause, since … Continue reading Unpacking P-values: Turning statistical significance into practical significance

Complex Peacekeeping and Tech: Don’t forget the politics and the people

General H.R. McMaster recently published an op-ed in the New York Times on the folly of thinking war can be easily won, and the intellectual gymnastics policy makers will do to maintain that illusion.  As I read his analysis, many of his observations are germane when thinking about the drive to "tech-up" peacekeeping operations.  McMaster's … Continue reading Complex Peacekeeping and Tech: Don’t forget the politics and the people

“Crowdsharing” and Violence Prevention

One thing I'm working on in my doctoral research is understanding why crowdsourcing works in conflict management and resolution...or should at least logically work based on the various theories of conflict management and resolution developed and refined over the last 40 or so years.  In this post, I'm going to use Kenyan election violence as … Continue reading “Crowdsharing” and Violence Prevention