The Tech Challenge for Atrocity Prevention competition series took place in 2013 and awarded prize money of up to $12,000 to the winning innovators who proposed technological solutions to combat and prevent mass atrocities. The five competitions, below each focused on a unique problem the Tech Challenge sought to solve.
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The financing, arming, and coordination of atrocity perpetrators are too-often enabled through the activities of third parties such as multinational companies or financial institutions.
For instance, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, many militias are financed by “conflict minerals”-the sale of key materials that wind up in our phones and computers. While activists and concerned governments have been able to develop some safeguards in the mineral supply chain, the practice continues. Cite: "Enablers of Mass Atrocities: What Companies Should Know and Do About the Risks of Contributing to the World’s Worst Crimes," Human Rights First
Develop technologies to better identify, spotlight, and deter intentional or unintentional third-party enablers of atrocities (e.g. non-state actors such as multinational corporations, financial institutions or those who provide logistical support).Solve This On Innocentive
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In the aftermath of an atrocity, one common deficit is the availability of authentic and relevant evidence against the perpetrators. This documentation – including establishing a clear chain of custody – is essential to make the case for apprehension, to allow effective judicial proceedings, and often lays the groundwork for robust truth and reconciliation processes.
Since its creation in 2002, the International Criminal Court has only convicted one person. The ICC has publicly indicted 29 people; proceedings against 22 are still ongoing. The lack of reliable evidence is a primary limiting factor in the ability to successfully bring cases to both national and international courts. Cite: International Criminal Court
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While some risk factors for inter or intra-group violence are well understood, policymakers, operational actors, and other concerned parties generally lack reliable methodologies and/or indicators to assess community vulnerability.
1.5 billion people are living in countries affected by violent conflict. In many cases, the victims do not have the resources to protect themselves. It is our responsibility to take a more proactive approach in improving measures to stop mass atrocities before they happen.Cite: World Development Report 2011
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During acute crises, vulnerable populations are often cut off from critical information and have limited, if any, ability to communicate inside or outside of their communities. While there are a number of existing efforts aimed at improving information flow in these contexts, many focus on the outflow of information from communities or rely too heavily on existing communications infrastructure or basic literacy.
While mobile technology has reached 78 percent of the developing world, in many places, the poorest and most vulnerable are still not connected. This lack of infrastructure—combined with authoritarian governments’ increasing willingness to blackout communications during crises—further isolates the most at-risk. Cite: Key Global Telecom Indicators for the World Telecommunication Service Sector
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There is often a lack of credible data and relevant information from large parts of the globe, thereby making it more difficult for the international community to identify, acknowledge and act to prevent or stop potential or ongoing atrocities.
67% of mass atrocities since 1945 have occurred within the context of an armed conflict. These environments are often beyond the reach of humanitarian groups or international journalists, let alone other governments or multilateral organizations, to gather the necessary real-time information needed for intervention. Cite: Alex Bellamy’s policy brief for Stanley Foundation
Develop simple, affordable, trainable, and scalable technologies to allow NGOs and human rights activists to gather more information – and / or verify existing information – from hard-to-access areas (i.e. areas where governments intentionally try to prohibit outside access).Solve This On OpenIDEO
They're leaders in government, human rights and technology. Meet the high caliber panel of 11 judges picked to select winners across all five sub-challenges.View All