GENEVA – APRIL 21, 2021 – Enhancing our tools and analysis to address the digital dimensions of conflict, the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (HD) has set up a high-level experts group to increase cross-sector understanding and collaboration around social media and peace agreements.

“As a field, mediation has not kept pace with the digital age. Without addressing these modern realities, peace agreements will only partially solve conflict,” said Maude Morrison, social media advisor at HD.

“We have a great deal to learn from these experts, who are working at the cutting edge of social media and conflict.”

HD – an independent, non-profit organisation focused on private diplomacy, mediation and peacebuilding initiatives with teams in more than 50 conflict areas around the world – runs a two-part programme on social media and cyber dialogue.

The experts group supports the social media and conflict mediation programme.

As social media is used to spread disinformation, incite violence and undermine peace processes, HD’s social media team and the experts group are tackling timely questions such as:

  • How might parties be persuaded to put down their digital weapons?
  • Can mediators broker peace agreements that reduce the corrosive impact of social media?
  • If such agreements were brokered, who would have the legitimacy to monitor them?

Members of the experts group – who will convene quarterly to provide technical advice, support HD’s pilots on the ground and foster collaboration between the tech and mediation communities – include:

  • Noura Al Jizawi, researcher at Citizen Lab and former vice-president of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces
  • Graham Brookie, director of the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab
  • Renata Dwan, deputy director of Chatham House
  • Camille François, chief innovation officer at Graphika
  • Shelby Grossman, research scholar at the Stanford Internet Observatory
  • Rose Jackson, director of the Policy Initiative at Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab
  • Asif R. Khan, head of mediation support and gender, peace and security in the UN’s Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs
  • Tatiana Monney, a senior electoral adviser with more than 15 years of experience with the United Nations and European Union
  • Sarah Oh, non-resident fellow at the Atlantic Council and former senior member of Facebook’s Strategic Response Team
  • Katia Papagianni, director for Policy and Mediation Support at HD
  • Helena Puig Larrauri, director and co-founder of Build Up
  • Marietje Schaake, international policy director at Stanford University’s Cyber Policy Center and international policy fellow at Stanford’s Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence

This work is generously supported by the European Union’s Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace (IcSP).