Research

My research interests lie in the intersections of ICT for Peacebuilding, technology and democracy, peace and media. I've authored and co-authored a number of papers and articles on these topics, a few of which are below.

 

More on ICT4Peace here.

Presentation on Role of Technology and Media in Peacebuilding

As part of the World Press Freedom Day celebrations in Colombo, Sri Lanka, the BBC World Service Trust and the Swiss Development Agency (SDC) hosted a debate on the role (if any) of media and technology in conflict resolution.

My presentation covered the many ways through which media could play a role, through public service values and professionalism in reporting, conflict transformation in a context such as Sri Lanka. My presentation, a brief one that lasted for 10 minutes, also touched upon the ways through which InfoShare had engineered several ICT for Peace (ICT4Peace) initiatives in Sri Lanka.  

Download the full presentation here.

 

‘Contesting Hegemonies’ – Trilateral (linguistic) media in Sri Lanka

Media reform has also to be looked at holistically. Inextricably entwined with the impetus for media reform should also be the enabling framework of legislation regarding the right to information, the right to speech and the freedom of expression. A piecemeal approach to media reform, neglecting the wider canvas within which such reform takes place, is short-sighted and will not lead to any real change.

There are of course no easy answers to address the issues regarding the contesting hegemonies of the press in Sri Lanka. When online media and journalism in Sri Lanka mirrors print journalism, one can safely say that the need for reform in the media has never been more urgent. The media in Sri Lanka, as media anywhere else, will always be characterised by a combination of all the factors flagged above, and it is up to forward thinking individuals, journalists and civil society interventions to help the media develop a more positive, trans-ethnic and unifying role than it has in the past.

Read the full paper here.

 

Thoughts on Democracy, New Media and the Internet

This paper, through the example of Sri Lanka, explores the larger challenges of new media and the internet in the promotion of democracy and peace in the Global South. A central contention of this paper is that internet and new media are inextricably entwined in larger social processes of peacebuilding and conflict transformation. This requires proponents of ICT to engage with the complex dynamics of politics, systems of governance, manifestations of conflict and the social capital in support of peacebuilding if they are to construct inclusive and sustainable frameworks and systems for the promotion of peace.

Read the full paper here

This was first presented at a conference on Communication Technology and Social Policy in the Digital Age: Expanding Access, Redefining Control, organized by Annenberg Schools for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Southern California on 10th March 2006 in Palm Springs, California.

 

10 ideas for Microsoft Humanitarian Systems Group

This brief paper seeks to examine ten key elements of change that will shape the next 25 years of software development for humanitarianism, peacebuilding and by extension, all collaborative team work that uses Information Communication Technology (ICT). Written into this fabric are applications such as Groove Virtual Office® and new Communications Servers from Microsoft as well as technologies in support of informational archival and retrieval, presence awareness and the mobile web – such as new Microsoft Live technologies, Vista and Groove 12.

Read the full paper here.

More information of the Microsoft Humanitarian System Group can be found here.

 

The future of Online Dispute Resolution

This brief paper seeks to explore a few ideas related to ODR that seek to kindle, jar and even anger the imagination to engage with ideas that lie at the heart of ODR systems design and implementation in the years to come. These dialogues in support of shaping next-generation ODR systems is seen as essential to avoid the development of systems that cannot fully grasp and respond to the complexities of social, commercial and political transaction in real and online worlds.

Click Paper written for 4th UN ODR Symposium - Cairo, Egypt for full paper.

Click here for the related presentation.

 

Creating virtual One Text processes in Sri Lanka

As such, within the larger matrix of OCT for peacebuilding, the central thesis of this paper will be to argue for One Text processes, which fall under the broad rubric of transformative mediation, that virtualise real world processes in order to increase the efficiency, sustainability and success of such processes of conflict transformation and peacebuilding. The specific case of Info Share’s work in Sri Lanka will be explored and used to examine the specific challenges that face such systems in the real world. The object will be to briefly explore the creation of new iterations of such systems that will be better able to respond to the dynamic and unique challenges of peacebuilding in post-conflict contexts.

Read the full paper here.

 

Study of the media in the North and the East of Sri Lanka

A study of Media in the North-East of Sri Lanka, conducted by Centre for Policy Alternatives in collaboration with International Media Support, Denmark. This study was conducted from May to June 2003 by Mr. Sunanda Deshapriya and Mr. Sanjana Hattotuwa from the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA), Colombo, Sri Lanka and is the first comprehensive overview of the media in this war ravaged conflict for over two decades.

A summary of the report is available here.