Digital Peace: Digitally Transforming the African Union’s Internal Collaboration

Faculty: 
Michael L. Best
Students: 
Samir Ahmed, Baptiste Amato, Kaushi Chandraratna, Alexis Durocher, Gabriel Hurtado, Vincent Marois, Whitney Nelson, Nina Qin, Huda Tauha, Brandon Wilde

A core mission of the African-Union is to establish relevant consensuses on new or already effective resolutions (including policy documents and communique) that impact the well-being of over 1 billion African people across 55 Member States. The process from the generation to the execution of a new resolution involves different AU organs, each ensuring homogeneity, and equality regarding development, promotion of peace, security and prosperity. This project is in collaboration with the African Union Peace and Security Department and the United States Mission to the African Union. 

Many of the AU's current collaborative practices are inefficient due to a reliance on outdated communication methods and an inability to scale communication itself. Collaborating around sensitive topics is not an easy task. Creating, approving and executing with different interests in mind, locations and/or availabilities is even harder.

The Georgia Tech team designed a prototype for a secure online collaboration platform allowing AU stakeholders, to generate, edit, review and manage their documents collaboratively, with a lot more ease. Our solution not only digitally streamlines the African Union's collaborative process of creating new effective resolutions, but also respects the interests of each contributor and the political sensitivities that inherently lies within the workflow.

Our platform will provide each member with access rights in compliance with the African Union hierarchy and a central dashboard to enable oversight on the respective progress and history of their private or public projects. Assigned writers and reviewers will have options to team-up for the generation and approval of new resolutions and notify executors with their progress. Assigned executors will have options to team-up for gathering relevant documents and collaborating around the execution of resolution-related projects.

 

Related image

(African Union peacekeeping forces. Image source: VOA/Bagassi Koura)

Lab: 
Faculty: 
Michael L. Best

The lab's research focuses on information and communication technologies for social, economic, and political development. In particular the lab studies mobile phones, the internet, and internet-enabled services and their design, impact, and importance within low-income countries of Africa and Asia. The lab researches engineering, public policy, hci/usability, and sustainability issues as well as methods to assess and evaluate social, economic, and political development outcomes. They are also interested in the impact of information and communication technologies on the development-security nexus and in post-conflict peace and reconciliation.