Please view the Archive of IBO's presentation on Tuesday evening:

IBO Peacebuilding Projects from Bryan Hanson on Vimeo.

Individuals and organizations alike have leveraged Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to promote peace and resolve disputes in zones of prolonged conflict. The use of ICT offers a number of advantages in the peace building process. For example, social networking tools foster virtual communities, providing a new avenue for previously isolated people to access information and resources outside the zones of conflict. Each community has its own rhythm and access to technology, as is the case with Internet Bar Organization's (IBO) PeaceTones Initiative. Take a quick peek at the Facebook based online contest ( and VOTE (to help select the Haitian artists who will make the finals), to see one such example.

The IBO’s PeaceTones Initiative addresses the isolation of individuals in conflict zones and areas recently freed from conflict. Prolonged conflict serves as an anchor, holding back populations vandalized and deprived of resources, populations living at or below the international poverty line, and populations overlooked or exploited by local governments.


PeaceTones aims to assist musicians and their communities in conflict and post-conflict zones with access to Internet technology, legal assistance in establishing and maintaining intellectual property rights, alternative dispute resolution assistance to ensure successful ongoing development, and business assistance to bring remote market prices to local developing markets.

PeaceTones through a number of ICT platforms has successfully created virtual communities, which enable their focus groups to access information and resources beyond their boundaries. We are looking forward to engaging with participants from all over the globe to consider how ICT acts an enabler, both positively and negatively, throughout peace building.

Some of you may also want to join a NING network to supplement the PeaceTones Initiative in order to engage both students and practitioners in building a PeaceTones movement for online justice.

Jeff Aresty is co-founder and president of the Internet Bar Organization (IBO), a non-profit organization that seeks to promote and shape the emerging online justice community by using technology and Rule of Law to promote human rights and alleviate poverty. IBO’s signature project, PeaceTones, is designed to empower artists in developing communities with the essential legal and technical tools to bring their art and music to online markets. IBO’s second project, Internet Silk Road, uses mobile phone technology to provide Afghans with an online justice system to resolve land disputes and conduct e-commerce.

Ruha Devanesan is Vice President and Executive Director of the Internet Bar Organization.  She heads both the Internet Silk Road and PeaceTones Initiatives of IBO and works with a team of passionate lawyers, researchers and artists to run the projects.  Ruha has a Bachelor's degree in Journalism and Political Science, and graduated from Boston University with a joint law degree and Masters in International Relations.  Her research focuses in undergraduate and graduate studies were ethnic conflict, international human rights law and international development.

Eric Cissell is a graduate student from The Werner Institute at Creighton University, studying Negotiation and Dispute Resolution with a specialization in International Negotiation and Conflict Resolution.  His research focuses on current and emerging technologies and strategies for applying them in conflict management and peacebuilding.

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Hello Cyberweek attendees! We're looking forward to an excellent discussion on Technology in Peacebuilding. Last evening, Jeff Aresty and Ruha Devanesan shared Internet Bar Organization's micro-commerce justice initiatives which successfully use ICT for enabling community based rule of law and development in Haiti and Afghanistan. To begin our discussion today, I'd like to build on the material shared by Jeff and Ruha. If you happened to miss the live webinar or would like a refresher, the presentation is available [here].

One of the elements discussed by Jeff and Ruha was the "ripeness for alternative commercial and dispute resolution mechanisms in Haiti and Afghanistan." The question I'd like to propose initially is:

What are examples of indicators that can measure the "ripeness" for technology and alternative dispute resolution mechamisms in an underdeveloped region of prolonged conflict?

In addition to responding to the intial question above, please do not hesitate to post an introductory message about yourself, your interest in the application of technology in peacebuilding, as well as your questions and/or experiences.
Thanks for the opportunity to get the community involved in growing these projects!

Essentially, the way we think about the issues at a macro level is that you can divide them into three categories:

1. The creation of online identities;

2. The creation of enforceable property rights in an online setting;

3. The availability of an online dispute resolution mechanism which will support the community, helping it to avoid disputes as well as serve as an enforcement mechanism.

i am able to hear the Archive of IBO's presentation on Tuesday evening, but i did not get any video. it might be because i do not have a web cam or it it could be because jeff dropped out/lost connection.
Hi Michael- Unfortunately, we did lose video for the 1st half of the presentation. However, it does video was restored when Jeff is reconnected. Any thoughts or questions after viewing IBO's presentation?
The discussion from Tuesday night with Jeff and Ruha was informative yet i did not hear the entire webcast and will find some time tomorrow after my class to review it thoroughly and post my thoughts.

For now , i was wondering if anybody in the professional or academic community could give me some feedback or point me in the direction towards resources that might help me with my group project initial idea in rough draft initialization stage.

here is what we have so far....

The United States Government and the Obama Administration have proposed an interesting strategy to online identity security. An identity Ecosystem with trusted identities which include government organizations, non-government organizations, public sector business communities, individual persons and electronic devices (computers, smart cards, and secure mobile phones) will all be able to work together in a system of interoperability fostering ease of use and scalability. The scalability aspect of this ecosystem will be explored to find out how it might help Peacetones serve a greater number of artists in a secure and confidential manner. This help will come in the fashion of making online identities easy to use and expand the interoperability between platforms such as social networking and online music sales. The main document that spurred interest in the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace was found at
and other resources for information on this topic have been found at the following websites. If anybody has information on the NSTIC project please forward to Group 6.**.ecappj01
Maclellan - As you stated, music piracy is rampant--taking many different shapes and forms. It's been a problem that has riddled the music industry for quite some time. Many strategies have been developed and implemented to deter and/or change the behaviors of consumers, such as DRM, with marginal success. Simply, piracy is an unfortunate reality of the digital age and may impact album sales of artists associated with the PeaceTones Initiative. It is easy to want to protect them from that unfortunate reality.

Thinking about Ruha's point presented last night, I definitely agree that piracy has the potential to increase the exposure of emerging artists which may generate new opportunities (merchandising, live concerts) and sales. Over time, as the PeaceTones Initiative matures, it will be interesting to monitor the progress of the emerging artists and see if piracy is impacting total sales. And, when it is time to evaluate piracy and PeaceTones, it will be important to analyze what type of piracy is present-- unlawful use, bootlegging, counterfeiting. From there, I think you can begin building a strategy to prevent piracy.

If piracy is found to be a problem, there a few strategies PeaceTones may be able employ to help the situation without breaking the point:

- educate consumers on the PeaceTones Initiative; consumers may be less inclined to pirate from artists of underdeveloped nations
- collaborate with different service providers to bundle packages, offering albums/songs at a reduce rate (or nothing at all); the value for service providers may be in advertising or positive PR through global citizenship
- host a PeaceTones concert and include a free ticket in every album; maybe I'm a fan of Willy Wonka, but I continue to be a fan of the Golden Ticket concept
- share the facts; if over time piracy emerges as a problem, share the facts with the public. Facts and data will ignite other people to work for your cause and may deter people from continuing their behavior

At the end of the day though, the PeaceTones Initiatives provides artists a sense of empowerment and a toolkit to participate in a global marketplace, a valuable skill set that can't be pirated. This is where I see the true value of the PeaceTones Initiative when applied to community development and online dispute resolution.

Maclellan Swan said:
Let me get this discussion started off by posing a question. In your opinion, in an environment where piracy is rampant, How can the artists work best be protected? Currently, the PeaceTones Initiative is focusing on selling the artists work via platforms that already incorporate DRM, an archaic solution to piracy, as illegal downloads outnumber legal ones by a lot. Ruha mentioned in the presentation that piracy can be good to get the artists music out to the world, and more money can come from touring the world. With Haiti Sings, many of the artists will not go on to be world famous, and their only income will be from album sales, which will take a hit from piracy. How can PeaceTones make strides to combat this issue (however futile that may be)?
I think using technology in order to build peace is a great idea. We have seen in the past two decades how utilizing the internet has supported movements - such as the Zapatistas in the Chiapas region in Mexico, and campaigns - such as Barack Obama's presidential nomination. It is a great tool to share ideas with people locally and globally.

The PeaceTones project sounds phenomenal. This project is spreading awareness and building agency for those who are so often ignored.
I enjoyed the webinar the other evening and was reminded of a couple resources that are worth mentioning in this context. One is a very useful ICT4Peace wiki maintained by our colleague Sanjana Hattotuwa that provides links to example projects and summaries of ICT use in humanitarian crisises.

The other is related to the PeaceTones project in Afghanistan - folks may be interested to review some of the reports coming out of the Afghan Research and Evaluation Unit which has covered topics such as microfinance issues and local conflict practices in Afghanistan in useful ways. As noted in the reports,
In studying the processes used for dispute resolution, this research has focused on four central themes: the processes used in resolving and or regulating disputes at community level; the relationships between these processes at the community level and state actors at district-level; the principles underlying the outcomes of dispute resolution processes; and equity within these processes, with a particular focus on gender equity. Gender equity itself has been analysed in regard to four dynamics: women’s ability to access dispute resolution processes which are dominated by men; women’s contribution to these processes, in comparison to men’s contribution; women’s role as decision-makers in resolving disputes; and the outcomes for women as compared to men of the decisions made within these processes.

A zipped up package of 3 pdfs provides the following...
- A Holistic Justice System for Afghanistan (Policy Note), by Deborah J. Smith and Jay Lamey
- Community-Based Dispute Resolution in Nangarhar Province (Case Study), by Deborah J. Smith
- Community-Based Dispute Resolution in Bamiyan Province (Case Study), by Deborah J. Smith and Shelly Manalan

As mentioned in the webcast, mobile phones may help us locate, map and connect local community-based conflict resolution processes with more centralized state-run efforts.
I'd suggest that we not get too hung up on the piracy issue at the expense of the peacebuilding benefits of a project like PeaceTones and Haiti Sings. Is there piracy? Sure. Will there always be piracy? Yep. I am all in favor of doing everything we can to protect the intellectual property of the participants in projects like PeaceTones, but there is a benefit that, at least as far as I'm concerned, outweighs the risk of having "product" stolen online. One of the driving forces behind the idea of PeaceTones is to create an environment in which people from stressed communities (conflict, post conflict, disaster, etc.) can work together toward a goal, create value from their own work or ideas, and enhance social cohesion in the process. If no music is ever sold, or if some is "stolen," that benefit still remains.
Jeff, an area that intrigues me from your presentation is in relation to the silk road project in Afghanistan. The level of connectivity that is opening up through the use of cell phone technology seems to provide a doorway to justice for much of the world population. We also saw the power of this technology play out in the previous Iran election, in terms of providing some level of accountability to those who oppressed and committed violations to a segment of the population. My question is how have you dealt with the resistance from the formal structure when it may be beneficial to them to restrict access to this technology?
We didn't have to go far this past summer to find an example of the formal structure resisting access to technology: on the way back from Kabul, we spent a day in the UAE, where the newspapers were reporting on the government's decision to shut down Blackberry use, because messages were encrypted, and it prevented them from 'seeing' what they needed to. Eventually, I believe, that decision was overturned. The point is that we will have to deal with the formal sector since at some level, whether it is through internet access, or mobile device distribution/registration, they have the means to 'control' access. The key is to make the process of linking the formal and informal sectors through technology a mutually beneficial process.
Hi Jeff,
I completely agree with your statement - the political leaders have a large impact on what access is actually provided to citizens. We saw this with the 2009 presidential election in Iran where complete Internet access was cut off because people were reporting on government-provoked violence for those who did not support the incumbent regime. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has made it known that providing open communication through the Internet is a top initiative for peace keeping, and for bringing awareness to violence in areas that still allow it.


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