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PeaceTXT: The Potential for Peace
through Mobile Technology

When violence threatens to break out on city streets, in the run-up to an election, or in a land dispute, how can community leaders instantly reach out to urge calm and quash false rumors?

It turns out that the key may already be in our pockets: the mobile phone. PeaceTXT builds on the proven success of one-on-one violence prevention programs and is exploring the potential of mobile technology to reach more people in high-risk situations more quickly, stopping violence and creating a more durable peace.

Separately, two PeaceTXT tactics have already been shown to work. Person-to-person efforts to interrupt and prevent violence by treating it like an infectious disease have proven effective. And SMS text messages via mobile phone can influence behavior, as demonstrated by the catalytic impact of mobile health initiatives globally.

Can an analogue public health model for addressing violence be combined with the use of mobile phones to influence behavior in a new and powerful way that prevents bloodshed and fosters reconciliation in places all around the world?

PeaceTXT is poised to answer that question. The project brings together some of the world’s best technologists and social innovators who are working toward the common goal of creating an integrated, replicable approach to violence interruption, crisis prevention and peace-building.

Prototyping is currently underway in Kenya and the United States, where the PeaceTXT team is piloting methodologies and technical platforms that will enable the use of text messages to disrupt violence and contribute to more peaceful communities. As early results show promise, the team will refine its approach and work toward the deployment of a broadly available open-source methodology for use in high-risk environments around the world.

Project Updates

The PeaceTXT Partnership

PopTech
PeaceTXT is led by PopTech, which specializes in fostering unconventional collaborations that result in sustainable social impact.

CureViolence
CureViolence (formerly CeaseFire) deploys public health strategies that have been scientifically proven to reduce shootings and killings. Their face-to-face violence interruption programs have been implemented in the US and internationally. CureViolence contributes deep expertise in the deployment of a public health model to prevent violence, a core element of PeaceTXT’s integrated approach.

Sisi Ni Amani
Sisi Ni Amani [We Are Peace] is a Nairobi-based NGO serving as a PeaceTXT field partner for early prototyping. The organization already works with existing networks of peace leaders in Kenya and has experience using mobile technology as a tool for civic education, engagement and dialogue to help build peace and prevent election-related violence.

Medic Mobile
Medic Mobile is a maker of advanced tools that employ mobile technologies to better enable frontline healthcare workers to coordinate and better serve their communities. Medic Mobile helps PeaceTXT understand just how mobile messaging drives changes in behavior.

Ushahidi
Ushahidi is a non-profit tech company that specializes in developing free and open source software for information collection, visualization and interactive mapping. Their expertise in crowdsourcing and crisis mapping are critical to the success of PeaceTXT.

Qatar Computing Research Institute
QCRI conducts world-class multidisciplinary computing research. QCRI brings to PeaceTXT deep expertise in the application of new technologies for use in crisis early warning and humanitarian response.

Praekelt Foundation
Praekelt Foundation is a builder of open source, scalable mobile technologies and solutions to improve the health and wellbeing of people living in poverty. The Praekelt Foundation is spearheading the development of the PeaceTXT technology platform.

Getting Involved

The PeaceTXT team has received initial support through a generous grant provided by the Rita Allen Foundation, with additional support from the Indigo Trust. We are expanding our network of additional partners, supporters and technical advisors. To explore how you or your organization might contribute, please contact peacetxt@poptech.org.

In Partnership With:

Rita Allen Foundation logo
Indigo Trust logo