Media, Tech, & Peacebuilding

I began working on the use of technology to assist negotiation and diplomacy in 1995 in work with the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Maryland’s International  Communication and Negotiation Simulation Project (ICONS).  A year later I would work in Cyprus to support bi-communal peacebuilding in a project that would evolve into the first use of technology platfrom called Tech4Peace that facilitated bicommunal dialogue and strategy between Greek and Turkish Cypriots who had no way of meeting in person.

In 2005, I worked with US Institute of Peacebuilding on a variety of projects involving technology and peacebuilding. One project assessed how peacebuilders and for-profit defense contractors like Lockheed Martin might find common interest in developing technology-assisted civil-military coordination in war zones. A second project involved writing a series of reports on the role of new and legacy media in peacebuilding.

As Senior Research Fellow with the Toda Peace Institute, I work full time on the nexus of peacebuilding and technology and direct the Institute’s Social Media and Peacebuilding program.

The Toda Peace Institute’s programme on Social Media and Peacebuilding aims to achieve the following goals:

  • To increase public understanding of the role of social media in both promoting hate and division, and in fostering greater understanding and democracy
  • To foster greater skill and capacity to use social media to support social cohesion, democracy and peace processes.
  • To document the positive and negative impact of social media on conflict dynamics in communities and countries around the world
  • To provide a menu of creative options for addressing social media threats, including recommendations for civil society, governments, and the technology and finance sectors.
  • To foster greater communication and joint problem solving between technology companies, governments, the financial sector, and peacebuilding organizations


Mapping Responses to Social Media Threats. Lisa Schirch. Report. Toda Peace Institute. March 2019

Social Media Impacts on Social and Political Goods: A Peacebuilding Perspective. Lisa Schirch. Report. Toda Peace Institute. October 2018.

“A Peacebuilding Approach to Media and Conflict Sensitive Journalism” by Myriam Aziz and Lisa Schirch in The Ecology of Violent Extremism, edited by Lisa Schirch. London: Rowman and Littlefield, 2018.

Why and When to Use the Media in Peacebuilding” L. Schirch and V. Bratic. The Netherlands: Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict, 2008.

Media, Conflict Prevention and Peacebuilding Framework. US Institute of Peace, 2008.