New article - To Boldly Know: Knowledge, Peacekeeping and Remote Data Gathering in Conflict-Affected States
The difficulty of researching with conflict-affected populations, coupled with the demand for up-to-date and accurate knowledge about the dynamics of conflict on the ground, has led many organizations working in conflict-affected states to turn to mobile and internet technology to find solutions to peacekeeping problems.
In this article in the Journal of International Peacekeeping, DLP researcher Suda Perera critically evaluates crowdsourcing's uses and abuses, and warns against an over-reliance on remotely gathered conflict data.
The article draws on a comparative analysis of the author's experiences of carrying out ethnographic fieldwork and using crowdsourcing technologies. It argues that, while crowdsourcing may be a useful supplement to knowledge gained from sustained and embedded engagement in the field, it can never be a substitute. Further, an over-reliance on remotely gathered data can end up reifying simplistic or misleading understandings of the drivers of conflict, and promoting elite interests at the expense of the marginalized voices it claims to make visible.
See also the author's open access DLP paper (PDF, 400kB) on the same topic.