Disinformation and hate speech cause harm to democratic principles in the Middle East and North Africa. Digital Innovations for Peace helps to use technological innovations to equip journalists with skills to fight back.
More than ten years after the Arab Spring, countries in the Middle East and North Africa region are still facing numerous political, social and economic crises. While social networks were praised for their positive impact on democratic change during those turbulent times a decade ago, they have increasingly come under scrutiny in recent years.
This is where the EU-financed project “Digital Innovations for Peace” comes in. DW Akademie and its partners focus on two concrete objectives to promote peace in the digital sphere in the MENA region. It aims to create a cross-regional network for professional exchange to provide much needed training and support in the crucial field of high-quality digital reporting on conflict-related topics.
Another aim of the project is to bring together creative entrepreneurs, digital technology activists and media professionals from across the region to develop innovative solutions for digital communication. These innovations focus on strengthening regional media users’ resilience against disinformation and on enhancing their information literacy. By encouraging audiences to think critically about their information, they will have the necessary skills to make sense of today’s complex media world.
The concrete steps that "Digital Innovations of Peace" are taking toward a more peaceful digital space include development of a vivid online network of media professionals and the creation of a cross-border community of entrepreneurs, technology experts and activists.
The participants get the chance to work on their own solutions in professional virtual acceleration hubs, which provide the necessary environment and hands-on mentorship to help develop their concepts. To make sure that the solutions are sustainable, comprehensive technical advice is provided even after the launch of the products and services.
Also, the beneficiaries should always be kept in mind: The millions of people in the target countries - particularly women, youth and minority groups - who want a digital space that is focused on providing useful information and services instead of spreading discord, conflict and further polarization.
Become part of the Digital Innovations for Peace network
The media landscape is constantly evolving. Staying up to date with the latest trends and technology can be a challenge. The Facebook group Media Innovations for Peace provides a space for journalists and media students from the MENA region to discuss and learn about the latest developments in media technology and to share ideas on how to best use them. The group can discuss topics such as the use of data-driven journalism, social listening, the impact of storytelling, the potential of blockchain technology, and the changing landscape of social media. The network also hosts events for members to learn more about media innovation and to network with like-minded people.
Also, sign up for our quarterly English-language ‘Digital Innovations for Peace’ newsletter and don’t miss out on the latest innovative journalistic methods or the use of cutting-edge technology to combat disinformation and promote media literacy in the MENA region.
DW Akademie and its partners ‘Elbiro’, ‘Leaders Organisation’ and ‘Leaders International’ worked together to create a 3-year project that establishes a cross-regional network for professional exchange and capacity building in high-quality digital reporting on conflict related issues. It also brings together entrepreneurs, digital technology experts and media professionals from across the region to develop innovative ICT solutions for digital communication. Funded by the EU, ‘Digital Innovations for Peace’ helps to make use of technological innovations to increase people’s resilience against disinformation and promote peace in the digital sphere.
Project duration: 3 years (January 2022 until December 2024)
Financial support: EU and AA- funded project
Target countries: Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Lebanon, Jordan, Occupied Palestinian Territory
Main topics of the project: Countering Disinformation, Digital Innovations, Data-Driven Journalism, Social Listening, Conflict Reporting