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[liberationtech] National Violence Outbreak Early Warning System in Kenya

Michael H. Goldhaber michael at
Tue Mar 1 00:23:41 PST 2011

Do you know what this system evaluates to warn of violence? In particular, would it also forestall non-violent protests? How would the two be distinguished?  


On Feb 28, 2011, at 9:49 PM, Terry Winograd wrote:

> National Violence Outbreak Early Warning System in Kenya
> Effective early warning systems have been recognized as prudent
> investments, and when coupled with early preparedness for early
> response; they help in mitigating conflict and increasing stability.
> Kenya’s post election violence of 2007/2008 cast a dark shadow in the
> country as response options proved ineffective and wanting. While the
> Intelligence Service seemed to possess actionable intelligence on the
> likelihood of violence in many parts of the country, their
> communication channels did not appear to reach to people on the ground
> or civil society agencies (Commission of inquiry, 2008). Based on this
> experience, the urge to develop a harmonized conflict early warning
> system came to the fore.
> The National Steering Committee (Office of the President) in
> partnership with UNDP-Kenya has since worked on the development of
> such a System. Zab Vilayil was tasked to implement his concept of an
> Integrated Conflict Early Warning mechanism into the context of Kenya.
> The framework of the System applies the state of the art use of
> technology, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Short Message
> Service (SMS), Indicator-based Situation Reports, Media Reports as
> well as other sources to cross-reference information. This system is a
> hybrid mixture of public crowd sourcing and national structure
> sourcing, which contribute in information cohesion. The customized
> National Conflict Early Warning System for Kenya was launched on
> November 25th, 2010 and is considered one of the most refined conflict
> early warning information tools.
> Zab Vilayil is a human security practitioner and early warning systems
> developer. He draws conceptual and practical insight from his
> experiences in Iraq, Kuwait, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda,
> India, Uganda, and Kenya. His work ranges from teaching in Edmonton to
> research work on the Ssese Islands in Uganda. Vilayil is based in
> Canada and most recently completed the development of the National
> Conflict Early Warning Mechanism for Kenya under UNDP. He was awarded
> the ‘Peace award’ by the National Steering Committee (Office of the
> President) for his work on the Early Warning Framework in Kenya. His
> recent work has generated interest with Foreign Affairs and
> International Trade Canada (DFAIT), Canadian International Development
> Agency (CIDA) and the Inter Governmental Authority on Development
> (IGAD) in Africa.
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