Wikis, Webs, and Networks
October 15, 2006
Collapsed and fragile states are now a focal point of foreign policy. During the past five years, such states have increasingly dominated the attention and resources of the U.S. government. Despite the importance of international interventions in conflict-prone settings, the record of success is mixed, and international actors struggle to establish minimum security and to reconstruct state institutions.
Persistent lack of success stems in part from problems of communication and connectivity between the diverse actors involved. More specifically, expertise gained from one international intervention does not adequately inform the next, and the wide array of international players lack an effective means of communicating with one another.
Recent technological innovations have fundamentally altered the information landscape just as developments in social network theory have changed how people connect and socialize. Taken together, these advancements have the potential to transform work in conflict-prone settings; however, they have not yet been fully incorporated into policy and practice.
Wikis, Webs, and Networks: Creating Connections for Conflict-Prone Settings recommends ways to improve connectivity between the various actors working in conflict-prone settings. The ultimate goal of enhanced connectivity is to enable local populations to prevent and mitigate conflict and help rebuild their country. This report is intended for civilians as well as the military, the public and private sectors, and Americans as well as international and national actors.