Deniz Duzenli, of the soon-to-be-launched Peace Portal, shares their vision and goals with us.

Every day we hear news of longstanding violent conflicts, where solutions seem difficult to even imagine. Local communities in conflict regions are underrepresented in the media, only visible when calamities occur. The haste with which stories need to be covered often means that the stories of local people are overshadowed - including the day to day economic, political, social and spiritual dynamics of a community, which are crucial factors in creating or solving conflicts.

It is the people within these communities who understand best the local context, opinions, hopes and worries. However, policymakers usually do not hear these local voices, and instead depend on external information and analysis. The Peace Portal aims to have these local voices heard.  As the secretariat of the Global Partnership for the Prevention on Armed Conflict (GPPAC), the European Centre for Conflict Prevention is building the Portal for the communication, interaction and operational needs of its members across the world.

The Peace Portal is a unique online platform for cooperation, learning and action in the conflict prevention and peacebuilding field. It aggregates the newest digital technologies allowing communication via the web. Specifically built for conflict prevention purposes, it ensures anonymous and secured communication to protect individuals and civil society organisations operating in repressive contexts. The Portal is a tool to support more decentralized and people-centred initiatives aimed at detecting of early signs early warning of conflict. Built on open source technology, it includes features such as social networking capabilities, real time information and communication, and user-generated information.

 

The project gives a voice to people that directly work with and in communities in conflict areas through social media tools that stimulate dialogue, empowering sources from the ground with on and offline tools to become reliable peace reporters and lastly applying these skills in ensuring that the voices of local communities living the consequences of war are heard.

The Peace Portal is different from a traditional website in that it is a collaborative endeavour and the content is produced and shared by its users. The Portal aims to connect the online information with offline action.

The Beta version of the Portal is online, where further improvements are being made to ensure the Portal is user friendly and that all functionalities are working. The Portal will be launched and live in September 2010.

Interested in working with the Portal, want to be informed when the Portal is live or for more information please send an email to info@peaceportal.org.