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Preventing violence through community-level monitoring

Action Support Centre

Project type Research 

Country South Africa  Tanzania  Uganda 


In partnership withCentre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations, Coventry University
“Civil society organisations embedded within local communities are best positioned to transform potential dynamics of conflict into opportunities for change. What role can technology play in connecting 'warners' to 'responders'?” —Action Support Centre
Start date
May 2014
End date
October 2015
Period: 18 months


For many societies affected by violence and social conflict, government responses frequently occur only after the violence has reached critical levels.

Early warning in managing conflict can reduce the destructive effects of violence, and maximize opportunities for engagement with conflicting parties. However, communication gaps between citizen and political institutions can often hamper timely and effective responses, and undermine efforts for long-term peace-building.


Use of communications technology can help bridge the gap between community practitioners and authorities, but there is still a dearth of research of how it is being applied and how well its working in conflict prevention.

In Zanzibar, Northern Uganda and in South Africa’s Gauteng Province, Action Support Centre and the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations worked to understand the communication gaps between citizens and political institutions in conflict-affected communities, and the role of technology in preventing conflict, by asking:

  • How can the gap between conflict warning and response be reduced?
  • How can conflict-prevention platforms build cooperative relationships, based on trust and accountability, with political decision-makers?

The research provides practical recommendations for governments, international actors and civil society groups strengthening feedback loops between citizens and governments, and on where communications technology can help improve conflict prevention interventions.



Action Support Centre (ASC) is the Africa regional hub of ACTION for Conflict Transformation; a network of organisations and individuals committed to transforming conflict. ASC specialises in capacity building, lobbying and advocacy, grassroots mobilisation, facilitating dialogue and initiating innovative forms of community organising.


Coventry University’s Centre for Trust, Peace, and Social Relations advances research; education and partnerships to address the challenges posed by violent conflict and promote a deeper understanding of peace and reconciliation.


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