The rapid development and adoption of digital technology are transforming industries, governments, economies, and societies. The global—although unequal—proliferation of digital technologies effectively means that digital systems are becoming more inherent for people and communities, particularly how they form networks and interact with each other and their environment.
Under the banner of USAID’s Digital Strategy, the Bureau for Development, Democracy, and Innovation, Innovation, Technology, and Research Hub, Technology Division (DDI/ITR/T) launched an innovative framework to assess country-level digital ecosystems, representing the stakeholders, systems, and an enabling environment that together empower people and communities to use digital technology to access services, engage with each other, and pursue economic opportunities. The Digital Ecosystem Framework investigates the complex, interactive dynamics across three pillars: digital infrastructure and adoption; digital society, rights, and governance; and the digital economy. Digital ecosystems impact—and are impacted by—overarching country environments, including the conflict and violence dynamics in country environments.
The purpose of this document is to assist teams conducting Digital Ecosystem Country Assessments (DECAs) to incorporate conflict, violence, and peacebuilding considerations in their data collection, assessment, and recommendations for USAID Missions.
This guide addresses:
- How conflict and violence impact digital ecosystems;
- How digital ecosystems shape conflict and peace dynamics;
- How to analyze intersections between conflict, violence, peace, and digital ecosystems;
- Conflict-sensitive considerations for DECA assessment teams, and;
- What questions DECA teams can incorporate into data collection to address these considerations