Strand II: PeaceTech, Tracking Data, and the UN Ceasefire Call

In this strand of our work with the Covid Collective, we will provide data and analysis on how the UN global ceasefire call is being received and taken up, and what other conflict-related issues health interventions are having to navigate, with what consequences for political trust in both health providers and political leaders. This strand consists of two projects outlined below.

PeaceTech, Tracking Data, and the UN Ceasefire Call

John Allison, Dr Benjamin Bach, Dr Devanjan Bhattacharya, Prof Christine Bell, Dr Sanja Badanjak, Krisztian Der, Anne Funnemark, Fiona Knäussel, and Laura Wise are developing innovative tools to monitor and track the conflict-peace-Covid-19 nexus, as a PeaceTech collaborative data project. They continue to update and the Covid-19 Ceasefires Tracker, which explores the impact of Covid-19 on conflicts and their respective peace processes following the UN call for a global ceasefire. The PeaceTech team have also developed the Covid-19 Library of Trackers, a curated selection of trackers that trace developments during Covid-19 in a wide variety of areas – such as border controls, human rights and freedom of speech – which may impact peace and conflict processes across the globe. As part of PSRP’s broader PeaceTech and Data4peace agenda, they are also conceptualising digital platforms for visualizing and processing peace data, for the benefit of both the research community and those directly involved in resolving armed conflicts by means of peace negotiations.

‘Breathing Space’: Could Humanitarian Ceasefires Support Covid-19 Healthcare Campaigns?

Laura Wise, Dr Sanja Badanjak, and Ian Russell are exploring the conflict-peace-Covid-19 nexus by examining how humanitarian ceasefires have historically facilitated access for vaccination programmes in conflict-affected contexts, in order to assess potential opportunities for, and limits of, Covid-19 vaccination and public health campaigns. In Afghanistan, El Salvador, Sudan, and Sri Lanka, for example, “Days of Tranquillity”, “Zones of Tranquillity”, “Corridors of Peace”, and “Health for Peace” initiatives were historically used to immunize hard-to-reach populations in conflict zones against infectious diseases such as polio, measles, and tuberculosis, all with varying impacts and challenges. As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to rage across the world, and the COVAX facility begins to slowly distribute vaccines to conflict-affected countries, we need to understand how humanitarian ceasefires have affected previous public health campaigns against other diseases, and what lessons could be applied to the fight against Covid-19.