UN QCRI Institute and HBKU join forces to advance peace through technology

DOHA – The Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI) of Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) and the United Nations (UN) Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (UN DPPA) hosted the third “E-Analytics and Innovation Lab”. 2023, at the HBKU Research Complex in Doha.

Over thirty political analysts, communications specialists and computer engineers came together at the flagship annual event to explore new technologies for conflict prevention, peacemaking and peacebuilding. The innovation lab provided a platform for the application of big data analysis, social media mining, geospatial remote sensing, artificial intelligence and natural language processing to support the UN’s work on political and peace processes worldwide.

dr Ahmed Elmagarmid, Executive Director of QCRI, expressed his pride at the workshop, saying: “QCRI is honored to have developed collaborations with international partners such as the UN over the past decade. Our scientists have produced impactful research and practical applications that can be used to address real-world problems.”

dr Martin Waehlisch from the UN DPPA organizing team praised the collaboration and said: “The HBKU ecosystem of public, private and academic partners creates fertile ground for the development of innovative ideas and prototypes that advance the UN peace efforts. Inspiration and experimentation is key to fostering innovation, and QCRI has been an exceptional partner in harnessing new technologies for peace over the years.”

Samuel Martell, Policy Officer at the UN DPPA-DPO Asia-Pacific Division, who attended the workshop, enthusiastically remarked: “The interactive innovation lab encouraged us to step out of our comfort zones and expand our thinking in much of what what I learned stems from my work in political affairs, emphasizing more creative storytelling and design thinking as a means of finding innovative solutions.”

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Lucy Perkins, Political Affairs Officer at the Office of the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process (UNSCO), reiterated: “The workshop was a really insightful experience. The discussions and hands-on sessions on new digital applications and innovations have really enhanced my understanding of the potential of technology to drive positive change. I appreciated the opportunity to learn from experts in the field and to work with a diverse group of participants. I feel inspired and empowered to bring some of these ideas into my own work and contribute to a more peaceful world.”

dr Muhammad Imran, Senior Scientist at QCRI and co-organizer of the event, summarized: “We are delighted with the success of this year’s workshop and the impact it had on our participants. The collaboration between the UN and QCRI has proven to be invaluable in advancing peacebuilding through technology. We are committed to repeating this annual flagship event and continuing to bring together experts from different fields to explore new technologies and ideas. We are grateful for the partnership with QCRI and look forward to advancing our common goal of promoting peace through innovation.”

QCRI conducts cutting-edge multidisciplinary applied computing research according to the needs of Qatar, the Arab region, and proactively collaborates with leading research organizations, laboratories and academic institutions worldwide to meet the growing global needs.


About Hamad Bin Khalifa University

Be innovative today, shape tomorrow.

Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU), a member of the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science, and Community Development (QF), was founded in 2010 as a research-intensive university that doubles as a catalyst for transformative change in Qatar and the global impact. Located in Education City, HBKU is committed to building and nurturing human skills through an enriching academic experience, an innovative ecosystem, and unique partnerships. HBKU offers multidisciplinary undergraduate and graduate programs through its colleges and offers research and fellowship opportunities through its institutes and centers. For more information about HBKU, visit www.hbku.edu.qa.

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