Fieldwork Researcher: Charles Katua

Charles Katua is a researcher of ICT4D.  He is currently employed at C4DLab – University of Nairobi, where he combines project management, design research, and service design skills to facilitate development of innovative solutions with startups. He also cooperates with the Faculty of School of Computing & Informatics at the University of Nairobi, Kenya, mostly in the research of regional innovation and startup environment in Kenya. His research interests include technology entrepreneurship, platform strategy, and research methods. Before entering academia he worked as a Software Developer in IT industry.

He joins the ConflictNET team to support data collection and other logistical matters in Kenya. He is keen to explore the role of social media in shaping perceptions and narratives in conflict-prone situations.

RightsCon 2019, Tunis

Dr Eleanor Marchant, Conflict-NET Postdoctoral Researcher, will be participating in three panels at the RightsCon 2019 in Tunis:

  1. Strategically Litigating Internet shutdowns and Cybercrime Laws in Africa; Reflecting on steps taken and the raod ahead at 2:15 on Wednesday June 12
  2. Does Social Media Deserve a Sin Tax? The impact of internet service levies on human rights and sustainable development in Africa at 10:30am on Thursday June 13
  3. Datafied Refuge: Navigating new digital border for refugees in the city, at 5:15pm on Thursday June 13. This one is organized by Kira! And is more of a roundtable so I won’t be formally speaking.

Fieldwork Researcher: Abdirizak Aden Muhumed

A researcher with a keen interest in state-violence, ethnic nationalism and migration in the Horn of Africa.

Academic qualifications:

MA in Political Science

BA Hons in Creative Writing and African Literature

BA Hons in Political Science

BA in Journalism

 

Fieldwork Researcher: Vincenzo Cavallo

Vincenzo Cavallo, also known as Dr.Faras in East Africa, is an academic researcher a visual artist and a social entrepreneur.

He has been nominated Berlinale Talent in 2018, in 2019 he won the Berlinale Talent Co-Production Award with the Somali-Kenyan feature film project Bufis, currently under development. During the same here he has been selected to present African Space Makers, the first ever interactive VR series produced in Africa at the Venice Biennale Cinema (Gap-Financing Market), currently under production.

Vincenzo is the founder of the Nairobi BUS an iconic space in Nairobi where during 2018/19 more than 42 workshops on photography and videography have been delivered in collaboration with Canon Central and Norther Africa.

He is the director of an awarded feature film WAZI?FM, a TV series Pasos de Cumbia, a web series Connection House, and more than fifty documentaries on social political cultural and humanitarian issues.

In 2010, after working for UN/DESA and co-founding the Cultural Video Foundation and Cultural Video Production, he obtained a PhD in Communication and New Technologies with a thesis on participatory media and politics in Kenya.

Since 2007, he has been working in Africa especially in Kenya and Somalia and Latin America, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, Argentina and Chile with the Cultural Video Group producing and directing video projects and communication campaigns for UN agencies while at the same time publishing articles and book chapters on ICT for development and democracy.

RESEARCH INTERESTS

Cultural Studies, Media Studies, Migration Studies.

Fieldwork Researcher: Elia Vitturini

Elia Vitturini received his PhD in social anthropology at the University of Milan-Bicocca (Italy). Since 2011 he has carried out fieldwork research in Somaliland. His analysis adopted the point of view of young political activists and party members in order to investigate the process of state institutions building, the relationships between plural political actors of Somalilander arena and political mobilisation during a pre-election phase. After 2014, he further developed the analysis of Somali society by focusing on local configurations of social stratification. He investigated the position of Gaboye groups and other marginalised minorities, i.e. hereditary groups of occupational specialists, within the Somalilander economic and political context. This historical-anthropological approach focused on some structuring elements of the intertwined dynamics of reproduction and transformation of social stratifications.

European Research Council (ERC) Projects: Uyanga Amarsaikhan

Dr. Uyanga Amarsaikhan oversees content for the Migration Observatory and conducts legal research for ConflictNET – The Politics and Practice of Social Media in Conflict. She is also responsible for implementation and financial management of ERC Projects at the Law Faculty’s Centre for Socio-Legal Studies.

New book on ‘Media, Conflict and the State in Africa’ by Nicole Stremlau

Countries emerging from violent conflict face difficult challenges about what the role of media should be in political transitions, particularly when attempting to build a new state and balance a difficult legacy. ‘Media, Conflict, and the State in Africa’ by Nicole Stremlau and published by Cambridge University Press, discusses how ideas, institutions and interests have shaped media systems in some of Africa’s most complex state and nation-building projects. This timely book comes at a turbulent moment in global politics as waves of populist protests gain traction, and concerns continue to grow about fake news, social media echo chambers, and the increasing role of both traditional and new media in waging wars or influencing elections. Focusing on comparative cases from a historical perspective and the choices and ideas that informed the approaches of some of Africa’s leaders, including guerrilla commanders Yoweri Museveni of Uganda and Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia, Nicole Stremlau offers a unique political insight into the development of contemporary media systems in Africa.

ConflictNET website launched

ConflictNET has launched its project website. Nicole Stremlau, head of the PCMLP, has received a 1.5 million euro European Research Council grant to fund and lead ConflictNET. The project examines how social media affect the balance between peace-building efforts and attempts to perpetuate violence in conflict-affected communities. Geographically, ConflictNET focuses on conflict related to religion and politics in Eastern Africa as an entry point to understand the complex relationship between social media and conflict.

The project will also establish the Social Media, Conflict and Migration Observatory as a unique platform to develop public and policy engagement and debate on critical issues related to social media, conflict, governance, and migration.

On the website, you will find more information about the research questions and the project team. If you have any questions, comments or feedback, please feel free to send the project team a message.

Principal investigator: Nicole Stremlau

Dr Nicole Stremlau is Head of the Programme in Comparative Media Law and Policy and a Research Fellow in the Centre of Socio-Legal Studies.

Nicole Stremlau’s research focuses on media and governance, particularly in areas of conflict and insecurity in Africa. Her most recent projects examine the role of new media in political participation and governance; media law and regulation in the absence of government or in weak states; the role of media in conflict, peacebuilding and the consolidation of political power; and how governments attempt to engage citizens and communicate law-making processes. Stremlau’s doctoral work explored the role of media during the guerrilla insurgencies in Uganda and Ethiopia, and how the successive governments used the media to consolidate political power in the aftermath of violence.

While Stremlau continues to research and write on Ethiopia, her more recent research has been on media and conflict in Somalia and Somaliland, which has received funding from the United Nations, among others. Stremlau is currently writing a monograph on the Politics of Communication in Africa. Her research has contributed to academic journals, including the International Journal of Communication and the Journal of Eastern African Studies, as well as to research by governmental organizations such as the World Bank’s 2011 World Development Report on Conflict, Security and Development.

As Head of PCMLP, Stremlau develops and manages international programmes on media law and policy, including the Price Media Law Moot Court Programme. She has established links between PCMLP with universities, law firms and media companies in India, China, Eastern Africa and the Middle East. Stremlau is co-director of the annual Annenberg-Oxford Media Policy Summer Institute, a researcher and author for the Horn of Africa for the annual Freedom House Press Freedom Rankings and an Associate Fellow at the Centre for Global Communications Studies, Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania.

Prior to coming to PCMLP, Stremlau was director of the Africa programme at the Stanhope Centre for Communications Policy Research where she initiated a led the East African Journalists Fellowship Programme, as well as research projects on media and election violence and public opinion research in Darfur. She has been a regular contributor to Janes Intelligence Review and has consulted for the World Bank in Addis Ababa as well as for Human Rights Watch. Stremlau lived in Ethiopia for several years where she conducted research and was a features writer at the Ethiopian Reporter.

Nicole Stremlau’s blog on the Huffington Post.

Selected Publications:

Gagliardone, I. Pohjonen, M., Taflan, P., Stremlau, N. et. al. 2015. Mechachal: Online Speech and Elections in Ethiopia. Report 1. University of Oxford, PCMLP Report.

Stremlau, N. and R. Osman. 2015. Courts, Clans and Companies: Mobile Money and Dispute Resolution in Somaliland. Stability: Journal of International Development, 4(1).

Stremlau, N., E. Fantini and R. Osman. 2015. The Political Economy of the Media During the Somali Civil War. Review of African Political Economy, 42(145).

Stremlau, N., E. Fantini and I. Gagliardone. 2015. Patronage, politics and performance: radio call-in programmes and the myth of accountability, Third World Quarterly, 36(8):1510-1526.

Gagliardone, I, A. Kalemera, L. Kogen, L. Nalwoga, N. Stremlau, and W. Wairagala, 2015. In Search of Local Knowledge on ICTs in Africa. Stability: Journal of International Development, 4(1).

Stremlau, N. and I. Gagliardone. 2015. Media, Conflict and Political Transitions in Africa. In Zielonka, J. (ed) Media and Politics in New Democracies. Oxford University Press.

Price, M. and N. Stremlau 2014. Strategic Communications and the Avoidance of Violent Conflict. In Hoffman, J. and Hawkins V. (eds) Communications for Peace: Charting an Emerging Field. Routledge.

Stremlau, N. 2014. Media, Participation and Constitution-Making in Ethiopia. Journal of African Law, 58 (2): 231-249.

Stremlau, N. 2014. In Search of Evidence: Media and Governance in Fragile States. Global Media Journal 4(2).

Shoemaker, E. and N. Stremlau. 2014. Media and Conflict: An Assessment of the Evidence. Progress in Development Studies, 14(2): 181-195.

Stremlau, N. and E. Fantini. 2013. Talking Politics: A Comparative Analysis of Somali Radio Call-in Programmes. Report for the United Nations Support Office for AMISOM, 69pp.

Stremlau, N. 2013. Hostages of Peace: The Politics of Radio Liberalization in Somaliland. Journal of Eastern African Studies, 7(2): 239-257.

Stremlau, N. 2013. Conflict and Post-Conflict Media Development in Somalia: Towards a Diagnostic Research Approach. Journal of Media, War and Conflict, 6(3): 279-293.

Stremlau, N., E. Fantini and R. Osman. 2013. Power and Politics: The Structure of Local Radio Broadcasters in Somalia. Report for the United Nations Support Office for AMISOM, 81pp.

Stremlau, N. 2013. Somalia: Media Law in the Absence of a State. Journal of Media and Cultural Politics, 8(2): 159-174.

Gagliardone, I., N. Stremlau, and D. Nkrumah. 2012. Partner, Prototype or Persuader? China’s Renewed Engagement with Ghana. Journal of Communications, Politics and Culture, 45(2): 174-196.

Gagliardone, I. and N. Stremlau 2012. Digital Media, Diasporas and Conflict in the Horn of Africa. In M. Dragomir and M. Thompson (eds). Mapping Digital Media. London: Open Society Institute.

Price, M. and N. Stremlau. 2012. Media and Transitional Justice: Towards a Systematic Approach, International Journal of Communication, 2: 1077-1099.

Stremlau, N. 2012. Customary Law and Media Regulation in Conflict and Post-Conflict States. In M. Price and S. Verhulst (eds), Handbook of Media Law and Policy: A Socio-Legal Exploration. Abington: Routledge.

Stremlau, N. and R. Osman. 2012. Media Narratives and Constitution-making in Somalia. Report for the United Nations Political Office in Somalia. 

Stremlau, N. 2011. The Press and the Political Restructuring of Ethiopia, Journal of Eastern African Studies, 5(4): 716-732.

– Also in Abbink, J. and T. Hagmann. 2013. Reconfiguring Ethiopia: The Politics of Authoritarian Reform. Abdington: Routledge.

Stremlau, N. and M. Price. 2011. Communications and Leadership in Crisis States. Background article for the 2011 World Bank’s World Development Report: Conflict, Security and Development.

Shoemaker, E. and Stremlau, N. 2011. Media and Political Choice: An Assessment of the Evidence. Report from the Justice and Security Programme, London School of Economics to the UK Department for International Development (DFID). 

Stremlau, N. 2010. Towards a New Approach to Evaluation. In Price, M. and Abbott, S. (eds) Evaluating the Evaluators, Peter Lang, pp. 191-212.

Gagliardone, I., M. Repnikova and N. Stremlau. 2010. Where East Meets West: The Influence of China on Media Development in Africa. ESRC Report by PCMLP, University of Oxford.

Stremlau, N. 2010. Communication and Governance in Somaliland. Report for the UK Foreign Commonwealth Office, 126 pp.

Stremlau, N. 2010. Somalia Media Mapping. Report for the United Nations and African Union Information Support Team in Somalia, 84 pp.

Price, M, I. al Marashi and N. Stremlau. 2009. Media in the Peacebuilding Process: Ethiopia and Iraq, in Norris, P. (ed.) Public Sentinel. Washington DC: The World Bank. 

Stremlau, N., M. Blanchard, Y. Gabobe, and F. Ahmed. 2009. Media and Elections in Somaliland: Lessons from Kenya. Annenberg Occasional Paper Series, 45pp.

Stremlau, N. and M. Price. 2009. Media and Post-election Violence in Eastern Africa. Annenberg Occasional Paper Series, 45pp.

Gagliardone, I. and N. Stremlau. 2008. Public Opinion Research in a Conflict Zone: Grassroots Diplomacy in Darfur. International Journal of Communication, 2: 1085-113.

Price, M., I. al Marashi and N. Stremlau2008. Polarization and the Media: The Problem with the Governance Agenda in Post-Conflict States. Discussion paper for the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

Stremlau, N. 2008. Freedom of Information Act in Ethiopia. Report for The World Bank.

Allen, T. and Stremlau, N. (2006) Media Policy, Peace and State Reconstruction. In Hemer, O. and Tufte, T. (eds.). Media and Global Change: Rethinking Communication for Development. Nordicom.

– Spanish Translation: published by Publicaciones Cooperativas, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2008.

Additional publications:

Freedom House– Responsible for the annual ratings and narratives for the sections on Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sudan and Somalia for the World Press Freedom Rankings book (2008- present).

Janes Intelligence Review Twice yearly contributor of the Ethiopia files including assessments of economic, social, political and security issues (2006- 2009).

Stremlau, N. (2009) Review: Press, Politics and Public Policy in Uganda. Equid Novi . 30(2).

Stremlau, N. (2008) Transferred Hostility: Ethiopia and Eritrea’s Unregulated Tensions. Janes Intelligence Review, May 2008.

Stremlau, N. (2004). Review: Information Intervention. Progress in Development Studies, 4(3), pp. 271-273.

Research assistant: Tim Epple

Tim Epple joined ConflictNET in June 2018 to conduct research and support the project’s online representation. He carries out archival research on the legacy of media in the Somali conflict, provides desk-based research support to a project on the use of biometrics in the Horn of Africa, and maintains the ConflictNET microsite.

Tim earned a Master of Science in African Studies from the African Studies Centre at the University of Oxford. In addition to his role with ConflictNET, he works as a research analyst in the security consulting sector in London. His research interests include the social media-conflict nexus, peacekeeping, and forced migration, with a regional focus on the Sahel and the Horn of Africa. Tim is a steering committee member of the OxPeace Network, a multi-disciplinary initiative that promotes the academic study of peace at the University of Oxford.