In response to the lack of evidence and critical assessment of anticipatory action for conflict prevention, the University of Oxford’s Programme in Comparative Media Law & Policy at the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies convened a one-day workshop, Seeing is Predicting, in June 2022 in Oxford under the European Research Council’s ConflictNET project. The workshop hosted two dozen participants from public, private, and academic sectors, specializing in a wide range of expertise on the application of anticipatory action for conflict prevention. Organizations represented included UN agencies, government bodies, telecommunications companies, and international NGOs. The panels focused on mapping what kinds of anticipatory action projects are being carried out to prevent conflict and the challenges therein.

This report captures the insights that emerged from the presentations and discussions during the workshop to provide an overview of the pressing issues and debates on anticipatory action for conflict prevention, as well as the potential of this type of humanitarian action. By providing a basis to further our understanding of the scope, scale, and application of anticipatory action, this report enhances the debate on applying AI/ML and data-driven humanitarian interventions in fragile and conflict-affected areas. This is crucial in enabling policymakers to identify and develop mitigation strategies for the challenges in applying anticipatory action to conflict prevention.

For the full report, please click here.