Mathematical models that use existing socio-political data to predictmass atrocities could soon inform governments and NGOs on how and where to take preventative action.
The models emerged from one strand of the Tech Challenge for Atrocity Prevention, a competition run by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and NGO Humanity United. The winners were announced last month (18 November) and will now work with the organiser to further develop and pilot their innovations.
The five winners from different countries who won between US$1,000 and US$12,000, were among nearly 100 entrants who developed algorithms to predict when and where mass atrocities are likely to happen.
Around 1.5 billion people live in countries affected by conflict, sometimes including atrocities such as genocides, mass rape and ethnic cleansing, according to the World Bank’s World Development Report 2011. Many of these countries are in the developing world.