In November 2015, you and your team won the first GCSP Prize for Innovation in Global Security for a digital guidance tool aimed at improving the protection of children in armed conflict. How did this project originate?
Since 2010, Lucid. has been developing mobile applications focused on human rights and gender equality. Our main expertise is focused on the development of the concepts for apps that work to ensure experts and policy makers, particularly of the UN Security Council, are provided with key documents, language and information on human rights issues during times of negotiation. During a workshop held in the autumn of 2015, focusing on the Children and Armed Conflict Agenda, it was concluded that in order to increase child protection in situations of armed conflict, focus should rightfully be put on enhancing the monitoring and reporting of the grave violations against children in situations of armed conflict. From this conclusion we developed the winning project: a tool that supports personnel by providing guidance to determine the legal status of attacks on protected facilities such as schools and hospitals
Why did you decide to enter the GCSP Prize for Innovation in Global Security?
The importance of humanitarian technologies is limitless, but unfortunately the reach is not. Understanding the excellent work of the GCSP, we knew entering the competition would give us the opportunity to share our ideas with a wider audience to help develop a greater understanding of such topics.
What effect did winning this Prize have on you and your team?
First and foremost, we would like to thank the GCSP for the incredible platform they have provided over the past year. The recognition of our efforts gave us the motivation to move forward with this project, and others. Winning the prize gave us the opportunity to develop partnerships with valuable institutions and organisations to in turn receive funding for future projects that may have otherwise not yet left the drawing board.
What’s next for you and your team?
We will be continuing to work in close cooperation with our partners to expand the functions of the existing apps while also working to implement new app ideas. Currently, we are working with our long-term partner PeaceWomen on a concept for the expansion of their Women, Peace and Security app. This expansion will help to strengthen knowledge-sharing, access and ownership related to the UN Women, Peace and Security agenda through debate monitoring tools and optimised real-time updates. We will also be working with new partners on apps for mapping gender references in climate change negotiations at the global and national level, and apps defining the rights of people with disabilities. In addition to the apps, we are also currently developing workflow and data management tools focussed on the needs of NGOs and CSOs.
What would you say to those who are considering entering this year’s GCSP Prize for Innovation in Global Security?
There are many project initiatives out there with the best intentions to change the way complicated topics, for example foreign policy, are illustrated, but unfortunately because of a myriad of reasons fail to make it past the idea stage. If you have an idea you feel passionately about, and know that its realisation will mean making a real difference to global security, then give yourself a push in the right direction and enter the competition. It is a fantastic way to get ideas off the ground and more importantly, to get innovative tools and products into the hands of those responsible for change.
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