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9 November 2015

New research into Peace Technology in the Syrian context

The British Council is looking for an expert to map current peace tech initiatives responding to the Syrian crisis and consider options for future work using technology for peacebuilding and development. [THIS OPPORTUNITY HAS NOW CLOSED]

THe Context

Zaatari camp for Syrian refugees in Jordan

The British Council is consistently working to develop creative approaches to supporting the development of fragile and conflict affected places. 

Despite suspending operations in Syria in 2012, the British Council has continued to deliver programming supporting Syrians and host communities affected by the crisis. Our work has focused on supporting a new generation of Syrian social leaders, creating pathways to greater hope and opportunity for young Syrians, and contributing to systemic development in neighbouring countries.

We are keen to explore innovative and inclusive approaches to working in the Syrian context and are aware that the emerging ‘peace tech’ sector has been active in responding to the crisis.   This piece of research should help us to better understand how we can engage in this area. 

This research task has three main areas of focus:

  • Mapping existing peace tech responses to the Syrian crisis
  • Identifying key areas of British Council peacebuilding and development work where greater utilisation of technology could enhance impact
  • Defining the different roles the British Council could play in this space and recommending a variety of strategies for future British Council investment in peace tech programmes

The Role

We are seeking a consultant to conduct a piece of research addressing three main questions:

What peace tech responses exist in the Syria context and how could they be improved?

  • Who is working on tech based responses to the Syrian crisis? What are their current initiatives? What evaluation of these initiatives has been gathered so far?
  • Who is currently funding peace tech initiatives (UK and elsewhere)? Have the FCO and/or DFID funded this type of activity in the past and if so what have they supported?
  • What are the main themes/trends/tools/areas of expertise within the peace tech sector? What are the significant success stories of tech responses in conflict zones?
  • What work has been done to capture the impact of tech in conflict? What should we consider when developing monitoring and evaluation?
  • UK expertise - Are there any UK led initiatives responding to the Syrian crisis or running elsewhere that could be relevant in the Syrian context?
  • What gaps exist in the current response? What are the key needs of activists/NGOs and tech professional in Syria/Lebanon/Jordan/Turkey? How could the British Council help address these gaps/needs?

Where can peace tech approaches be applied to improve existing British Council programmes and activities?

  • What, if any, peace tech tools are currently being used in the British Council?  Have they been successful and what lessons have been learned from these projects?
  • Which of the British Council’s current projects platforms and projects could be easily adapted for peace tech means?
  • How could the British Council collaborate with other initiatives to access resources at scale so that they bring complementary value rather than competition to existing initiatives?

What is the unique offer that the British Council can make in this area? 

  • What shape could interventions in this space take? Suggest 3-4 concepts, for example further research or pilot projects, which could be led or supported by the British Council.

    © Mohamad Khayata

    Mohamad Khayata, Stitching My Syria Back, 2014. Part of the British Council exhibition 'Syria: Third Space'

Key Deliverables and timeline

  • Interim research paper addressing research question 1 – early January 2016
  • Full Research Paper addressing the three research questions (c. 10-20 pages including executive summary in a shareable format) – February 2016
  • Presentation of findings & recommendations to British Council stakeholders – February/March, 2016

Reporting to the British Council Syria Team, the consultant will be supported by a group of internal stakeholders from across the organisation. In the course of this task, the consultant is expected to engage with a range of external stakeholders including peace tech, peacebuilding and social entrepreneurship organisations, think tanks and donors.

We estimate this task will require approximately 15-20 days of work and total costs for the consultancy should not exceed 10,000 GBP. All deliverables must be completed by the end of March 2016.

Qualifications and experience


  • Professional experience/understanding of the peace tech community and current peace tech responses to the Syrian crisis
  • Track record of delivering assignments of a similar nature (research design and delivery, building networks with internal and external stakeholders)
  • Understanding of the British Council’s mandate and global offer in peacebuilding and development


  • Arabic language proficiency

How to apply

Applications should include:

  • a tailored CV detailing experience relevant to the project
  • a brief, outlining your approach to the body of work, including a suggested outline for the  research, a timeline for delivery and the total costs of your services (c.3 pages)

To apply please send the following to with the title ‘Syria Peace Tech Consultancy’ by Sunday 29 November, 2015. [THIS OPPORTUNITY HAS NOW CLOSED]

For more information about peace tech see this pdf from the Alliance for Peacebuilding.