Nigeria’s Digital Peacebuilding Ecosystem

Hands using a mobile phone.
28 May 2024

Download the full report ▸


The Weaponisation of Social Media and digital harms have become pervasive issues in today's interconnected world, transforming conflict and how people interact and engage with each other. Social media threats and harms, including misinformation, disinformation, malinformation, and hate speech, drive conflict within communities both online and offline, eroding social cohesion over time.

The complex challenge arising from conflict drivers, areas of risk, key influencers, and other interacting elements requires a response that involves multiple sectors and approaches. Stakeholders in the digital peacebuilding space have increasingly acknowledged that operating in silos due to project scopes, donor requirements, and resource limitations has often hindered progress toward collective goals in reducing online harms and fostering resilience.

The Reducing Online Conflict Community (ROCC) addresses these challenges by catalyzing collaboration and generating contextually relevant approaches to addressing online threats and harms between digital peacebuilding stakeholders across the globe. By facilitating cross-sector convenings, maintaining a cross-cutting global network of actors addressing online harms, and breaking down silos among stakeholders, the ROCC creates a space to explore and address the complex dynamics of resilience and response to online drivers of conflict.

Emphasising open communication and collaboration, the ROCC allows stakeholders from different backgrounds to share their expertise, resources, and perspectives. This collective effort is crucial in developing comprehensive strategies to combat hate speech, misinformation, disinformation, and divisive narratives spread through social media. As such, the ROCC occupies a supporting role in connecting diverse stakeholders through a digital peacebuilding lens in an era marked by unprecedented challenges posed by social media harms within conflict contexts.

In February 2024, the ROCC convened its inaugural workshop series in Abuja, Nigeria. The workshop in Abuja brought together around thirty individuals from twenty different organisations, each providing a distinct perspective based on the Nigerian context. The participants included representatives from social media platforms, advocacy groups, local CSOs, journalists, fact-checkers, social media influencers, and international NGOs. The variety of viewpoints in the room highlighted the multifaceted nature of the online conflict landscape in Nigeria. Under the facilitation and design of our partners at Reos Partners, workshop sessions were designed to emphasise collaborative principles and learning. Through scenario analysis and stakeholder mapping exercises, participants engaged in targeted discussions aimed at dismantling silos, building trust, and nurturing an ecosystem approach to addressing and preventing on and offline conflict.

This paper, Nigeria's Digital Peacebuilding Ecosystem: Insights & Recommendations co-designed and co-written by members of the ROCC working in Nigeria, is the result of the workshop's findings and months of subsequent multistakeholder working group sessions. It gives insights into the workshop's context while focusing on five key findings and subsequent recommendations.