My name is Patrick Meier, I am a third-year Henry R. Luce PhD Candidate at The Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy and a Doctoral Research Fellow at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative (HHI). A copy of my CV is available here.
As a professional consultant, I have worked on numerous conflict early warning projects with multiple offices and agencies of the United Nations (UN) including OCHA, UNDP, UNEP, UNECE and WFP. I was solicited to co-evaluate the UN’s capacity for early warning, which formed part of the external contribution to the Secretary-General’s Report on the Prevention of Armed Violence.
I was most recently a consultant for UNDP’s Threat and Risk Mapping Analysis (TRMA) project in the Sudan.
As a consultant with Virtual Research Associates (VRA), I played an instrumental role in establishing West Africa’s (ECOWAS/WANEP) regional conflict early warning system (ECOWARN) and operationalized the Conflict Early Warning and Response Network (CEWARN) in the Horn of Africa (IGAD). Independently, I developed the operational framework for Central Africa’s (ECCAS) regional conflict early warning mechanism. I also consulted for the OSCE‘s Conflict Prevention Center (CPC) on multiple occasions to operationalize the conflict early warning system for the Environmental Security Initiative (EnvSec), a joint project with UNEP, UNDP and NATO. I have given presentations on designing and implementing early warning systems in Thailand and China, and worked on the development of a community-based conflict early warning system in Timor-Leste. As a consultant to the OECD, I made substantial contributions to a comprehensive report on the status and future of operational conflict early warning systems. I was also part of a two-person expert team that led the European Commission’s (EC) international project on Mapping Fragility. My work on early warning has also included projects with the International Crisis Group (ICG), International Alert (IA), Swisspeace (FAST) and the International Foundation for Election Systems (IFES).
My 2-year research fellowship at Harvard University explores the current use and changing role of information communication technology in conflict early warning, crisis mapping and humanitarian response. The research involved over 200 consultations with scholars and practitioners in the fields of conflict and genocide prevention, international security, human rights, nonviolent action, civilian protection, humanitarian relief, public health, disaster management, communication technology, information management systems, software development, complex systems and the applied sciences. In this respect, the project seeks to identify innovative and alternative approaches to the prevention of mass atrocities. The research is supported by Humanity United.
I have taught seminars and courses on disaster and conflict early warning/response systems for UN professionals and undergraduate students. I have also co-taught a graduate seminar on Complexity Science and International Affairs. I am an alumnus of the Santa Fe Institute’s (SFI) Complex Systems Summer School and graduated with an MA in International Affairs from Columbia University’s School of International & Public Affairs (SIPA). I am a Graduate Fellow at the Center for International Conflict Resolution (CICR) and was a Research Associate at the Peace Research Institute, Oslo (PRIO) and the Conflict Analysis Resource Center (CERAC) in Colombia. I hold a BA (Hons) in Political Science, Philosophy and Economics (PPE) with a certificate in Information Technology and Business Management from the University of York. I was a visiting student at UC Berkeley and a resident of the International House.
I was born in Abidjan, grew up in Nairobi and went to high school in Vienna. Before my interest in information communication technology and early warning, I focused on the Middle East and North Africa, studied Arabic in Morocco and carried out research in Tunisia and the Western Sahara. My senior thesis was on Muammar al-Qaddafi’s use and interpretation of Islam to justify his domestic and foreign policies. During my MA, I focused on conflict prevention and climate change. My master’s thesis was on the impact of environmental change on pastoral conflict in the Horn of Africa.
For more information, please see my website at The Fletcher School.