Social media played a central and celebrated role in the uprisings that took place in the Arab world in 2011, facilitating the organization and coordination of popular resistance to dictatorial regimes in Tunisia, Libya and Egypt. The use of social media channels to popularize and concentrate resistance was made possible, in part, by the recent growth of the information and communications technology (ICT) sector in the region. While the lack of economic growth, job opportunities and political agency were fundamental driving forces behind the Arab revolutions, ICT and social media were critical tools that helped transform the deep-seated discontent into a widespread social movement.

This CIGI Junior Fellows policy brief considers how the international donor community can support the development of the ICT sector to support democratization in Libya. Following an overview of ICT development and prospects for growth in Libya, the brief proposes technology recommendations in three areas that international donors can support to strengthen Libya’s transition to democracy, including: support for mobile election monitoring; increased Internet access and computer literacy training; and a broad “e-government” initiative.

Part of Series

The CIGI Junior Fellows program at the Balsillie School of International Affairs provides masters level students with mentorship opportunities from senior scholars and policy makers. Working under the direction of a project leader, each junior fellow conducts research in one of CIGI’s program areas. This series presents those policy briefs that met CIGI’s publications standards.
  • Chris Jones graduated from the University of Waterloo in 2011 with a B.A. in political science and business. He has recently completed the Wilfrid Laurier University master’s program in international public policy based at the BSIA, focusing on international economics and financial regulation.

  • Sharon Kennedy is currently completing the University of Waterloo M.A. program in global governance based at the BSIA. 

  • Siobhan Kerr recently completed the Wilfrid Laurier University master’s program in international public policy based at the BSIA, with a focus on international economic relations and environmental policy. 

  • Joseph Mitchell recently completed the University of Waterloo M.A. program in global governance based at the BSIA. He also has law degrees from the Universities of Oxford and London.

  • Daniel Safayeni graduated from Wilfrid Laurier University with an B.B.A. (Honours) and a minor in political science. He has recently completed the Wilfrid Laurier University master’s program in international public policy, concentrating in international political economy and environmental economics.