Sudan and South Sudan

Satellite Sentinel Project

Monitoring levels of conflict with satellite data


Satellite Sentinel Project (SSP), Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, DigitalGlobe, Google, Enough, Not on Our Watch, UNITAR, UNOSAT, Trellon


In 2010, full-scale civil war was threatening to break out once more between northern and southern Sudan, which would later split into Sudan and South Sudan in July 2011. Threat of violent conflict was high along the border.


SSP launched on December 29, 2010 with the goals of preventing violence and deterring and documenting threats to civilians and the international community along both sides of the Sudanese border. The project works as follows: DigitalGlobe satellites passing over Sudan and South Sudan capture imagery of possible threats to civilians, detect bombed and razed villages, or note other evidence of pending mass violence. Experts at DigitalGlobe work with the Enough Project to analyze imagery and information from sources on the ground to produce reports. The Enough Project then releases to the press and policymakers and sounds the alarm by notifying major news organizations and a mobile network of activists on Twitter and Facebook.

Peace Engineering Takeaway

More than simply using satellite imagery, maps, and ground sourced data in new ways, SSP demonstrated that the answer to complex questions like mass atrocities and human rights violations must be untangled and understood collaboratively across communities and organizations each contributing unique assets. SSP has shown that the future of human rights work is now, and that future is both digitized and collaborative. The project concluded in 2015 and was moved to The Sentry, a team of policy analysts, regional experts, and financial forensic investigators that follows the money in order to create consequences for those funding and profiting from genocide or other mass atrocities in Africa, and to build leverage for peace.
Last updated January 2018. Powered by Webflow.