The Price of Conflict, The Prospect of Peace: Virtual Reality in East Asia Pacific

September 30, 2016


  • Conflict disrupts lives, worsens poverty and stalls development
  • Causes of conflict differ, but results are depressingly similar
  • New World Bank Virtual Reality film series tells the stories of communities rebuilding their lives

A church service in a rural community of Papua New Guinea reveals the price of conflict.

On a Saturday morning, men and boys fill only one row of pews while women and girls fill the other two. Four years of unrest that ended in 2011 killed 49 of Oria village’s fighting age men to tear the social and economic fabric of the isolated community.

It is one example of how conflict continues to exact a heavy toll long after the bloodshed and turmoil stop.

The violence kills and maims people, destroys homes, forces communities to flee, damages infrastructure, depletes food sources and halts commerce.

Recovery takes time, resources and tolerance. Children without parents must be cared for and educated, houses and roads and bridges rebuilt, refugees and those displaced brought back and a functioning economy restored.

Moving past the causes of conflict to rebuild lives and communities inspires stories of courage in the face of constant hardship and hope in the face of overwhelming despair.

In Papua New Guinea’s Autonomous Region of Bougainville, women from rival communities torn apart by ethnic conflict came together to help halt the violence. In the Solomon Islands, a man who became a rebel commander after his father’s killing eventually chose peace and now mentors young men to get educated. In the Philippines, a strife-ridden region takes the first unsteady steps toward autonomy under a cease-fire.

The World Bank Group and its partners work in such places to help provide the foundation for peace after conflict.

By supporting cocoa production in Oria, a World Bank-backed project gives local farmers the means for new livelihoods. A program on the Solomon Islands to improve work qualifications offers jobless young men a potential alternative from wasted days of alcohol and drugs. In Philippines a water project brings clean drinking water and helps bridge decades-old religious and ethnic divides.

These are stories, told in 360-degree Virtual Reality, of the continuing cost of conflict and how the international community works with people, communities, governments and partners to build prospects for lasting peace.




Timothy Koluvai, Productive Partnerships in Agriculture Project (PPAP) Senior Field Officer chats with community members at Lalaui Market, a local produce market in Konnou District, Bougainville, Papua New Guinea. The market takes place at the site of an old logging and timber production company, on the border between central and south Bougainville. During the Bougainville crisis, the site was raided and stripped of all materials.

© World Bank / Alana Holmberg

See life in Solomon Islands, Bougainville (PNG) and the Philippines in VR

Each of these stories are now at the heart of the World Bank’s Virtual Reality 360° film experience, The Price of Conflict, the Prospect of Peace.

Through the people of Honiara, Konnou and Upper Campo Islam, we learn their memories, hopes and fears, and we learn the past, present and future price of conflict.

These films are best viewed with a fast internet connection through Chrome, Safari, the YouTube app on iPhone or Android and on the LittlStar app:  

Honiara, Solomon Islands

Bougainville, Papua New Guinea

Mindanao, Philippines

See it in full Virtual Reality with the Littlstar app using your favorite VR headset (Oculus, PlayStation VR, Samsung Gear, HTC Vive, Google Daydream or Cardboard) or on Apple TV or Android TV: