For the last three years, I have been rambling on this blog about how aid organizations could and should embrace certain new technologies to better help the affected people. Therefore I was absolutely thrilled when UNOCHA’s Imogen Wall gave me the opportunity to contribute to a policy document that looks at exactly these questions.
“Humanitarianism in the Network Age” is easy and compelling reading and looks at the key challenges and opportunities that the spread of ICT to more and more parts of the world presents to NGOs, international organizations, the Red Cross and the UN.
How to use big data, open data standards and geographic information
How to use the power of the crowd for emergency response operations
How to deal with information overload and increased expectations
and much more.
Even though I phrased these bullet points as “how tos”, the report is of course not a step by step guide that will lead your organization to the mythical land of information clarity. But it outlines some of the changes that need to happen at the level of individual organizations and in the aid industry as a whole as well as why these changes are necessary and beneficial.
I also hope that this report can help start a discussion that will make it easier for small, innovative projects to get funding.