A Remote Look at the Humanitarian ICT Forum

HITC 2017. Image: OCHA

Image: UN OCHA

Last week, Google hosted the Humanitarian ICT Forum at their global headquarters in Mountain View. Over two days industry heavyweights from both the ICT and the humanitarian sector came together to discuss a wide range of topics, from connectivity to digital cash, from using technology to overcome language barriers to common humanitarian standards for ICT.

Sadly, not all sessions were recorded. Even more strangely, the quality of these Facebook videos is quite poor. I mean: really, Google? No high-res recordings for YouTube?

Below I embedded the video summary of the first day of the meeting, which also included a session on “Improving Humanitarian Response Through Intelligent Use of Social Media“.  As you can imagine, this was the session I was most interested in, but sadly it was not recorded. The consolation price are two UNICEF case studies related to the use of social media for the Zika crisis, which can be found on the session page.

Many of the conference topics are really interesting and if you are interested in the use of digital technologies in disaster response, then I highly recommend that you take a look and see whether your topic has been recorded.

However, I cannot help but be a little disappointed in how poorly this meeting was geared towards people attending remotely. While, from what I have seen, the conference was blessedly free of Powerpoint presentations it would have been nice to have slightly more supporting material for people who could not be there in person.

Update: UN OCHA published an interesting summary of the conference on Medium.

What are your thoughts? What are essential parts of making a conference accessible to remote attendees? Please leave a comment below.