Digital Humanitarians

PREAMBLE

Humans have been helping each other ever since they walked upright or were created. Proximity and knowledge has largely determined how much help one could provide or get in any given situation. A Digital revolution in the past decade continues to touch every innate of life aspect around the globe bringing about weighty changes in technology, culture, operations, and principles of creating new products and services in the framework of economic globalization and innovations. This is as new technologies that include ever-ready digital sensors to social network platforms, from smartphones to readily available satellite imagery is making the world an ever-more-connected place.These technologies can enhance the performance of humanitarian practices and, as a result, the capability to save more lives of people affected by economic downturns, pandemics, armed conflict, disaster, as well as migrants, and refugees.

Digital Humanitarians

DHG AGENDA

The overriding DHG agenda is to provide humanitarian, industry and public
stakeholders with a system-wide view that can only be achieved through
harnessing the power of combined private and public sector data elements,
to allow near real time visibility of the flow of relief and essential goods at a
global and local level.

The Opportunity

The Digital revolution has made essential information available than the slow and sometimes conflicting trickle of information available on ground zero. This has made humanitarian response more targeted and suitable to recipients. Digital humanitarianism has an added benefit to crisis response in that it creates a sense of fellowship resulting in more interaction between humanitarians and those they seek to assist. It has been argued that access to these technologies humanitarians be more humane. It helps humanitarians reach out, offer assistance, contribute skills, and extend the scope of compassion. However, the ‘digital divides’ between people with and without the means to effectively use these new technologies is enormous. Digital interventions also come with new risks to affected individuals and communities that assistance providers must navigate. There to lies an opportunity to engage.

DHG OBJECTIVES

Access to Digital Technology

Lack of appropriate digital literacy and technology widens the “digital divide” and lead to
biases and digital discrimination, particularly in the use of AI. Investment in connectivity,
technology and digital literacy can help bridge digital divides and aid localized approaches. Collaboration with other actors can boost synergies between areas of expertise and save
resources. This programme helps facilitating the access to both low end and high end
technology as well improving digital technology. This includes internet and gadget access.

Social Media for Good

Over three billion people use social media. This includes individuals affected by natural disasters or armed conflict. More and more, people affected by crises look to these platforms to find and share vital information. In the chaos that normally follows a disaster or crisis, rumors and fake news can spread quickly. If left unaddressed, these can undermine the trust people have in humanitarian organizations, and can even make it less safe for our volunteers and staff. By engaging with social media as standard practice in the aftermath of an emergency, we can understand what people are worried about, we can see the news they are sharing, and we can respond decisively, accurately and collaboratively. This programme champions the use of social media to engage people affected by crisis.

Digital Identity

The GSMA estimates that more than 80% of refugees worldwide reside in countries where proof of identity is required to register for a mobile SIM card or to open a Mobile Money Account. Having been forced to flee their homes, refugees often lack the necessary identification credentials (such as a passport or national identity card) to meet “Know Your
Customer/Customer Due Diligence” requirements in their country of refuge.This can prevent access to key mobile services in their own name,restricting opportunities for digital and financial inclusion and placing‘We should understand humanitarian action as a network of relations, rather than a series of transactions.’ Paul Currion barriers in the way of the efficient delivery of vital humanitarian assistance.The humanitarian sector cannot help people if it fails to see them. People who lack proof of identity are often effectively out of sight when it comes to receiving the assistance they need.This programme helps with advocating the use of digital identity while also assisting with access to these identities.