Innovation in humanitarian aid – Herein lies the future

Linked to UN OCHA +5 Symposium – Where was the innovation?, I thought of listing some practices, technologies and their application in the field that interest me because of their potential for augmenting peacebuilding and conflict transformation, that I believe has broad overlap with the imperatives of humanitarian aid.

While none of the examples below are a definitive guide on the use of ICT for humanitarian aid, collectively they point to the indubitable trend of decentralised, collaborative information and knowledge exchange in support of timely, appropriate and sustainable action.

Many of the following point to that which I’ve written on this blog, but the published work of and progressive thinking of those such as Paul Currion, Nigel Snoad from Microsoft Humanitarian Systems Group and Eric Rasmussen, now CEO of INSTEDD, prove that a few (powerful) thought-leaders fully immersed in this sector concur with that which is presented below.

The posts below also contain many more links to pertinent information. Further, though some of them may appear to be oriented towards peacebuilding, political activism or media, the essential technology can easily be adapted for humanitarian aid related work.

Humanitarian FOSS and community driven first response

GIS and Data Visualisation

Second Life and virtual worlds

Mobile Phones and mobile devices

Citizen journalism with affected communities / victims

And lastly, the plethora of lessons identified and innovations at Strong Angel III.

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