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How is access to communications technology changing the way that people cope in emergencies?
What does this mean for the future of humanitarian response?
The Communicating with Disaster Affected Communities Network (CDAC Network), and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) are pleased to invite you on May 1st, 2013 from 3.30pm – 5:00pm to a launch event and discussion on the new OCHA publication “Humanitarianism in the Network Age”. The event will be hosted by the GSM Association (GSMA) and will be followed by drinks up to 6pm.
“Humanitarianism in the Network Age” looks at how new communications technologies are already affecting people’s behaviour in emergencies. It looks forward to a future of increasingly informed, connected and self-reliant communities, of important new actors and partners, especially in the private sector, and a response environment in which information can be generated by anyone, in real time, on a many-to-many basis.
The report argues that as the difference between life and death in a crisis is increasingly dependent on the capacity to connect with others, communications and information need to be seen as basic needs in their own right. It also stresses that the ways in which humanitarian information is collected, shared and analysed needs to change fundamentally. Data has to be open source and available to all, including local populations. New information systems also mean new risks, as well as protection interests that need to be addressed.
The report finds that this vision of the future is not one for which humanitarian responders are currently equipped, but to which they must adapt – or risk becoming increasingly out of touch with the populations they seek to serve.
Please join us for a lively and candid discussion that will look at these and other issues around the way communities are using technology to respond to disaster and the future of humanitarian response.
Imogen Wall, Coordinator, Communicating with Disaster Communities, UNOCHA
Kyla Reid, Head of Disaster Response, GSMA
Trushar Barot, Assistant Editor, User Generated Content Hub, BBC
Onyekachi Wambu, Director, Engagement & Policy, AFFORD (African Foundation for Development)
The panel chair will be Brendan Gormley, current Chair of the the CDAC Network.
Tickets will be issued on a 'first-come, first-served' basis. Due to limited availability and security requirements it is advised that you book early and confirm 48 hours in advance to facilitate access to the venue on the date.
The event will be live tweeted (#commisaid and #HINA)