It has been six years since the humanitarian agenda has reached a milestone after the UN Secretary General’s call for turning locally-led humanitarian action at the World Humanitarian Summit in 2016. This was a call to change the function of global humanitarian system as the international humanitarian actors are falling back to meet up with the increasing needs derived from protracted natural hazards and long-lasting armed conflicts. As the costs of services increase and the high level of risks restrict international actors’ actions, aid has come to a bottleneck.
Dr. Kerem Kınık
As crucial key enablers in delivering effective and timely humanitarian aid to the people in need, digital technologies allow aid organisations to improve collaboration and communication while enabling the delivery of aid more efficiently; rendering a tailored emergency response based on the needs of the beneficiaries. In this scope, digitalisation is one of the Movement’s prioritized topics because it is rapidly shaping how our humanitarian operations and assistance activities are carried out; therefore, impacting how the humanitarian sector is serving the aforementioned affected populations. To stay up-to-date and relevant in different contexts, the humanitarian sector is testing and adopting digital technologies on a multitude of different levels in order to improve the speed, efficiency, and effectiveness of humanitarian operations.
How can we better co-design and prototype emerging technology with communities at the center? Over the past year, Nepal Red Cross, Cameroon Red Cross, Nesta UK, and IFRC Solferino Academy explored how emerging technology, specifically Artificial Intelligence (AI), could support the effective delivery of humanitarian work by involving communities in the design in two very different contexts. This project was done during a global pandemic and ongoing emergencies with the everyday complexities of humanitarian response.