From fast innovation to smart innovation: the case of RedRose

Following my previous article on digital dignity where I examined the recent Wilton Park conference, an event that gathered digital technology experts in partnership with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to discuss the implications of technology for individuals in conflict zones, I had the amazing opportunity today …

How disinformation may affect our humanitarian response

“Since Turkey invaded north Iraq last week, not only a military offensive is happening – meanwhile, intense media warfare is going on as well”. This is what correspondent Johan Mattias Sommarström reports from Turkey in Radio Sweden last Sunday. He explains how false or exaggerated pictures and videos, or old …

Digital dignity: towards a new digital ethics.

On October 17th, Michelle Bachelet, Chile’s former president and current United Nations Human Rights High Commissioner, declared during a discussion on human rights in the digital age that “We must ensure the digital revolution is serving the people and not the other way around”. This declaration fully illustrates the underlying …

World Bank event: Fintech innovators as drivers of inclusive economies

Financial technology, also known as fintech, refers to new technology and innovations which are seeking to enhance and automate the delivery and use of financial services. They utilize software, algorithms and big data to help companies and consumers to better manage their financial operations. As Leora Klapper, who is part …

Analyzing the analyze: increase the justice of the data provided in a humanitarian emergency

I concluded my first blog post by asking: “Are we prepared and equipped as practitioners in the humanitarian world today to analyze all the information technology can bring us?”. Correspondingly, the focus of this blog post is to evaluate analyzes of reports and data we base humanitarian work on today. …

Innovation for development: when theory meets the field

In my previous post, I mentioned that not all outcomes of innovation or technology are positive. Furthermore, in her article The Algorithmic Colonization of Africa, Birhane states that in the race to build the latest hiring app or state-of-the-art mobile banking system, startups and companies lose sight of the people …

Data ethics – Think first, do second

As Susan Liautaud, who describes herself as pro-innovation ethics specialist, argued, “ethical decision-making is what detects us to humanity in this technology driven world”. According to Liautaud, data ethics, or technology ethics in general, refer to thinking through the opportunities and risks in advance. In other words, before basing decisions …

The justice of data in terms of access and use: stories from humanitarians

In my last blog post I talked about the importance of getting an overview in an emergency. New technologies have certainly helped us with this, as well as mapping crises through tools like anything from social media and crowdsourcing, to drones. I can suggest checking out Digital Humanitarian’s list of …

Big or thick data? Collecting data in meaningful ways

“We can have big data on incredible amounts of stuff that does not actually matter and then have no information on the stuff that actually matters”  (Yuen Yuen Ang) Getting access to new forms of data is a priority for many international policymakers in order to enhance the understanding of …

Mobile ubiquity going beyond connectivity: the story of Solarly

Richard Heeks begins his book Information and communication technology for development (ICT4D) by stating that today, mobile telephony is close to ubiquitous. Indeed, today far more people have access to a mobile than to sewerage, piped water or electricity. This reminded me of Solarly, a startup that I came across …