The Six Principles of Good Crisis Technology Design

“Design is not just what it looks and feels like. Design is how it works.” – Steve Jobs I was recently having coffee with a friend in the crisis technology community (hi, Willow!), and we were bemoaning the lack of design in many crisis technology circles.  Whether supporting public safety (emergency management, police, fire, EMS […]

Valuing Privacy in Humanitarian Response

  Humanitarian aid workers are increasingly challenged in their use of data collection in order to accomplish their development and crisis response objectives.  The unending growth of mobile devices, the ubiquity of connectivity in even the most remote corners of the world, and the trend towards ‘digitization’ means that aid agencies are dealing with an […]

On Emergencies, Wifi, Gender and Social Dynamics

  “It’s no longer a luxury. This is serious. It’s really a social justice issue. It’s a 21st century civil rights issue.” – Cheptoo Kositany-Buckner on the Digital Divide Once upon a time, there was no connectivity in disasters and humanitarian emergencies.  The Internet was not really regarded as an essential service in the midst of […]

Basic Information Security for Digital Humanitarians

A key part of any modern disaster or crisis response is that of the volunteer technical community (VTC).  VTCs have emerged in the last few years to enable the collection, analysis, fusion and dissemination of maps, imagery, social media and other products.  These products are in turn used by responding humanitarian organizations and governments on […]

The ETC 2020 vision requires smarter humanitarian networks.

The United Nations recently set out the ETC 2020 strategy, asking for a remarkable change in how humanitarian communications will happen in future disasters and other humanitarian crises.  The ETC 2020 strategy does something which I’ve previously advocated for, a focus on delivering communications not just to the humanitarian responder community, but directly to the population affected […]