photo by Suraj Ratna Shakya for USAID / CC BY 2.0.">

Using emerging technologies in the humanitarian sector

USAID worker typing on ta smartphone with another person looking over his shoulder, <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/121302193@N07/52665858231/">photo</a> by Suraj Ratna Shakya for USAID / <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">CC BY 2.0</a>.

Photo by Suraj Ratna Shakya for USAID / CC BY 2.0.

What is the issue?

Climate change, protracted and complex conflicts, and increased fragility are all contributing to an increased need in humanitarian assistance and protection. The pressure on the humanitarian sector is likely to continue to increase over the coming years, while the human resources available will remain limited.

To help address this challenge, ongoing efforts have been initiated to increase efficiency and shift towards the adoption of a forward-thinking standpoint within the humanitarian sector. However, the potential adoption and use of emerging technologies has remained limited to isolated issues or small-scale initiatives.

The variety of challenges and stakeholders that comprise the humanitarian sector create numerous capacity, knowledge, ethical or financial constraints to the utilisation of new and emerging technologies.

How are we helping?

The UK Humanitarian Innovation Hub (UKHIH) commissioned RAND Europe together with Athena Infonomics and glass.ai to support its Foresight Initiative relating to the adoption and use of Emerging Technologies (excluding AI solutions).

The project has three objectives:

  1. Understand and define trends in the adoption and use of emerging technologies within the humanitarian sector.
  2. Identify key emerging technologies that could strengthen humanitarian practice through an online survey.
  3. Envisage a future research and innovation journey for the identified key emerging technologies.

To fulfil these goals, we will conduct a variety of activities including interviews, horizon scanning, web crawling, a survey and workshops.