As technological tools become more widely available on an open source market, the humanitarian community has the opportunity to adapt cutting-edge innovation for more effective impact and relief. Technologies such as blockchain, cryptocurrencies, data management tools, satellite imagery, 3D printing and so many more have the capability to revolutionize humanitarian action if applied appropriately and responsibly.
The Institute’s humanitarian innovation research explores the practical applications/usage and limitations of technology and innovation from a humanitarian perspective. The initiative brings together leading experts from humanitarian, technology and academic sectors as part of a bigger effort to put innovation management and data science at the center of humanitarian action. Researchers extract the best practices from existing projects to craft policy work, design training and education products, and develop public and private events aimed at strengthening awareness and knowledge of innovation in the humanitarian field.
In partnership with the Centre for Innovation at Leiden University, IIHA Innovation Fellows are also developing the Humanitarian Clearinghouse Project. The project aims to harness machine learning and artificial intelligence, in addition to field experts, to facilitate the effective matching between groundbreaking technologies and critical humanitarian needs. Through the development of a clearinghouse of technology, researchers and partners are analyzing and collating a wealth of knowledge on innovation methodologies and tools that can be made accessible to humanitarians working in crises worldwide.
The IIHA partnered with the Centre for Innovation at Leiden University to host two courses on data and humanitarian response in 2017:
The Humanitarian Blockchain Summit on November 10, 2017 will bring together technology experts, private sector professionals and humanitarian workers to discuss the future of blockchain technology in humanitarian operations and in pursuit of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and recommend policies for using blockchain in specific humanitarian interventions.
Humanitarian Innovation Fellows
Giulio Coppi is a legal expert (BA, MA, MAS in International Legal Affairs and Humanitarian Studies) with more than 10 years of experience designing and managing humanitarian operations around the world. As Humanitarian Innovation Fellow, his research focuses on the ways new technologies and strategies can affect the delivery of humanitarian response. More specifically, Giulio investigates how technology impacts the policy and governance of organizations and supports humanitarian agencies to develop data responsibility and protection frameworks.
Jorn Poldermans - Humanitarian Innovation Fellow
Jorn Poldermans is an innovation and technology expert based at the Centre for Innovation at Leiden University. As Humanitarian Innovation Fellow at Fordham University, he co-directs efforts around humanitarian innovation and helps partners – ranging from international organizations to local governments – to optimize their use of relevant technologies, helping to understand the possibilities, limitations and responsibilities they bring. Exploring innovation and technology for several years, his work focuses on vetting existing and upcoming technologies for the humanitarian and development sectors in a clearinghouse format.
As an expert workshop facilitator, speaker, and coach, he specializes in driving multi-disciplinary teams and leadership to enable collaborative approaches to innovation in the humanitarian, diplomatic and governmental sector. Jorn also co-founded the Stanford Peace Innovation Lab in The Hague in 2014, a global network of innovation labs leveraging technology for humanity’s biggest challenges.
Jorn received his Master’s of Science in Political Science from the University of Amsterdam and his Master’s of Arts in International Relations from Leiden University.
Relevant Links and Past Work
Normalizing the data revolution (Tech’s Good, New York, 2017)
Emergency Response Briefing – Terms of Reference for Research - Improving Capacity and Innovation to Prepare and Respond (International Peace Institute, New York, 2017)
Emergency Response Briefing - Yemen - Improving Capacity and Innovation to Prepare and Respond (International Peace Institute, New York, 2017)
TOR145 ― High Tech Humanitarians With Giulio Coppi (Aidpreneur, Terms Of Reference PodCast, 2017),
Humanitarian Technology and Innovation: Opportunities and Challenges in Urban Disaster Settings, in Vulnerabilities and Humanitarian Responses in Urban Settings (Fordham University IIHA, New York, 2017)
How Can Humanitarians Embrace Innovation?: Q&A with Giulio Coppi (IPI, Istanbul, June, 2016)
A legal analysis of the authorization of access in cross-border humanitarian assistance (Geneva Academy, Geneva, 2015)
La Provincia Autonoma di Trento e la Cooperazione Internazionale, (OECD Publishing, Trento, 2015)
Using big data to analyze WFP’s digital cash programme in Lebanon (Humanitarian Practice Network, 2017)