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Reengineering the Sector: Innovation in Humanitarian Response

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According to the latest Global Humanitarian Assistance report, an estimated 201 million people in 134 countries needed international assistance in 2017. At the same time, UN-coordinated appeals experienced a funding shortfall of US$10.3 billion: the largest on record. As humanitarian actors are increasingly being asked to do more with less, the need for innovation within the sector is growing rapidly.

With support from The Institute of Engineering and Technology, RedR UK hosted the latest RedTalk; a free event with speakers from across the sector examining innovation in humanitarian response. Discussions centred around the role of technology in a changing landscape as well as exploring new ideas and approaches to humanitarian response, including blockchain, mobile technology, agile project management, appropriate technology, and simulation-based learning.

Mobile Technology for Development

Olly Parsons, Senior Market Engagement Manager at GSMA discussed how the GSMA, and especially the Mobile for Humanitarian Innovation programme, works towards helping to deliver humanitarian assistance in disaster response settings. Olly has been at the GSMA since 2013 and previously Olly led engagement for the Humanitarian Connectivity Charter. Watch his talk below.

Mobile Technology for Development, Olly Parsons

Agile Project Management

Alastair Lamb, a consultant on charity effectiveness, shared the challenges and opportunities of using agile project management in emergency situations. Alastair brings experience from military operations, disaster response and corporate social enterprise and non-profit leadership to his work with boards and executive teams, helping to design and develop organizations with the resilience to deliver world-changing vision. Watch his talk below.

Agile Project Management, Alistair Lamb

Block Chain in Humanitarian Response

Kate Strivens, Start Fund Programme Officer at the Start Network presented her views on how blockhain can help provide transparency for donors. Kate has worked in the humanitarian and post-conflict sector for 6 years. She is currently working at the Start Network on the ground-breaking Start Fund; a rapid, global financing mechanism for humanitarian response. Watch her talk below.

Block Chain in Humanitarian Response, Kate Strivens

Appropriate Technology

CEO and Founder of Local Welcome, Ben Pollard presented a trial and error model for using technology, inspired by his own experience, explaining the relationship between power and technology, stressing the positive aspects of technology and the importance of listening to beneficiaries. Ben began his career documenting and supporting displaced communities in Bangladesh, East Africa and Zimbabwe before training as a community organiser in Washington DC and London where he co-founded the Citizens UK campaign to increase Syrian refugee resettlement.

Appropriate Technology, Ben Pollard

Simulation-based training

Senior Training Coordinator at RedR UK, Carly Ziska, discussed RedR UK’s simulation-based training approach.  With the help of RedR UK staff, Carly demonstrated how RedR UK trains its participants in interactive ways, challenging and testing the theories introduced in the trainings. Carly has been working in international development and humanitarian response since 2008, focusing on behaviour change interventions and disaster risk reduction in a variety of sectors, including health and protection. Watch her talk below.

Simulation-based training, Carly Ziska