This project explores how digital technology is changing the networks and governance of humanitarian assistance and reflects on the opportunities and challenges it creates.
Digital humanitarianism refers to social and institutional networks that rely upon information and communication technology and the internet (1) for assembling and analysing vast digital data streams to predict and respond to humanitarian crises; (2) mobilising online communities to rapidly meet the needs of vulnerable people; and (3) developing new digital platforms to facilitate an effective and transparent allocation of aid.
Digital humanitarianism has been embraced by a variety of institutions such as governments, development organisations, donors, corporations, financial institutions, start-ups, intergovernmental, non-governmental organisations, grassroots groups and social movements, who are all playing a key role in reshaping the governance of humanitarian assistance. Despite the rise of digital humanitarian initiatives over the last decade, there is still a lack of collective attempts to map these initiatives with the aim of starting a global interdisciplinary conversation on the conceptual, legal and social implications of this new humanitarian governance.
This project aims to fill this gap and bring together academics from law, geography, sociology, international relations, computer science and digital humanities as well as representatives from various private and public institutions to develop an interdisciplinary project which is academically relevant, methodologically innovative and socially significant.