Identifying the opportunities and limits of digitalisation – Enhancing digital literacy
The digital information and communication revolution over the last two decades poses enormous challenges and risks for the humanitarian sector and its actors at a rapid speed. On the one hand, digitalisation can increase the efficiency of humanitarian assistance, lead to innovation and create new opportunities for participation of those affected. Those developments, on the other hand, challenge the protection of data as well as personal rights, with serious implications towards the safety of people affected. In the light of German and European data protection standards, this debate seems particularly relevant for German actors in humanitarian assistance. Yet, those challenges often seem to further delay the development and application of digital possibilities and technological innovations, in which many German humanitarian actors are only involved to a limited extent anyway. Valuable opportunities for more efficient and effective humanitarian assistance in the future are therefore being pursued insufficiently.
With several workshops, a publicly accessible study and a concluding international conference, the project aims to close those gaps tying in with some of the core elements of the international humanitarian digitalisation debate. The first project component analyses the current capabilities and practices of German and selected international actors, for instance, in the context of conflicting priorities such as efficiency versus data protection. Based on those findings, possible policies and data strategies will be developed to handle such conflicts. The second project component addresses the role of technological and digital innovation by proposing new approaches to strengthen German policy contributions and programmatic capabilities of German actors in the field of innovation.
Contact: Mike Yousef