Data & Digitalisation2022-11-29T13:59:22+01:00

Data & Digitalisation

Enhancing digital literacy: Identifying the opportunities and limitations of digitalisation

The digital information and communication revolution over the last two decades poses enormous opportunities and challenges for humanitarian actors and the sector’s digital transformation. On the one hand, digital technologies might increase the efficiency of humanitarian assistance, reduce costs, shape innovation and create new ways of participation for and accountability to people affected by crisis. On the other hand, people’s dignity, safety and security might be at risk when data isn’t properly handled and privacy protected from digital harm or power imbalances and stereotypes enforced.

In light of German as well as European data protection standards and data rights discussions like GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), Digital Services or the AI Acts, this debate appears to be particularly relevant for German humanitarian actors. Yet, the complexity and challenges often seem to further hinder digitalisation or the sector’s digital transformation process, in which many German actors are only involved in to a limited extent anyway. Valuable opportunities for more efficient and effective, not to speak about accountable humanitarian assistance are often pursued insufficiently or unsustainably, and the transformative aspect not systematically considered.

With several workshops, papers, and an international conference in 2023, the project contributes to the national and international discussion of the humanitarian sector’s digital transformation process. The first project component analyses the current capabilities and practices of German stakeholders alongside selected international actors. The second project component addresses the role of technologies to strengthening participation of and accountability to affected populations by looking at digital technologies, complex challenges and potential solutions to enable people to hold humanitarian actors to account when it comes to the use of digital technologies and their data. The component includes a study that is based on a literature review and key informant interviews to reflect different perspectives, insights and experience, followed by a number of events to be organised in 2023.

Contact: Andrea Düchting

Enhancing digital literacy: Identifying the opportunities and limitations of digitalisation is part of the project “Strengthening the Programme and Policy Relevant Capabilities of Humanitarian Actors in Germany” (SPreAD), funded by the German Federal Foreign Office.

Andrea Düchting interviewed by Télécoms Sans Frontières



CHA Researcher Andrea Düchting discusses with Télécoms Sans Frontières (TSF) on digital and data literacy, accountability and involving people through technology.

Humanitarians and Technology



Who shall we assess and evaluate for the state of humanitarian digital transformation? Just like for most things in a capital-driven age, to find out you have to ask the right questions and follow the money, says Guilio Coppi.

The digital capacity of German humanitarian action


publicationsCHA Research Fellow Andrea Düchting examines the digital humanitarian capacity of German humanitarian actors and their preparedness to respond to future digital trends.

CHA Conference 2024

04.06.2024 00:00 - 23:59


The CHA Conference 2024 will focus on the topic “Climate & humanitarian crises and the lack of a joint response – Needs, narratives and necessities”. Register now!

Ralf Südhoff on humanitarian trends of the future



At Swiss Solidarity’s Partner Day on 21 September, CHA Director Ralf Südhoff will give a presentation on the humanitarian trends of the future.

Andrea Düchting at the Weizenbaum Conference



On 19 June CHA researcher Andrea Duechting discussed the use of social media in the context of migration, humanitarian action and mobility at the Weizenbaum Conference in Berlin.

#CHA23 Conference Review



On 23 and 24 May 2023, CHA has hosted  a conference on the topic “Tackling power imbalances in humanitarian action – with technology and locally led management?!” In this video gallery you can review the entire conference.

Webinar: Digital accountability in cash and voucher assistance

12.07.2023 13:00 - 14:30


New tech, old problems - can digital accountability in cash and voucher assistance help us get the basics right? Webinar in cooperation with Ground Truth Solutions and CALP Network - register here!

Andrea Düchting at the Humanitarian Futures Conference



On 8 June, Andrea Düchting will present her paper on Digital Accountability at the Humanitarian Futures Conference 2023 in Oslo.

2023 CHA Conference Podcast Double Feature



To get in the mood for the CHA Conference 2023, we invited two guests to the CHAtroom: Valentina Shafina and Arbie Baguios.

The use of technology to strengthen accountability in humanitarian action – a (not) so perfect match?!



To unpack the humanitarian system’s power imbalances and support the sector’s digital transformation, digital accountability and technical solutions are key, but political willingness and readiness to change are essential, highlights Andrea Düchting.

CHA Conference 2023: Tackling power imbalances in humanitarian action

23.05.2023 00:00 - 23:59


At the CHA annual conference 2023, we will connect the two spheres of “digitalisation” and “localisation”, thus sparking a interlinked discussion on underlying power imbalances that shape the humanitarian sector.

Digital Accountability


publicationsHow do humanitarian organisations take responsibility when using digital technologies? How do they hold themselves accountable? In this research paper, CHA Fellow Andrea Düchting analyses the tension between digital technologies, participation and accountability.

Is trust the key denominator to digitally transform the humanitarian sector?!



The challenges for digital transformation in the humanitarian sector are complex and require a deep and multi-layered debate. In this blog entry, Andrea Düchting gives an insight into how this debate was conducted at the ICRC Symposium on Cybersecurity and Data Protection in Humanitarian Action in November 2022.


Online Workshop: Digital accountability & data portability

25.01.2023 10:00 - 13:00


Where does the current debate on digital accountability stand in Germany and beyond? Based on a publication to be published in January 2023, these issues will be discussed in a workshop.

CHAtroom #11: Humanitarian Digital Divide



New technology-driven approaches are already an integral part of humanitarian responses. These technologies have many benefits for aid users and aid organisations. But they also deepen the power imbalance, they have impacts on inclusion. Learn why in episode 11 of the CHAtroom.

CHA Annual Conference 2022: Where is the Humanitarian Turning Point?

23.11.2022 00:00 - 23:59


Is it time for a „humanitarian Zeitenwende”, and what elements would be essential for this? This is the topic of the CHA annual conference in 2022.

Cassie Seo

Doing No (Digital) Harm by Design in Humanitarian Technology Interventions



Which issues need to be considered when developing technologies for humanitarian action, in order to avoid harm to people and organisations? Cassie Seo discusses it with practical examples. [English]

Online Workshop: Digital Accountability

27.06.2022 09:00 - 12:00


What role does digitalisation play in accountability approaches? What are the opportunities and risks that might result from using digital technologies in increasing people’s participation in humanitarian action? We will discuss this in a workshop end of June.

Humanitarian Digital Panorama: A Roadmap beyond 2022



Where does the humanitarian sector stand in the digital debate? Some digital skills and good intentions are no longer enough in today’s world, analyses Giulio Coppi in his Humanitarian Digital Roadmap beyond 2022.

CHAtroom #7: Mapping in Humanitarian Action



In this episode, Dr. Natascha Bing and Dr. Carolin Klonner explain how important geoinformation is for humanitarian action and how maps are created for this purpose. [German]

Online Round Table: Digitalisation

10.12.2021 10:00 - 13:00


In a confidential discussion we will identify the most important opportunities and most pressing risks of digitalisation for German humanitarian actors.