Global Disaster Relief Summit: Overcoming challenges in deploying ICT solutions for disaster response

ICT and communications solutions are vital to disaster response operations. The latest figures show that the total number of internet users worldwide is 3.17 billion, up from 2.94 billion last year.

The rapid expansion of access in developing countries promises almost boundless opportunities for innovation. However, actually deploying new technology presents challenges.

Innovators around the world are now providing platforms that allow people to contact emergency services via mobile technology. In addition, the same platforms can facilitate instant communication between coordinators and first responders. Elsewhere, drones and satellites can provide up to date GIS and images of disaster zones, enabling better and quicker decisions in the field.

Aid & International Development Forum (AIDF) is delighted to announce that world renowned humanitarian technology expert Patrick Meier will deliver the keynote presentation on Humanitarian Technology & Robotics at this summer’s AIDF Global Disaster Relief Summit 2016.

Patrick is the founder of UAViators, a network which promotes safe and effective use of UAVs in humanitarian and development settings. He is also the founder of Werobotics, which helps to drive the use of robots such as drones to deliver humanitarian aid. You can read some of Patrick’s articles on drone applications here.

Global Disaster Relief Summit 2016 will also feature presentations and panels led by world-leading experts and innovators in the field of ICT and disaster relief, including:

  • Hani Shannak, Chief Operations & Services, IT Services & Solutions, UNICEF
  • Mark Smith, Senior Director for Humanitarian and Emergency Affairs, World Vision US
  • Steve Hunt, CIO, Team Rubicon Hughes
  • Juanita Rilling, Director, Center for International Disaster Information (CIDI), U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)
  • Joseph Burton, Counselor for Technology and Security Policy, U.S. Department of State
  • Steve Heller, Director of ICT4D & GIS, Catholic Relief Services

Topics to be addressed at the Summit will include, but are not limited to:

  • Update on latest innovations in communication technology, social networks and data sharing solutions for relief agencies
  • Strengthening resilience and early-warning systems through information sharing
  • Addressing ethics & data privacy and the real data risks
  • Achieving an agile approach for communication and information management
  • Discussing latest trends and innovations for communication with affected communities
  • Update on the new Crisis Connectivity Charter
  • Lessons learnt from previous emergencies

Global Disaster Relief Summit will take place on 7-8 September 2016 at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Centre in Washington D.C. providing plenty of opportunities to exchange experience and ideas for developing technically sound international humanitarian and development assistance. For more information about the Summit, please visit

Register your participation now to join 350+ decision makers from UN and government agencies, Red Cross, NGOs, donors and foundations, military, relief agencies and the private sector. 


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