The annual ICT4D Conferences have proven to be an invaluable opportunity for NGOs, private sector organizations, universities, governmental agencies and foundations to share their experience in using ICT to increase the impact of development programs and to learn from each other.  In 2016, 715 individuals from 76 countries and 301 private sector and public sector and civil society explored the ways to harness the full power of digital solutions to achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.  Our thanks to Accenture, Catholic Relief Services, Esri, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, iMerit Technology Services, Inmarsat, IS Solutions, Making All Voices Count, Mercy Corps, Microsoft, NetHope, Oxfam, Pandexio, Qualcom Wireless Reach, RTI International, SimbaNet and World Vision for making that possible.

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Tuesday, May 17 • 14:45 - 15:30
From Radical Openness-Real-Time Collaborations in Crisis Response FULL

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Inspired by volunteer responder communities including Standby Task Force and Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team, ICT workers responding to the EU refugee crisis established simple, public, and completely open communications tools for cross organization coordination.

Using simple, publically available, and free-to-use tools, crisis responders on the Greek island of Lesbos established live chat rooms, and shared cloud-based document folders, to coordinate the establishment and maintenance of Wifi networks on the island. Groups who had never before met or collaborated were able to support each other with know-how, on-the-ground labor, equipment, and even funding.

These open spaces quickly filled with responders-professional NGO and corporate, and volunteers, working on the crisis throughout the refugee route and beyond.

What began as a lightweight coordination tool, quickly became a robust discussion and meet-up space that spawned several collaborative ICT projects including the RefugeeInfo web site for refugees, the Translation Cards mobile app for responders, and coordinated deploy and management of informational video displays throughout registration centers and border crossings.

Come hear how radical openness enabled IRC, Google, Mercy Corps, UNHCR, Cisco, NetHope, Disaster Tech Lab, Oxfam, SOS Children's VIllages, Save the Children, NRC and others to support one another's initiatives and come together to launch new programs in the midst of an emergency response.

The session will take the form of case studies presented by a panel of collaborators, followed by hands-on training on the key open-communications tools used in the response: Slack, Slack-in, Google Drive, and WhatsApp.

avatar for Jeff Wishnie

Jeff Wishnie

Senior Director, Program Technology, Mercy Corps
Jeff Wishnie is Mercy Corps' Senior Director of Program Technology. He is responsible for the design and implementation use of ICTs to improve the effectiveness, reach, scale, and efficiency of Mercy Corps' programming globally. Jeff also provides technology strategy advising to Mercy... Read More →

avatar for Omar Mekassi

Omar Mekassi

Regional ICT Projects Manager, International Rescue Committee
Omar Meksassi is the Regional ICT projects manager for the ICT Lab in Serbia for the International Rescue committee working on finding solutions though innovative and technological approaches to humanitarian response initiatives. He previously worked with local NGOs in the MENA region... Read More →
avatar for Frank Schott

Frank Schott

Vice President of Global Programs, NetHope
Frank Schott joined NetHope in 2005, and served as Managing Director of Global Programs for 11 years. In 2016, he took on the role of Vice President of Global Programs, where he oversees Field Programs. During his time with NetHope, Frank has worked closely with member agencies, corporate... Read More →
avatar for John Warnes

John Warnes

Dep. Head of Innovation (acting), UNHCR

Tuesday May 17, 2016 14:45 - 15:30 EAT
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