4. ETC 2020: Today’s Partnerships for Tomorrow’s Live-Saving Digital Solutions

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Presenter: Mr. Jakob Kern, CIO & Chair of the Emergency Telecommunications Cluster (ETC), UN World Food Programme (WFP)

Wednesday, 29 April 2015, 09:40-10:00

03_Jakob Kern_MG_0134By 2020, the Emergency Telecommunications Cluster (ETC) network of aid, government and private sector organisations will create an emergency response environment that provides humanitarians, disaster-affected communities and governments with a seamless, resilient and principled communications experience.

The ETC 2020 strategy is formed around 6 core themes: Continue to deliver on the existing mandate to provide common ICT services to the humanitarian community; Facilitation and/ or delivery of essential life-saving communications services to affected populations; Working with governments to build resilience enabling quicker restoration of essential communications channels after a disaster; Significantly improve energy provision and mainstream connectivity services to enhance connectivity and enable delivery of digital aid; Leveraging capacities and synergies available through the ETC network to ensure response readiness, enabling ETC responders to provide predictable and effective international and local response within 24 hours of a crisis; New models for partnerships that will enable the ETC network to effectively channel joint efforts, by providing scale, scope, and new efficiencies.

In order to achieve Vision 2020, the involvement of the WGET community will be crucial.

Mr. Jakob Kern, CIO & Chair of the Emergency Telecommunications Cluster (ETC), UN World Food Programme (WFP)

13_Digital Aid Biometric Identity Management and Cash_photo_Jakob KernJakob Kern is the Chief Information Officer and Director of Information Technologies at the United Nations World Food Programme. He is responsible for the overall IT strategy, operations, processes and more than 425 IT staff of the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger globally. He has further responsibility for supporting the organisation’s Change Process within the development of the strategic framework and priorities of the Division, and is advising the Executive Director on all IT related matters.

Jakob is currently the Chair of the Emergency Telecommunications Cluster of the United Nations (ETC) and the Management Committee of the United Nations International Computing Center (ICC), the common data centre of 30 UN Agencies based in Geneva.

Jakob joined WFP in 1998 in Monrovia, Liberia as Head of one of the largest Special Operation projects consisting of 200 km of emergency road repairs in a post war environment to facilitate food distribution to refugees. He then moved on as Emergency Coordinator and Programme Advisor in Asmara, Eritrea where he was responsible for two large-scale emergency operations. He was WFP Deputy Country Director in North Korea and prior to becoming CIO in February 2012, was the Deputy Chief Information Officer at WFP since 2006, where he managed all seven branches of the Division and provided leadership to the development of global IT innovative strategies and programmes to enhance efficiency through IT applications.

Before joining the World Food Programme, Jakob worked as a consultant and project manager for several companies, where he was responsible for global engineering projects throughout Africa and Asia.

Jakob received a Masters in Civil Engineering from ETH Zurich, Switzerland. He is married and has two young boys.

Links to related material: 

Emergency Telecommunications Cluster (ETC)
ETC 2020
About ETC 2020


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