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


16. World Humanitarian Summit: Defining the Future Humanitarian Response

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Presenter: Mr. Matthew Hochbrueckner, Business Partnership Adviser, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)

Thursday, 30 April 2015, 13:30-14:00

The World Humanitarian Summit, an initiative launched the Secretary-General of the United Nations, is a once in generation opportunity to bring the global community together to commit to new ways of working to save lives and reduce hardship around the globe. The Summit will be held in Istanbul in May 2016, and will be proceeded by numerous consultations including those dedicated to the private sector.

The Summit’s Power of Business theme seeks to engage business actors in discussions on their unique role in emergency preparedness and response by highlighting interests, opportunities and challenges. The ultimate goal is to showcase innovative ways to maximise the power of business in alleviating crises in vulnerable communities and markets. This session highlighted current trends in private sector engagement and addressed identifying opportunities to influence the Summit’s agenda and resulting commitments.

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Mr. Matthew Hochbrueckner, Business Partnership Adviser, UN OCHA

15_World Humanitarian Summit Defining the Future Humanitarian Response_photo_Matthew HochbruecknerMatt Hochbrueckner is the Business Partnership Adviser for UN OCHA in New York, focusing on building collaborative private sector engagement in emergencies, and facilitating business consultations in the lead up to the World Humanitarian Summit.  Most recently he helped lead coordination with the private sector for UNMEER during the Ebola crisis.  Matt has worked the last 8 years with OCHA in partnerships, policy, strategic planning and monitoring.  He has more than 20 years of experience in relief and development, having served in the Philippines, Sierra Leone and the Balkans.  This is his third WGET event.

Links to related material:

World Humanitarian Summit

20. Disruptive Innovation: Train Wrecks on the Right Track

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Presenter: Mr. Edward G. Happ, Global CIO, International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)22 Disruptive Innovation Train Wrecks on the Right Track capture 1

Thursday, 30 April 2015, 16:10-16:40

The late American humorist, Will Rogers, once quipped that “Even if you are on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.”  And yet large parts of our Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) infrastructure is based on last century models—even if only 15 years ago.  A recent study by the International Civil Society concluded that “The role CSOs will play in tomorrow’s world may very much depend on their ability to anticipate and effectively navigate disruptions.”

Disruptive change is about scale, speed and surprise; the point being that it is hard to plan for, but imperative to be flexible and agile for.  Yet for some of our organizations the large ‘lights-on’ infrastructure has become the tail that wags the dog.  Add to that the trends in large systems and it is evident large CSOs are pursuing a corporate IT path that they cannot afford or sustain.  Will we be able to move fast enough to avoid the train-wreck?

This session looked at how organizations can adopt and leverage disruptive changes while managing the enterprise during this transformation.

Mr. Edward G. Happ, Global CIO, International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)

20_Edward Happ_IMG_0025 copyEdward G. Happ is the Global CIO of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, based in Geneva, Switzerland, and co-founder and former Chairman of NetHope, a U.S. based consortium of 41 leading international relief, development and conservation nonprofits focused on information and communications technology (ICT) and collaboration.

He is the former Chief Information Officer at Save the Children, in Westport, Connecticut.  During his first year at Save the Children, in March 2001, he presented a paper to Cisco on “Wiring the Virtual Village,” which became the basis for NetHope. Before joining Save the Children, he was a senior partner and founder of HP Management Decisions Ltd.,  a management consultancy, and has held a variety of corporate management positions, to the Senior Vice President and General Manager level, with Wall Street data providers, service and software product companies.

His 35 years of professional experience include all facets of managing information services and high technology businesses, including general management with P&L responsibility, operations, product management, sales, marketing, customer service, human resources management, technical consulting, manufacturing, and both software and hardware development.

He began his career as an Assistant VP, Equity Research at the First Boston Corporation.  Mr. Happ is a graduate of Drew University where he also did graduate work.  He is also the founder and editor of The Fairfield Review, Connecticut’s first on-line literary magazine.  Further information on Mr. Happ may be found on his web page at:

Link to related material:

International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)