European Interagency Security Forum

17. Communication Technology: Challenges and Opportunities for Humanitarian Security

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Presenters: Ms. Lisa Reilly, Executive Coordinator, European Interagency Security Forum (EISF); Ms. Raquel Vazquez, Researcher, EISF16_Lisa Reilly and Raquel Vazquez_Keep Calm_stage shot 3

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

The speed with which technology is developing and changing humanitarian programmes means that organisations are simply not keeping up from a security risk management perspective.

To date, few efforts have been made to understand the specific nature of the security threats created by the digital revolution, and the implications for security risk management. In the last decade, humanitarian organisations have been investing in more proactive acceptance strategies, but often forgetting to look at the impact that digital interactions have in the security of staff when we replace the traditional ‘tea in the market’ by Skype meetings with beneficiaries. Nor have there been many efforts to understand the ways in which communications technology is creating new opportunities for humanitarian agencies to respond to emergencies and the impact that new programmes have on how we manage security.

The session looked at these issues, highlighting that to gain and maintain safe access for humanitarian assistance we need a security risk management approach that takes account of the risks associated with developments in communications technology.

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Ms. Lisa Reilly, Executive Coordinator, European Interagency Security Forum (EISF)16_Communication Technology Challenges and Opportunities_photo_Lisa Reilly

Lisa has over 16 years experience in the development and humanitarian response sector, working overseas in a variety of programme management roles in both Africa and Asia. Returning to the UK in 2009 Lisa took up a position with RedR as Security Trainer developing and implementing personal and security management courses, as well as undertaking a number of short-term consultancy projects backstopping and evaluating humanitarian response programmes. Starting as an engineer, Lisa’s security knowledge comes from implementing programmes in various conflict and post-conflict countries, subsequently enhanced through working with a variety of sector experts and on a number of research projects since her return to the UK.

Ms. Raquel Vazquez, Researcher, EISF

16_Communication Technology Challenges and Opportunities_photo_Raquel VazquezRaquel coordinates projects and conducts research to help humanitarian organisations gain safer access to communities affected by conflict and emergencies. She is also a member of the Justice Rapid Response Roster for the rapid deployment of experts in war crimes and mass atrocities investigations. Prior to joining EISF, Raquel worked in Libya, Israel, Bangladesh, Cambodia and the UK for different humanitarian and human rights organisations, and in two international prosecutions, the UN-backed Khmer Rouge Tribunal and the International Criminal Court.

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The European Interagency Security Forum