3. Digital Aid: Game-Changing Humanitarian Transformation

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Presenter: Ms. Gwi-Yeop Son, Director, Corporate Programmes Division, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)

Wednesday, 29 April 2015, 09:20-09:40

The number of people in need of humanitarian assistance has almost doubled over the past ten years, and is expected to keep rising. The global humanitarian system is at a crossroads and only through partnership and innovation is it possible to meet these unprecedented humanitarian needs.

Providing information and two-way communication are now an integral part of humanitarian response. The network age is re-shaping humanitarian response and the communications revolution continues to have a profound impact on the way people survive and respond to emergencies.

UN OCHA works to ensure humanitarian response is as coordinated and effective as possible, to find a consensus on the problem, the priorities, and what needs to be done to ensure people who are affected receive the aid they need. Gwi called on WGET participants to work together to develop game-changing approaches to enable digital aid and harness technology to build resilience and to provide assistance more effectively.

Gwi could not attend the  36th WGET Forum owing to the response requirements of the earthquake that struck Nepal on 25 April. WGET Chair Patrick Gordon delivered her remarks.

Link to remarks

Ms. Gwi-Yeop Son, Director, Corporate Programmes Division, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)02_Digital Aid Game-changing humanitarian transformation_Photo_Gwi-Yeop Son

Ms. Gwi-Yeop Son began her career in Haiti, assisting HIV/AIDS patients with a non-governmental organisation called the Death and Dying Institute.  She then worked with the Country Women’s Association of Nigeria, focusing on micro-finance schemes, before taking up a position as Assistant to the Managing Director of Lehman Brothers.

In 1994, Ms. Son joined UNDP and had a number of positions including in Somalia as a Programme Officer in 1994, Assistant Resident Representative of the Governance and Environmental Management Division in Lao PDR in 1996, Special Assistant to the Assistant Administrator with UNDP’s Bureau of Management in 1998, Deputy UNDP Representative in East Timor in 2000, Programme Advisor on Afghanistan in 2002, Country Director of UNDP Indonesia in 2003, and United Nations Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Thailand in 2007.

In May 2011, Ms. Son took up the post of Director of Corporate Programmes of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). In this role Ms. Son holds direct oversight over OCHA’s work on communication, information management and policy development, as well as the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) and the Country Based Pooled Funds including Emergency Response Fund (ERF) and Common Humanitarian Fund (CHF). Ms. Son also has ultimate responsibility for OCHA’s administrative functions and oversees the World Humanitarian Summit Secretariat which will help organize the first ever Humanitarian Summit in 2016.

Links to related material:

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
World Humanitarian Summit