innovation

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

13. Designing Future Solutions, Listening to the Most Important Stakeholder

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Presenter: Ms. Abi Weaver, Global Technology Project, American Red Cross

Thursday, 30 April, 09:10-09:4012_Weaver_IMG_3431

With an eye on the threats and opportunities of the next decade, the Red Cross Red Crescent recently developed a multi-sector vision outlining how emerging technologies can address emerging humanitarian needs. Community engagement was essential to the development of this vision and their diverse ideas drove both the problem sets and solutions.

Abi Weaver shared lessons from her experience helping people on the receiving end of emergency aid identify and voice their own needs directly, improve their knowledge, design their own solutions and expand their coping strategies through technology. She also shared why the Red Cross Red Crescent cares about the design, use and cost of future technology solutions and how this focus is helping them prepare for other global shifts like climate change. And she revealed what they learned from communicating with communities about their emerging needs and barriers as well as their attitudes, beliefs, questions and concerns about emerging technologies.


Ms. Abi Weaver
, Global Technology Project, American Red Cross

12_Designing Future Solutions Listening to the Most Important Stakeholder_photo_Abi WeaverAbi Weaver, a director within the international division of the American Red Cross, is currently researching and testing emerging technology solutions with the vision that they can help strengthen disaster resilience in urban communities. In addition to her 10-year career with the Red Cross, Abi has held strategic communications and government relations positions at PATH, an international nonprofit organization that accelerates global health technologies, as well as the National Parent Teacher Association, America’s premiere child advocacy organization.

She has earned degrees in journalism and public relations, and lives in the Washington, DC metro area.


Links to related material:

American Red Cross
Global Dialogue on Emerging Technology for Emerging Needs

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.

15_World Humanitarian Summit Defining the Future Humanitarian Response_screenshot

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