10. Humanitarian Connectivity Charter: Mobile Industry Commitment to Supporting Affected Populations

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Panelists: Ms. Kyla Reid, Head, Disaster Response, GSMA; Ms. Alexandra Sicotte-Levesque, Communicating with Communities Coordinator, UN OCHA; Mr. Karim Khoja, CEO, Roshan Telecom; Mr. Ramon Isberto, Head, Public Affairs, PLDT and Smart Communications; Mr. Abdulla Hassan, Public Relations & Communications Senior Manager, Asiacell

Wednesday, 29 April, 14:20-15:0009_Humanitarian Connectivity Charter_presentation_screenshot

This panel discussion led by Kyla Reid and Alexandra Sicotte-Levesque “Humanitarian Connectivity Charter: Mobile Industry commitment to supporting affected populations” provided an introduction to the objectives of The Humanitarian Connectivity Charter and outlined its potential impact for humanitarian operations in the field and for improving access to communications for those affected by crises.

Panelists reflected on successful initiatives of Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) in providing services to people affected by crises, as well on what challenges and obstacles need to be addressed to ensure that the charter can be fully implemented.

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Ms. Kyla Reid
, Head, Disaster Response, GSMA09_Humanitarian Connectivity Charter_photo_Kyla Reid

As Head of the Disaster Response Programme, Kyla is responsible for leading the mobile industry in improving resilience and engaging in coordination initiatives that most effectively support citizens and humanitarian organisations on the ground following a crisis.

Prior to joining the GSMA, Kyla worked with a range of organisations focused on humanitarian response, failed and fragile state policy and development.

Kyla holds an Msc in International Development from the London School of Economics.

Ms. Alexandra Sicotte-Levesque
, Communicating with Communities Coordinator, UN OCHA

09_Humanitarian Connectivity Charter_photo_alexandra sicotte-levesqueAlexandra Sicotte-Levesque is UNOCHA’s Global Coordinator for Communications with Communities since July 2014.  Alexandra came to OCHA from the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) where she worked on humanitarian communications and deployed to the Philippines (Typhoon Haiyan) and Jordan (Syria crisis). Alexandra also worked in Sudan for more than three years in the field of media and development, first as Country Director for BBC Media Action and later as Radio Producer for the UN peacekeeping mission. In 2002, she co-founded the non-profit organization Journalists for Human Rights (JHR). Throughout her humanitarian career, Alexandra has also been a documentary filmmaker and has produced two feature films.

Originally from Montreal, Canada, Alexandra received her MSc in Human Rights from the London School of Economics.

Mr. Karim Khoja, CEO, Roshan Telecom09_Humanitarian Connectivity Charter_photo_Karim Khoja

Karim Khoja, Chief Executive Officer of Roshan, has over 25 years of experience in the telecommunications industry, including starting and managing extremely successful GSM companies in Pakistan, Poland, Croatia, Tajikistan and Afghanistan. Under his leadership, Roshan has grown to be Afghanistan’s market leader, with more than six and a half million customers. Mr. Khoja started his GSM career as CEO for Mobilink in Pakistan, and then launched Era GSM in Poland.  He then went on to spin out the mobile company, T Mobile, from the incumbent Croatia Telecom.

Over the course of the last eleven years, Mr. Khoja has dedicated his time to the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED) to bring competition and best practices to the telecommunication industry in Afghanistan and Tajikistan. He has focused not only on financial results, but also on how technology can be used to change lives.

Mr. Khoja serves on the board of IPS West Africa and T Cell in Tajikistan. He is the Chairman of the Afghan Investment Climate facility (Harakat), a £30m fund to encourage private enterprise, an advisor to the GSMA Development Fund and until a year ago a Associate Board Member of the Legatum Center at MIT.

Mr. Ramon Isberto, Head, Public Affairs, PLDT and Smart Communications

09_Humanitarian Connectivity Charter_photo_Ramon IsbertoMr. Isberto is the concurrent Public Affairs head of the Philippines’ biggest telecommunications firm, the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT), and its wholly-owned wireless subsidiary, Smart Communications Inc.

His media experience spans over 30 years of work in newspapers, wire service, television and public relations. He was a special sections editor of a leading Philippine business daily and Manila bureau chief of an international wire service covering not only domestic events, but also regional and international development issues. He was executive producer of a leading public affairs program and a talk show host of a business and general affairs morning program. He also served as the vice president for public affairs of a major broadcast network.

Outside of the PLDT Group, Mr. Isberto is the president of the Corporate Network for Disaster Response (CNDR), a fellow of the Social Weather Stations, an independent opinion poll organization, a member of the National Press Club, the Philippine Futuristic Society, and the Economic Journalists Association of the Philippines. In 2012, Mr. Isberto was conferred with the prestigious Accredited in Public Relations (APR) distinction from the Public Relations Society of the Philippines (PRSP) for displaying excellence and integrity in the practice of the profession.

Mr. Abdulla Hassan, Public Relations & Communications Senior Manager, Asiacell09_Humanitarian Connectivity Charter_photo_Abdulla Hassan

Abdulla Hassan is the Public Relations and Marketing Communications Senior Manager of Asiacell, the first Iraqi telecom company.  Hassan assumed this position in 2009 to lead a capable team of 32 Public Relations and Marketing Communications professionals. Hassan has scored numerous achievements as the company’s PR & MarCom manager, most notably of which is increasing the company’s brand image and corporate reputation in a record time of 3 years. As the company’s PR & Communications head, Hassan shoulders the responsibilities of devising and implementing Asiacell’s PR long-term strategies, monitoring the work process and controlling quality of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), sponsorship programs, media relations strategies, creativity and managing marketing communications.

Since joining Asiacell in 2005, Hassan has assumed a number of critical positions at the company. He was appointed as the official spokesperson for Asiacell, for which he was greatly qualified due to his staggering ability to communicate with the various media and social segments in the country.

Hassan acquired B.A. in English Language and Literature from Sulaimanya University in 2000. He also acquired a Master’s degree in Business Administration, International Management and Leadership 2011 at the American University in Iraq.

Links to related material:

GSMA Disaster Response
UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
GSMA Humanitarian Connectivity Charter
Roshan Telecom
Smart Communications


12. Partnerships: Achieving the ETC 2020 Strategy

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Panelists: Mr. Mark Banbury, Global CIO, Plan International; Ms. Marianne Donven, Directorate for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs, Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, Luxembourg; Ms. Najat Abdulrahman, Executive Director Business Development, Yahsat; Mr. Edward Happ, Global CIO, International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC); Mr. Brent Carbno, Program Director, Ericsson Response11_Partnerships Achieving the ETC 2020 Strategy_screenshot

Wednesday, 29 April, 16:30-17:10

Traditionally, the Emergency Telecommunications Cluster (ETC) has served the humanitarian community, enabling the coordination and distribution of life-saving aid. The network will expand to serve a wider community of humanitarian responders, affected populations and governments in order to facilitate the delivery and receipt of humanitarian aid.

By 2020, the ETC will strategically connect technology and energy companies, humanitarian organisations, government, affected populations and emerging actors globally, regionally and locally. With the scope of the ETC’s work growing, the panel discussion considered how existing members, government donors, NGOs, private sectors and new partners are preparing to support this new approach.
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Mark Banbury, Global CIO, Plan International11_Partnerships Achieving the ETC 2020 Strategy_photo_banbury

Mark Banbury is the Global Chief Information Officer, Director of Shared Services for Plan International where he oversees IT operations in Plan’s 51 developing countries across Africa, Asia and the Americas.  The child development organization which fundraises and spends over €725 million annually, works in over 90,000 communities with a direct impact on the lives of over 165 million people, including over 78 million children.  During his time at Plan International Mr. Banbury has also overseen the Human Resources team and the Communication team during periods of leadership transitions.

Prior to joining Plan International, Mr. Banbury was the Vice President and Chief Information Officer of Plan Canada where he oversaw gift processing, donor communications, and the teams that were responsible for determining the technological direction of Plan Canada’s fundraising and Web communications systems.   He joined Plan in 2006 and was responsible for ensuring Plan’s technology was able to meet the needs of a growing not-for-profit which more than doubled its fundraising revenue in under 4 years.

Prior to joining Plan Canada, Mr. Banbury spent more than five years as the Director of Information Systems and New Media at SickKids Foundation, Canadian’s largest paedeatric care and research facility, and one of the top four children’s hospitals in the world.  Mr. Banbury also spent 10 years in the educational sector as an associate professor for his alma mater, Ryerson University, and taught radio/audio production and new media.  He holds a BA in Radio and Television Arts (with honours) and has taken post graduate courses in distance education, media, and organizational leadership/strategy.

Ms. Marianne Donven, Directorate for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs, Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, Luxembourg

11_Partnerships Achieving the ETC 2020 Strategy_photo_Marianne Donven 3Marianne Donven has been working at the Directorate for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid of the Luxembourg Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs since March 2005. In 2005 and 2006 she coordinated and monitored Luxembourg’s response to the Indian Ocean Tsunami. From 2007 to 2014, she was in charge of the Humanitarian Aid Desk, with a specific focus on Luxembourg’s emergency relief operations in response to sudden-onset disasters as well as in protracted crises. She was also in charge of Luxembourg’s relations with the UN World Food Programme (WFP) and the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). Since 2010, she has been involved in the design and implementation of the public-private-partnership ‘’, an innovative satellite-based telecommunications platform. ‘’ is a global public good offering emergency telecommunications services to the humanitarian community, primarily in support of the Emergency Telecommunications Cluster, with the objective to improve communication and coordination in humanitarian crises (

Ms. Najat Abdulrahman, Executive Director Business Development, Yahsat11_Partnerships Achieving the ETC 2020 Strategy_photo_Najat Abdulrahman

Najat joined Yahsat in 2013, to lead and manage the YahClick business development team.  In partnership with regional directors and country managers she establishes a personal network within the satellite industry and service partners to support growth of YahClick within its regional footprint .

Najat has  over 20 years work experience within the Telecom field. During her career Najat has been involved in Product Marketing , Marketing communication  and  Business development within both local and international markets. Her diverse experience encompasses dealing in varied enterprises based solutions in addition to  data clearing house , SIM manufacturing  and more recently M2M  .  Najat holds a B.A in Business Administration & Economics from International American University of Richmond UK  in addition to a Postgraduate Degree in International Marketing from University of Strathcylde, UK.

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

20 Disruptive Innovation Train Wrecks on the Right Track picEdward 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, CT.  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.   Further information on Mr. Happ may be found on his web page (

Mr. Brent Carbno, Program Director, Ericsson Response11_Partnerships Achieving the ETC 2020 Strategy_photo_Brent Carbno 2

Brent Carbno has more than 14 years of experience in the telecommunications technology field, and over 10 years of experience working in humanitarian emergencies.

In his current role as Program Director for Ericsson Response, Brent is responsible for all of the operational aspects of the program, including managing the volunteers and humanitarian partnerships.  Brent started at Ericsson in 2001 as a telecommunications engineer, and  eventually moved into leadership and project management positions within Ericsson.  In 2004, Brent joined the Ericsson Response program as a volunteer and went on his first UN mission to Pakistan the next year. Brent was also deployed to UN missions in CAR and Haiti where he acted as team leader.  As an Ericsson Response volunteer, Brent also acted as operations manager for two separate missions with Save the Children in Sudan.

In 2011, Brent joined Ericsson Response full-time as Solutions Manager, and became Program Director in 2012.  Since then, Brent has been responsible for leading all Ericsson Response missions and activities.  So far 2015 has been an unprecedented year, with activities continuing in South Sudan, Iraq, Vanuatu and the Ebola crisis in West Africa.  He is also an active member of the Emergency Telecommunications Cluster, and is currently helping to shape the future direction of humanitarian response towards 2020.

Links to related material:

ETC 2020
About ETC 2020 backgrounder
Plan International
International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)
Ericsson Response

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