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ICT4Peace Foundation
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Sanjana Hattotuwa, Special Advisor at the ICT4Peace Foundation, talking about Big Data and its value for governance, humanitarian aid and activism.

Recorded at the University of Lugano, during the Master of Advanced Studies in Humanitarian Logistics and Management course. 

Watch on YouTube here - Crisis Information Management at MASHLM
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Led by the UN’s Office of Information and Communications Technology (OICT) and organised by the ICT4Peace Foundation, the 2013 Crisis Information Management Advisory Group (CiMAG) meeting was held on 2nd and 3rd May in Glen Cove, New York. Representatives from UNOCC, UNITAR, UNDP BCPR, UNICEF, OHCHR, OICT, OCHA, DFS/DPKO, UNHCR and UNOSAT participated along with, on the second day, representatives from Google Crisis Response, Human Rights Watch, Sahana Software Foundation, Standby Volunteer Task Force, World Bank OpenDRI. Representatives from the New Media Task Force were invited but due to unavoidable circumstances, could not attend.
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Sanjana Hattotuwa, Special Advisor to the ICT4Peace Foundation, delivered a public lecture on Big Data & social media for crisis management at Zurich’s Swiss Federal Institute of Technology – ETH, one of the leading international universities for technology and the natural sciences in the world. The Foundation was invited by Prof. Dirk Helbing, Chair of Sociology, in particular of Modelling and Simulation. ICT4Peace is an active partner of Prof. Helbing’s FuturICT project.
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The ICT4Peace Foundation recognises UN OCHA’s new publication Humanitarianism in the Network Age as a significant contribution to our understanding of how new technologies including new web based social media, are reshaping our fundamental understanding as well as the design and delivery of humanitarian aid and relief work across the world, and indeed, beyond the UN.
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Sanjana Hattotuwa will give a public talk at Zurich’s world renowned ETH on big data and social media for crisis management on 16th April, from 17:00 – 19:00hrs. Details on the ETH website here.
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At the meeting, PMSRRS underscored the enduring interest in and commitment at OHCHR to adopt and adapt ICTs in their vital, global mandate. Given the sustained interactions with and the quality of strategic, real world experience based advice given to PMSRRS on the use of ICTs for human rights protection and promotion, the Foundation was invited to be part of these vital discussions moving forward.
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As reported on the UNESCO website, on the 20th anniversary of World Press Freedom Day in 2013, UNESCO Director-General Ms Irina Bokova presented a medal to ICT4Peace Foundation board member Mr. Alain Modoux in recognition of his pivotal role in the establishment of World Press Freedom Day (WPFD).

For 20 years, May 3 has been a day when the world celebrates freedom of expression and stands together for its protection. This is the spirit of the 1991 Declaration of Windhoek, whose anniversary the United Nations General Assembly chose for World Press Freedom Day. UNESCO was instrumental in framing the Windhoek Declaration and works today to promote freedom of expression across the world.

Via http://ict4peace.org/updates/unesco-honours-member-of-ict4peace-foundation-board
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The ICT4Peace Foundation sent in detailed comments about the substance of the revised standards and suggested re-structuring the chapters from ”Information Collection”, to “Data Analysis”, to “Information-Sharing”. Since the standards have so far only been used at the organizational level, the ICT4Peace Foundation stressed the need to make the standards more “user-friendly” for field personnel with an online tutorial and/or a shorter version of the standards. Currently, they are only used at the organizational level. The revised version should be published in April 2013. The ICRC informed the ICT4Peace Foundation in January 2013 that an e-Learning course on “Managing of sensitive protection information” was being developed for field staff.
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Sanjana Hattotuwa, Special Advisor at the ICT4Peace Foundation, was invited to deliver a presentation at Centre for International Peace Operations (ZIF) in Berlin, Germany, on 15 April 2013. A short write up about the presentation on the ZIF website can be read here.

The ICT4Peace Foundation works closely together with ZIF in the design and implementation of the Crisis Information Management course, which was last delivered in Nairobi, Kenya in February/March 2013.

Sanjana’s presentation focussed on how Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) were contributing to a paradigm shift in the praxis, study and design of peacekeeping, peacebuilding, election monitoring and humanitarian aid. Sanjana ended by looking at how leading institutions like ZIF could leverage social and new media to strengthen all aspects of their programming, and by doing so, add value to existing training programmes.
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Since the first cohort of students over three years ago, the ICT4Peace Foundation has lectured at the Master of Advanced Studies in Humanitarian Logistics and Management at the University of Lugano. Led by Sanjana Hattotuwa, the Foundation’s modules are broadly anchored around two key areas – one, the impact of new and social media on the web, Internet and via mobiles on humanitarian aid, situational awareness and more effective design and delivery of relief systems. Two, an overnight simulation exercise, based loosely around the Haiti earthquake, that takes students to around 30 of the leading humanitarian websites as well as new media platforms and portals and gets them to search for, compare and verify information on them, as well as collaborate and produce information using them.
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Sanjana flagged key research reports, organisations, individuals and institutions including UN agencies at the cutting edge of innovation in this domain, key technology trends, real world examples, platforms, tools and apps, significant challenges, including ethical issues and possible future scenarios in engaging with the participants.
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Strengthening peace through ICTs
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The ICT4Peace Foundation aims to enhance the performance of the International community in crisis management through the use of ICTs that facilitates effective communication between peoples, communities and stakeholders involved in crisis management, humanitarian aid and peacebuilding.
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