Bridging Humanitarian Digital Divides During COVID-19

Bryant, J. , Holloway, K. , Lough, O. & Willitts-King, B.
Publication language
Date published
20 Nov 2020
Tools, guidelines and methodologies
Coordination, COVID-19, Epidemics & pandemics, Technological, Engaging with affected populations, Humanitarian Access, humanitarian action, Innovation

While digital technologies have been increasingly employed in humanitarian crises for more than a decade, they are needed now more than ever due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Restrictions on travel, a switch to remote working and ‘social distancing’ have left international, national and local humanitarian staff unable to access affected communities, while logistics and humanitarian supply chains are disrupted. At the same time, needs continue to increase. There is now an urgent need for humanitarian actors to engage with affected people differently but, despite initial predictions, there has not been a significant shift in how the sector uses and considers new technologies to do so.

This briefing note analyses how humanitarian actors are deploying digital technology to address specific challenges posed by Covid-19; how relationships between technology providers, governments and humanitarian organisations are changing due to the pandemic and what this means for the future of technology in the humanitarian sector.

Bryant, J. , Holloway, K. , Lough, O. & Willitts-King, B.