The United Nations has released a new report that analyzes how humanitarian aid to areas struck by natural disaster can better use new volunteer communities and technologies in their response. The document takes a close look at the response to the earthquake in Haiti in 2010, and recommends ways to improve the coordination of these communities for future events.
Among the issues that the report addresses is the “belief that technology is itself a driver of change, rather than one of several enabling factors that leaders can channel to transform organizations.” There is some friction between the volunteers who believe that the technology can change slower-moving enterprises in large-scale disaster situations, and those with field experience that must roll out a large-scale response that involves thousands of employees.
The report was commissioned by the United Nations Foundation and Vodafone Foundation Technology Partnership in collaboration with the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), and researched and written by a team at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative.
There are quotes and first-person perspectives throughout the document that point to lessons learned, and the innovation that is necessary to take the volunteer technology efforts of Haiti to the next level.
Download the full Report in PDF