The Bartlett Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis


How can technology improve humanitarian response?

22 May 2017

Dr Adam Dennett and David Concannon joined the panel discussions at More London Riverside on Wednesday 17 May for an event on technology and humanitarian response co-hosted by CASA.

Event Panellists

The world is faced with a number of humanitarian crises such as the war in Syria and the subsequent displacement of 6.5 million people; the famine in Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia and Nigeria (now considered the largest humanitarian crisis in the history of the United Nations) and the persecution of Myanmar's Rohingya. CASA co-hosted an event with PriceWaterhouseCoopers and the UK Department for International Development (DFID) to discuss some technology based challenges and solutions within humanitarian response and to directly interact with and watch what digital solutions to some of these crises could look like.

Dr Adam Dennett and David Concannon joined the panels at More London Riverside, with David discussing his work utilising data visualisation to aid provision of HIV healthcare in South Africa and Adam offering a presentation on the ReMap Lima project.

The full panel included:

1) Patrick Spens, PwC, Director Blockchain & Identity - Patrick specialises in blockchain and distributed ledger technology. Involved with the UN’s ID2020’s mission, which is to harness innovation and enable emerging technology to address the challenge of creating legal identities for vulnerable populations, including the victims of human trafficking, modern-day slavery and refugee crises. He is also a part of the Advisory board of UCL's computer science engineering faculty (where all the blockchain work is done and they're a member of the Alan Turing Institute too).

2) David Concannon, UCL, Data Scientist, (Data Visualisation & Healthcare) - David focuses on data visualisation and web development. Through the Africa Centre for Population Dashboard, David has been utilising data visualisation to aid provision of HIV healthcare in South Africa. 

3) Seb Mhatre, DFID, Statistics Advisor - Seb is the Data Innovation Lead at the Data for Development team at UK DFID. He focuses on how DFID can make better use of open data and big data.

Chair: Sheetal Vyas, PwC, Director - Sheetal leads the Human Development theme of PwC's ID practice and is a qualified Chartered Accountant. She is an experienced ID consultant specialising in the management and delivery of large scale complex multi-country funds, private sector development, and venture philanthropy. Most recently Sheetal led the delivery team for DFID’s £300m Fund, the Girls’ Education Challenge.

David Concannon1