24 June 2021


Virtual event

Innovation as a driver of change: the use of new and emerging technologies and humanitarian data

 2021 Economic and Social Council Humanitarian Affairs Segment - High-Level Panel
Innovation as a driver of change:
the use of new and emerging technologies and humanitarian data

Thursday 24 June 2021 | 10:00am - 12:00pm (Geneva Time)

The event will be livestreamed on UN WebTV.

In a fast-changing humanitarian landscape, new technologies offer an array of opportunities for humanitarian action to be faster, more accessible and more effective, as demonstrated during the COVID-19 pandemic and in other humanitarian contexts. The COVID-19 crisis forced humanitarians to adjust rapidly to be able to efficiently meet evolving and growing needs. The use of new technologies and innovative techniques are key part of that adaptation.

The panel will examine cases of the use of data to better predict and identify needs, new technologies to provide assistance safely and effectively, and new techniques that enable health and humanitarian workers to stay and deliver. At the same time, the panel will explore the risks associated with new tools and techniques, and in particular data protection risks, and discuss ways to combat phenomena like misinformation and disinformation. The panel will also draw on experience of how technologies can be used to reinforce and support local partners, and explore gender-responsive action.


H.E. Ambassador Ms. Pascale Baeriswyl, Permanent Representative of Switzerland to the United Nations and Vice-President of ECOSOC


Ms. Wafaa Saeed, Director, Coordination Division, OCHA


  • Mr. António Vitorino, Director-General, IOM
  • Ms. Anna Ekeledo, Executive Director, AfriLabs
  • Ms. Veronica Gabaldon, Executive Director, Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation 
  • Mr. Lars Peter Nissen, Director, ACAPS 
  • Ms. Alexandra Bilak, Director, IDMC