Only Connect: Problem Sciences, Information Systems and Humanitarian Reform

Only Connect: Problem Sciences, Information Systems and Humanitarian Reform

Paul Currion (Humanitarian.info, Uk)
DOI: 10.4018/jiscrm.2009010103
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Abstract

The introduction of information systems and the humanitarian reform process are both having a tremendous impact on the way that humanitarian assistance is delivered – yet the two processes are extremely weakly connected. As a result, the humanitarian community is failing to realise the potential that information technology has to support key aspects of the reform process, but also failing to recognise that technology is likely to render many of the discussions around reform moot. The balance of knowledge is shifting towards those affected by disaster, implying that they will become increasingly empowered by technology to more effectively cope with the impact of those disasters. Traditional actors in the humanitarian community must incorporate these realities into its own processes or risk being overtaken by newer and more agile institutions which may not be so concerned with humanitarian principles.

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