February 26, 2016 | 0 comments

Data–Pop Alliance has been conducting ongoing research on Big Data, climate change and environmental resilience. With funding from the UK’s Department for International Development (DfID), we published a synthesis report evaluating the opportunities, challenges and required steps for leveraging the new ecosystem of Big Data and its potential applications and implications for climate change and disaster resilience. This report will feed into the World Humanitarian Summit to be organized in Istanbul in May 2016. This is the third in a series of companion pieces that offer insights from the synthesis report. The authors of the series attempt to go “beyond the buzz” to lay out what we actually know about Big Data’s existing utility for disaster science and for building practical resilience.

When human communities are affected by disasters, collaboration is essential to mitigating their negative impacts. There are many interesting examples of collaborative bottom-up insights building on the “wisdom of crowds” to help optimize response to disasters through humanitarian assistance. This is mostly happening through digital tools, which are playing an increasingly important role in this field. Mobile devices and open source software (e.g. Open Data Kit and Frontline SMS), enable non-expert users living in remote and/or underserved communities – especially in developing and emerging regions – to collect and share data. Additional tools allow the seamless integration of...

July 21, 2015 | 0 comments

Efforts to design a safe and affordable home for the world's poorest and most vulnerable people have resulted in some impressive architectural innovation, including the Bamboo Micro House, S House, and Ikea's Better Shelter. The recently-built Temporary Shelter in Nepal is aimed at offering displaced Nepalese a basic but flexible shelter that can be built by a group of unskilled workers within three days:

July 21, 2015 | 0 comments

A new free smartphone app has been developed for detecting and monitoring forest fires and their impact on the southern region of France, Catalonia, Canary and Balearic islands, Corsica, and& Sardinia. The app, downloadable for Google and Apple platforms, allows everyone to exercise citizen oversight, reporting all types of natural events, including forest fires, floods, and avalanches, and their impacts:

July 21, 2015 | 0 comments

International aid agencies have historically been criticized for failing to seek the views of those they are trying to help, providing them assistance without properly consulting or them about what they need or involving them in the crisis response. In recent years, aid agencies have made many strides in opening up channels of communication, by setting up community radio stations, Facebook pages and newspapers; providing centralized information centers or hotlines during natural disasters; and holding grassroots consultations with communities, all of which provide improved feedback loops and accountability. More at

May 20, 2015 | 0 comments

As record numbers of people are displaced by disaster and conflict, the humanitarian community faces increasing challenges. In addition, population-increase and the impacts of climate change are intensifying the risk of wider humanitarian crises, such as food and water insecurity. Emerging innovations in humanitarian aid can help us mitigate these growing problems. We have been researching the top solutions that are saving lives in over 100 countries and hundreds more have been submitted by you on our recent online survey.

Science and technology have the potential to dramatically improve humanitarian aid and disaster response - the solutions researched and recommended to us span from wearable technology and 3D printing to sustainable innovations in basic sanitation, shelter and nutrition.AIDF received over 320 solutions from NGOs, local governments, UN agencies and the private sector working in 58 different countries, and welcome you to share your suggestions with them. AIDF hopes this report will inspire new solutions to improve humanitarian aid delivery and shape brighter future outcomes. It presents just some of the technologies and services at the forefront of sustainable humanitarian aid, researched and recommended to AIDF by the contributors: