This is a recording from the CDAC 2020 Annual Public Forum: Accountability in the Age of the Algorithm: Championing Pathways to Inclusion in Tech-Driven Futures, which was broadcast live on October 28, 2020. This is the third of five sessions, where we gathered some of the best minds to help us reimagine digital humanitarian policy.
DIGITAL BRAINSTORM: No, you don’t need an app for this. Why the accountability puzzle will not be solved by digital fixes.
The last decade has seen a mushrooming of apps and digital tools to make humanitarian aid more accountable to people on the receiving end. Concepts are often inspired by TripAdvisor or comparable platforms with user-generated reviews of hotels and restaurants. But it is wrong to expect such tools to change the fundamental challenges around participation and accountability in the aid sector, and that platforms designed for the private sector cannot simply be translated into the humanitarian space. The examples in the humanitarian sector point to a wide-spread belief in digital innovation as the magic bullet to solve what are complex and fundamentally political problems. Before launching digital solutions into the humanitarian space, aspiring disruptors of the system should understand the differences between the environment in which they were developed and the particularities of the humanitarian sector.
Moderated by Aarathi Krishnan, Strategy and foresight advisor at UNDP, technology and human rights fellow at the Harvard Kennedy Carr Centre, fellow at Berkman Klein Center at Harvard University. Panellists: Paul Conneally, Head of Global Communications, LiveTiles; Catherine Green, Humanitarian Accountability Advisor, World Vision International; Max Morel, Director of Operations, Fondation Hirondelle; Roya Pakzad, Founder, Taraaz; Meg Sattler, Director, Ground Truth Solutions.