Crisis Signals: Standards & Ethics Working Group

Experimentation in operational environments: Developing standards for innovating humanitarian data solutions.

Event Details


swissnex San Francisco
Pier 17, Suite 800, San Francisco, California 94111 United States


March 30, 2017 from 8:00 am to 11:00 am America/Los Angeles (UTC-08:00)


Invitation only:

This invite-only event is part of the Crisis Signals program of the Everyone a Humanitarian series. 

Advancements in information communication technologies (ICTs), coupled with a concerted effort by humanitarian agencies to invest in “innovation,” have fundamentally transformed the sector, generating new opportunities, but also posing significant challenges and risks, particularly around the development and testing of innovating data solutions for humanitarian and human rights work.

Join us for a hands-on, invite-only workshop on “Experimentation in Operational Environments: Developing Standards for Innovating Humanitarian Data Solutions,” where we’ll help to build a set of protocols and tools to support a swissnex SF-powered conflict monitoring pilot project in Myanmar. This workshop, while grounded in a practical use case, is intended to be a learning opportunity for identifying and prioritizing knowledge and practice gaps for supporting responsible and informed experimentation for humanitarian data innovations. As such, it is intended to inform an iterative, inclusive, and comparative research agenda for relevant stakeholders to engage in the defining and operationalizing of humanitarian data standards. 

This event is part of the Everyone a Humanitarian series, which includes the Humanitarian Diplomacy Lab: Open Situation Room and Global Pitch Night


9:00 – 9:20am: introductions
9:20 – 9:40am: setting the goal posts
9:45 – 10:00am: orientation to use case
10:10 – 11:10 am: breakout sessions
11:10 – 11:40am: report back and discussion
11:40 – 12pm: toward a research agenda
12:15pm: lunch


Joseph Guay
Humanitarian Innovation Specialist

Joseph Guay is an Associate at The Policy Lab  who has developed innovation strategies for the Global Alliance for Humanitarian Innovation (GAHI), World Vision’s Nepal Innovation Lab (NLab), the Global Protection Cluster at UNHCR, and the inter-agency Response Innovation Lab (RIL) drawing from Strategic and Evidence-based Design, Local Strategies Research, and systems thinking. Joe has helped developed information management solutions for human rights and humanitarian work, first at the Satellite Sentinel Project at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, and later–through his teaching at Northeastern University’s Geographic Information Technology program—by providing remote-based information management and crowd-sourcing support for the Ebola pandemic (2014) and Nepal earthquake (2015) responses.

Nathaniel A. Raymond
Director, Signal Program on Human Security and Technology

Nathaniel A. Raymond is Director of the Signal Program on Human Security and Technology at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative (HHI) of the Harvard T.I. Chan School of Public Health. He was formerly Director of Operations of the Satellite Sentinel Project at HHI, which was a co-recipient of the 2012 US Geospatial Foundation Industry Intelligence Achievement Award.

Raymond was previously Director of the Campaign Against Torture at Physicians for Human Rights and served in a variety of roles at Oxfam America, including Communications Advisor for Humanitarian Response and Interim Coordinator for Tsunami Communications for Oxfam International. He has served in the field in Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Ethiopia, the Gulf Coast, Jordan, and elsewhere. He is a 2013 PopTech Social Innovation Fellow and a 2010 Rockwood Leadership Institute National Security and Human Rights Reform Fellow.  Raymond is a co-winner of the 2013 USAID and Humanity United Tech Challenge for Mass Atrocity Prevention. He has co-written four major peer-reviewed articles on the use of information communication technologies in humanitarian response and human rights work.

Photo: Using cell phone photos to search for family members: Abdul Rashid (name changed), 30, shows a photo of his wife and son at their home in Myanmar, before they boarded a smugglers’ boat in March. His wife and son were identified, but remain detained in Malaysia. UNHCR/Keane Shum.