Humanitarian Actions and Operations
Carleen Maitland, Penn State University, USA
Bartel Van de Walle, Tilburg University, The Netherlands
Dewald van Niekerk, North West University, South Africa
Within the broader domain of crisis management (including the different phases such as disaster risk reduction, response and recovery), the humanitarian context presents unique challenges for the design and deployment of information systems. While interpretations of the term ëhumanitarianí vary, it is generally associated with actions and operations that seek to alleviate human suffering the face of crises as diverse as armed conflicts, epidemics, famine and natural disasters. These crises often occur in fragile environments characterized by low incomes, sparse infrastructure and in some cases low levels of IT skills. Also, the response to these crises is often international in nature, generating the requirement that information systems foster information sharing and processing both locally and globally.
Representatives of donor agencies, governmental organizations, United Nations agencies, Red Cross Movement, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), scientific and research institutes, academia, the media and private sector met at the Global Symposium+5 in Geneva in 2007 to endorse crucial humanitarian information management principles (among which accessibility, inclusiveness, interoperability, impartiality, and sustainability), and issued a Symposium Final Statement expressing a common vision of the central role of information in support of effective humanitarian preparedness, response and recovery.
As such, this track invites papers that intend to showcase research results or practitioner cases that help overcome these unique challenges, in developing information systems artifacts, methods or theories that help further develop humanitarian scholarship.
In addition to the general track, this track also includes the following special sessions:
– Information inclusivity in humanitarian relief operations – for quality collection, dissemination and use
– IT for Crisis Management in Africa
– Improving ICT-use in crisis management & peace-building
– Modelling of Humanitarian Operations
– Humanitarian Logistics Processes and supporting IT Systems
For detailed information regarding special sessions, please consult each Special Sessions¥ Call for Papers.