NTS Centre Seminar by Major General Muniruzzaman on “The Digital Age of Humanitarian Aid– Harnessing the Power of Technology for HADR Operations”
The digital revolution is a potent tool that can transform the way we respond to disasters. From earthquakes to typhoons or the recent flash flood in India, a range of new age apparatus can help national and international organizations respond faster and more efficiently to these disasters. This seminar will explore how new information-tracking, communication-tracking and mapping technologies can be practically used to respond to disasters, augment situational awareness, improve relief coordination, target and monitor vulnerable group and much more. For example, harnessing the power of technology can not only enhance early warning systems as first step of preparation for an impending disaster, but also assist in deploying a rescue operation during a disaster with greater coordination and awareness. Utilizing modern technology and tools tailored for Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) will facilitate summoning remote support during a disaster. If an earthquake strikes, its effects in most parts of a country may be unknown, and this is where drones can step in to carry out a quick reconnaissance in areas that are difficult to reach, allowing manned helicopters and ground operations to continue with rescue missions with greater situational awareness. Unmanned aerial vehicles or drones already played an important role in Nepal’s earthquake response. Other tools can help spread vast information among affected groups. This seminar will look at a variety of real life examples from organizations working in the field to analyze some of the key challenges related to access, implementation, scale, and benefits that these new technologies can present.
About the Speaker:
Major General Muniruzzaman (Retd) is a Visiting Senior Fellow with the Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) Programme at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, and is the President and CEO of the Bangladesh Institute of Peace and Security Studies (BIPSS), a leading think tank in Bangladesh. He also headed the government think tank under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Bangladesh International Institute of Strategic Studies (BIISS). He has a background in the military and retired as a Major General in 2007. He has peacekeeping experience and was Chief of the post-election UN Mission in Cambodia. He has also been the Military Secretary to the President of Bangladesh. During his career in active duty with the army, he had command experience of artillery and infantry brigades. He also commanded an infantry division. He has been on the faculty of the Command and Staff College and the National Defense College.
Major General Muniruzzaman is the current Chairman of the Global Military Advisory Council on Climate Change (GMACCC), an international expert body that works exclusively on the security dimensions of climate change. In that capacity, he gave the call to world leaders on the urgency of climate security challenges at the COP 21 in Paris last year. He has extensive engagements on the issues of climate security. During his tenure in the military, Major General Muniruzzaman has been actively involved in a number of Disaster Management Operations in Bangladesh. As the president of BIPSS and as member of NTS-Asia, he has continued to focus on HADR issues.
Major General Muniruzzaman has a wide training and educational background. He is a graduate of the National University of Bangladesh, National Defence College and Armed Forces Staff College of Malaysia. He is also an alumni of the International Legal Studies Institute at the US Naval War College, the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, the Asia Pacific College of Security Studies (APCSS) in Hawaii, USA, and the NESA Centre at the US Defence University. He has been a visiting Senior Fellow at the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), Norway, and is currently a Distinguished Fellow at the Institute of National Security (INS), Sri Lanka. In 2014 he was awarded the Alumni Achievement Award by APCSS for his distinguished work.