The importance of technology for Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) was highlighted at the recent World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, Turkey. In Asia technological developments are becoming increasingly prominent as we have seen through the 7th International Conference of Crisis Mappers which took place in Manila (first time in Asia), the 10th Humanitarian Technology Conference (HTC) is going to take place in Agra, India (previously US), and by mid-February 2017 Singapore will host the EmTech Asia conference. There are now an increasing number of responders who are starting to use new technologies for humanitarian purposes in an effort to boost potential efficacy and cut costs. However, there has been limited systematic discussion on the applied use of technologies for humanitarian purposes to date, and notably within our region. It is therefore important to investigate and assess the important challenges the humanitarian use of technologies poses for strategy and international relations in the Asia-Pacific, specifically Southeast Asia.
In mid-February 2017 we will organize a 1-day substantive discussion on Humanitarian Technology (HUMTECH) focused on disaster response. The event will bring together practitioners and experts to discuss the state of the field of HUMTECH and its relevance to this region; share experiences about the use of technology in disaster response which can provide lessons to potentially scale up in our region; identify the practical and legal challenges the use of technology poses for disaster response; understand the development of strategic thinking and international relations scholarship on HUMTECH and the implications for the region; and analyze the policy implications of HUMTECH on Southeast Asia. The goal is to bring together scholars, strategic thinkers and professionals that can contribute to a more substantive assessment of the use of technology for disaster response in the region.