December 4 and 5, 2018 | York University | Toronto

Download a PDF version of the agenda here.


Day 1 will begin with a session on user-centred development of software solutions that will set the stage for the workshop, followed by a presentation on data ethics in the humanitarian domain. Representatives from five humanitarian organizations will present the Challenges that will be tackled on Day 2. Three humanitarian specialists will present their organization’s solutions to complex data-related challenges in order to share lessons learned for future work. Open to all invited participants and observers.

All events take place at the Second Floor Convention Space, New Student Centre, unless otherwise specified. Location information is available here.

  • 8:30a – 9:00a Registration and light breakfast
  • 9:00a – 9:10a Opening remarks – James Orbinski, Director of the Dahdaleh Institute for Global Health Research
  • 9:10a – 9:30a Workshop Format: What to Expect & What We’re Aiming For – Syed Imran Ali & Tino Kreutzer
  • 9:30a – 10:10a Making it Work: User-Centered Design to Understand Complex User Needs and Build Realistic Tools for Humanitarian Response
  • 10:10a – 10:30a Coffee Break
  • 10:30a – 11:10a First Do No Harm: Ethics, Privacy, Security, and Governance of Data in the Humanitarian Domain
  • 11:10a – 11:30a Challenge 1: Big Data and Cash – William Martin, Catholic Relief Services
  • 11:30a – 11:50a Solution I: IFRC Go Platform – Dan Joseph, American Red Cross

  • 12:00p – 1:00p Lunch

  • 1:00p – 1:20p Challenge 2: Global Nutrition Dashboard – Jana Daher, Action Contre la Faim
  • 1:20p – 1:40p Solution II: IRC Emergency Assessment Tool – Bobi Morris and Elena Chopyak, International Rescue Committee
  • 1:40p – 2:00p Challenge 3: Safe Water Optimization Tool – Syed Imran Ali, York University
  • 2:00p – 2:20p Coffee Break
  • 2:20p – 2:40p Solution III: mVAM—Mobile Technology for Household Food Security Data Collection – Kusum Hachhathu, World Food Programme
  • 2:40p – 3:10p Challenge 4: WASH Data Portal – Ben Harvey, UNHCR and Maxym Malynowsky, REACH South Sudan
  • 3:10p – 3:30p Coffee Break
  • 3:30p – 3:50p Challenge 5: Natural Language Processing for Remote Needs Assessments – Bobi Morris, International Rescue Committee
  • 3:50p – 4:10p What to Expect for Day 2; Participants assigned to working groups
  • 5:00p – 6:00p Cocktail reception
  • 6:00p – 8:00p Conference Dinner at Schulich Executive Dining Hall (Invited participants only)


Participants will meet in their working group. Each group will collaboratively tackle one challenge and generate high-level concepts (~4 hours). Strengths, weaknesses, and next steps for each solution will be discussed in the plenary group. Invited participants only.

  • 8:30a – 9:00a Light breakfast
  • 9:00a – 9:15a Instructions for Working Groups and Goals for Day 2 – Syed Imran Ali & Tino Kreutzer
  • 9:15a – 12:00p Participants split into five Working Groups (pre-assigned) to tackle respective challenges
  • 10:00a Coffee and refreshments available (groups can take a break as they like)

  • 12:00p – 1:00p Lunch

  • 1:00p – 2:30p Working Groups, continued
  • 2:30p – 2:45p Coffee Break
  • 2:45p – 4:00p Working Groups Plenary Presentations (5 x 15 min each)
  • 4:00p – 4:15p Next Steps – Syed Imran Ali and Tino Kreutzer
  • 4:15p – 4:30p Closing Remarks – Dr. James Orbinski, DIGHR Director


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