News & Events
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HumTech Lab Activation: The Rohingya Crisis
As of early May 2018, over 900,000 Rohingya refugees have entered Bangladesh in response to armed attacks in Myanmar. During the massive crackdown on Rohingya people in Rakhine State in the northwestern region of Myanmar, the UN has found evidence of wide-scale human rights violations. The Rohingya population in Cox’s Bazar is highly vulnerable, having fled conflict and experienced severe trauma, and now living in extremely difficult conditions. The unfolding humanitarian situation in Bangladesh is putting strain on the country’s already stressed resources. The country is prone to natural disasters ranging from earthquakes to floods and cyclones. The case of the Rohingya in South-Eastern Bangladesh is a prime exemplary for a dangerous combination of climate stresses and dynamic external shocks, where the response is operating in a country that is itself subject to extreme poverty and frequent disasters.
TPM researchers participated in large scale disaster response exercise
From 15 – 17 May, TPM researchers Kenny Meesters and Yan Wang participated in the UK’s largest international disaster response exercise SIMEX2018 together with some 2000 other players. SIMEX provides a realistic environment to learn, test and evaluate emergency response mechanisms, such as rescue operations, tools, procedures, and policies.
Disaster Risk Reduction in Ukraine
In March 2018, The HumTech lab traveled to Kiev, Ukraine to kick-off the ImProDiReT disaster risk reduction project. ImProDiReT is a 2-year project aimed at developing new approaches and methods for the joint development of risk reduction strategies involving multiple stakeholders. The project builds on the Sendai framework, specifically, “strengthening disaster risk governance.” This first Steering and Project Group meeting provided an opportunity to establish key project groups and learn how the diverse experiences of the participating partners could enrich the project.
Protecting Humanitarian Workers: Large simulation exercise at TPM for the EU project “iTrack”
In the week of April 16, all 13 international partners of the EU H2020 iTRACK project gathered at the TPM faculty for a full week of technology integration and testing of the ambitious iTrack system, an advanced system for real-time tracking and monitoring to support humanitarian operations in the dire conditions of conflict disasters.
Researching the Role of Airports in a Disaster
Dr. Bartel Van de Walle discusses the importance of researching the critical role of airports during disaster response. A workshop with humanitarian practitioners and industry experts was recently held to highlight how HumTech Lab research can contribute to on-the ground solutions.
Volunteers needed for iTRACK Event
The iTRACK project will be hosting a medium scale humanitarian exercise at the TU Delft campus during 16th - 20th April 2018. The exercise will include state-of-the-art technology for practitioners and academics alike. The event will also provide an opportunity for students to get familiar with the humanitarian logistics procedure, information management, and security assessment.
Date: 16-20th April 2018
Location: TU Delft campus in Delft
Airports & Humanitarian Aid workshop
On March 15-16 the HumTech Lab hosted an event to generate insight on the critical role of airports as well as the problems they are facing in the immediate and near-term response phase of a disaster. During a crisis, airports are often the lifeline to the affected region through which incoming humanitarian aid is channelled and the coordination of the response is initiated. Yet, as they too are affected by the disaster, airports often struggle to cope with the increased influx of goods and people. The workshop brought together non-governmental organizations, municipal leaders, industry practitioners and academics, to discuss ideas for improving the efficiency of humanitarian aid delivery and strategies for removing these bottlenecks.
International Simulation and Gaming Association (ISAGA) Conference paper submission
The International Simulation and Gaming Association (ISAGA) is an international organization for scientists and practitioners who develop and use simulation, gaming, and related methodologies. The 49th ISAGA conference will take place in Thailand. The HumTech Lab submitted two abstracts. The first one is about using games to exchange knowledge between experts from aviation and humanitarian aid. The second one focuses on the comparison of learning outcomes from digital and analogue multi-player games. Both abstracts have been successfully reviewed.
The 15th International Conference on Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management (ISCRAM) will be hosted this year by Rochester Institute of Technology. Papers from HumTech Lab members Bartel Van de Walle, Kenny Meesters, Tina Comes, and David Paulus are included in the event. ISCRAM is a global community of academic researchers and practitioners. The annual international conference is a premier international venue for the dissemination of peer-reviewed research and lessons learned from all aspects of information systems for crisis response and management. Topics of interest to ISCRAM include, but are not limited to: crisis informatics, geographic information systems (GIS), human-computer interaction, humanitarian information management, situation awareness, visual analytics, social media, serious games and more.
HumTech and Blockchain
Bartel van de Walle led a presentation on the application of blockchains to humanitarian aid. Though blockchain is generally known for its use in cryptography and the financial sector, Dr. van de Walle made the case for its application to sensitive emergency response systems. In conjunction with the Delft blockchain lab, HumTech will continue to push for research of emerging technologies into innovating the future of crisis response and humanitarian aid.
HumTech Goes to Brussels!
On 31 January 2018, the HumTech Lab took 15 students and researchers to visit the Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC) headquarters in Belgium. During this visit, members of the European Commission gave students an inside look at how humanitarian and civil protection aid works, and what role the EU and ERCC play in the world’s biggest disasters. The trip gave students an opportunity to speak one-on-one with experienced professionals in the faced-paced career of humanitarian aid operations and disaster response.
13 June 2018
Disaster Hackathon at TU Delft
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Date: 13 June 14:00 – 17:00
Location: Faculty of Aerospace Engineering, Room J
30 May - 1 June 2018
Governance in the data age
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The Digital Government Society (DGS) announces the 19th Annual International Conference on Digital Government Research - dg.o 2018, with a theme: "Governance in the data age". The dg.o conferences are an established forum for presentation, discussion, and demonstration of interdisciplinary research on digital government, political participation, civic engagement, technology innovation, applications, and practice. At the event, the HumTech Lab is organizing a track on using data to improve disaster response and resilience. The dg.o 2018 conference will be hosted by Delft University of Technology, Delft, the Netherlands from 30 May till 1 June, 2018.
22 March 2018
Northern European Conference on Emergency and Disaster Studies (NEEDS)
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The TU Delft HumTech Lab will be participating in The Third Northern European Conference on Emergency and Disaster Studies and will demonstrate the Plaitra board game. Plaitra is a serious game focusing on the humanitarian aid delivery process in a conflict environment. Players can experience the intra- and inter-organizational cooperation and coordination among aid organizations, the importance and tactics of information management, complexities in humanitarian logistics, the criticality of security and situational awareness during the missions, how technologies can help improve the operational performance and how to make strategic decisions on technology investment and development.
Date: 22 March 2018
20 March 2018
#NotATarget: A session on serious gaming in crisis response
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The iTRACK project will host a serious gaming workshop for humanitarian actors at the TU Delft campus in the Hague. Decision-makers engaged in humanitarian interventions and emergency responses regularly work under ambiguous and hazardous conditions, which can bring various operational and security-related risks to them. In the workshop, participants will experience the challenges of multidisciplinary collaboration in disaster management. By playing a board game, they will explore the critical roles of technology, communication and coordination, and how to achieve a balance in conducting crisis response.
Date: 20 March 2018
Location: TU Delft campus the Hague