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Introducing The Humanitarian Data And Trust Initiative

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How can humanitarian organizations, states, civil society, academia and the private sector join forces to maximize the benefits of technology and humanitarian data while minimizing the risks of doing harm? The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the Government of Switzerland, and the OCHA Centre for Humanitarian Data have launched the Humanitarian Data and Trust Initiative (HDTI) to explore this question and advance the protection and responsible use of data in humanitarian action.

The HDTI was announced on 1 September during a virtual panel discussion that took place as part of the ICRC’s day-long event, Follow the Sun: A Digital Launch of the Data Protection Handbook. As Maja Messmer Mokhtar, Head of Humanitarian Policy in the Human Security Division of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland, explained during the event, “In order to make good progress, we all need to work together. There is excellent work on data protection and data responsibility in the humanitarian sector by the ICRC and the OCHA Centre for Humanitarian Data, amongst others. I think what is strongly needed now is the translation of this rich body of knowledge and work into collective action by humanitarian organizations, states, civil society, academia and the private sector.”

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