• Conference Proceeding

Computing technology in global humanitarian research


Davis, K. M., & Thissen, M. R. (2012). Computing technology in global humanitarian research. In 2012 IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference proceedings, pp. 202–207. .


This paper offers a look at innovations in computing technology which support global research in health, education, governance and other humanitarian domains. The diversity and unique challenges of research in underdeveloped or developing environments makes resourcefulness critical, and often a mixed technical and human-action approach delivers better results than one purely technical or purely manual. Computing technologies may include mobile and cloud platforms for research and data collection, along with data coordinating centers that bring potentially nonconforming information together in a standard way for analysis. Subject matter may vary widely, including the study of health behaviors, establishing good practices for sub-governance, interventions for social well-being and evaluating educational levels. In each example given in the paper, a creative mix of computing and in-person effort overcomes local constraints. The paper discusses in brief the need for open-minded selection of technology and offers examples of specific system designs that have been used in underdeveloped parts of the world.