Jan 13: Lecture – How New Technologies Helped in Novel Ways with Haiti Earthquake Relief

Anne Nelson, author of Media, Information Systems and Communities: Lessons from Haiti, will discuss findings from a Knight Foundation report on how digital media and information technology can significantly improve relief efforts and coordinate on-the-ground operations on Thursday 13 January, 2011 from 5pm-6:30pm.

The lecture is called How New Technologies Helped in Novel Ways with Haiti Earthquake Relief and will take place in the Meng Wah Complex Lecture Theatre 7.

Anne Nelson

The Knight Foundation is an organisation that seeks to advance journalism in the digital age. Anne Nelson was instrumental in writing up findings about the media’s impact on Haiti after last year’s earthquake, which took place a year ago on January 12, 2010.

Nelson specialises in international media development and has worked extensively as an analyst, evaluator, and practitioner. She teaches at Columbia University and consults for many leading U.S. foundations, including OSI, Gates, Rockefeller, Carnegie and Knight. She was formerly the director of the International Programme at the Columbia School of Journalism and executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Nelson will discuss how through the use of interactive maps and SMS texts, relief workers in Haiti crowd-sourced information and used it to guide search-and-rescue teams to find people in need of critical supplies. She’ll reveal how SMS texts broadcast critical information to Haitians and volunteers created maps as guides for rescue and recovery efforts. Plus how crisis-mapping platforms, such as Ushahidi, were quickly adapted by the international community and Haitian bloggers to provide emergency rescue data.

She will show how Haiti became a real-world laboratory for new communication tools and discuss the potential use of such new media in future crises. The Knight report also includes recommendations for technology groups, media development and humanitarian organisations, national governments and donors on improving coordination in future recovery efforts.

Date: Thursday 13 January 2011
Venue: Meng Wah Complex Lecture Theatre 7
Time: 5pm-6:30pm
No need to book; you can just show up.

This talk is co-sponsored by HKU Sichuan School Reconstruction Team and the Journalism and Media Studies Centre.

Enquiries: Kylie Chan at kyliec@hku.hk or 22194416