Innovation, Inclusiveness, and the Delivery of Humanitarian Aid

  • Jeroen Peers

Student thesis: Master typesMaster de spécialisation en économie internationale et du développement


For over a decade, humanitarian agencies have been exploring, piloting, and scaling up tech-driven solutions to advance their programmatic objectives. In recent years, the initial tech-optimism that emphasised the potential of innovation to make the delivery of aid more effective and efficient, is making way for a more balanced debate as both aid organizations and scholars investigating this phenomenon have become more critical about the aid-technology nexus. Concerns have been raised about the non-neutrality of technology, detrimental experiences of vulnerable communities with digital technology, and the alienation of humanitarian actors from those who need assistance. In 2020, the World Food Programme, one of the largest humanitarian actors, decided to commission an independent evaluation of its strategic use of ICTs and digital data. By performing an empirical analysis with primary data collected in the context of that evaluation, this work attempts to contribute to the ongoing debate on humanitarian technology by raising the question of whether principles of inclusiveness should be considered when choosing an optimal tech-based modality of aid. The empirical analysis shows that there are significant differences between the experiences with technology of different vulnerable groups, including women, elderly, and lower educated people, compared to the rest of the sample. These results are in line with the evidence from the recent literature and show that applying innovative solutions for the delivery of humanitarian aid could fail to meet the humanitarian principle of impartiality.
la date de réponse2021
langue originaleAnglais
L'institution diplômante
  • Universite de Namur
SuperviseurGuilhem Cassan (Promoteur) & Eric Melander (Copromoteur)

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