Doctoral Student Fellow Jennie Phillips wrote an article on Relief To Recovery regarding what digital humanitarianism is and how to get involved.

In the article, she explains that digital humanitarians are those who use technology to provide “…aid and action designed to save lives, alleviate suffering and maintain and protect human dignity during and in the aftermath of emergencies.” Organized into global networks called Volunteer Technical Communities (VTCs), similar to online communities like Wikipedia, digital humanitarians provide skills “in areas including information technology, emergency management (EM), mapping and communications during emergencies to facilitate response,” as well as “create maps, assess building damage, build missing person lists, monitor and aggregate data around crisis.”

Jennie Phillips also maintains that digital humanitarianism has a lower barrier to entry as it offers “the opportunity to volunteer prior to, during, or post a crisis, from the comfort of our your home, with a time commitment to fit any schedule, and a cause and initiative for almost any skill set.”

She urges for people to get involved in digital humanitarianism immediately, instead of waiting for an emergency or crisis situation to arise, as at that time organizations would typically be overwhelmed and have little to no time assign roles, responsibilities, train, and integrate volunteers.

Read the full article.