Humanitarian technology: a critical research agenda

December 06, 2016 by Kristin Bergtora Sandvik, Maria Gabrielsen Jumbert, John Karlsrud, Mareile Kaufmann

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New technology may offer many opportunities for humanitarian action, but it also presents a number of challenges. Currently, most of the critical analysis of these potential challenges takes place in the blogosphere, on tweets and on listservs. There is a strong need for more scholarly engagement on the subject. This article offers an agenda for critical inquiry into the emergent field of humanitarian technology as applied to a broadly defined context of crises, encompassing both natural disasters and conflict zones, by identifying what technology does to the humanitarian enterprise, and by reflecting on the key challenges that emerge.