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DIGITAL GENEVA [clear filter]
Monday, December 18

10:40 CET

Managing cloud computing in the United Nations system (OF29)
The expansion of Cloud computing services is unavoidable, and so is the need for the United Nations system organisations to resort to such services. One of the immediate benefits of Cloud-based services is the ability to add new infrastructure capacity quickly and at lower costs and the capability of Cloud computing software to easy manipulate large databases according to the needs of the organization.

The United Nations organizations could adapt to changes in the technological and commercial environment without complex procurement processes. With the advent of the Cloud, an organization can try out or develop new applications without first investing in hardware, software, and networking. The Cloud can eliminate many of the traditional computing constraints, including space, time, power and cost.

The challenges related to Cloud computing are related to confidentiality issues with regard to sensitive or private data. There is also a need for the organizations to take responsibility for overall governance of data or services living in the Cloud and to keep internal control over some strategic business processes and intellectual property constraints. The could services must provide a predictable and guaranteed service level and full security of all constituents, which should be properly examined, defined and requested to the service provider. 

Cloud computing is not a simple IT issue: it is a governance challenge and business model issue. The Joint Inspection Unit of the United Nations system intends to undertake a review entitled "Managing cloud computing" in 2018. The objective of this review would be to conduct a comparative analysis of the different Cloud policies, frameworks, practices and processes in the United Nations system, with a view to identifying best practices and lessons learned and thereby promote effective Cloud governance. 

The review could identify new security and privacy issues arising from the use of Cloud computing, evaluate the adequacy of current normative framework and recommend new policies. It could identify what steps are needed to have an adequate regulatory environment by conducting a comparative analysis of the different ICT governance frameworks, practices and processes in the various United Nations system organizations. It will seek to promote effective Cloud governance and system-wide opportunities to share, harmonize and recommended Cloud solutions that do fit, allow and encourage efficient inter-agency cooperation .

Tag 1: Cloud Computing
Tag 2:
Tag 3:
Name(s) of Speaker(s): 

Jovan Kurbalija, Director of DiploFoundation and Head of the Geneva Internet Platform (moderator)
Petru Dumitriu, Inspector, United Nations Joint Inspection Unit
Prado Nieto, Chief Customer Relationship Management, International Computing Centre

Christina Vasala Kokkinaki, Legal Officer, International Organization for Migration

Name of Online Moderator: Barbara Rosen Jacobson
Background Paper:
Past IGF Participation: No
Report Link:

Session Organizers
avatar for Barbara Rosen Jacobson

Barbara Rosen Jacobson

Programme Manager, DiploFoundation

Monday December 18, 2017 10:40 - 11:40 CET
Room XXV - E United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG)
Tuesday, December 19

10:10 CET

Data for the humanitarian field (OF75)
Digital technologies have revolutionised the ways in which humanitarian organisations conduct needs assessments, as well as monitoring and evaluation programmes. New data is being collected for humanitarian purposes, including online information, data exhaust, geospatial data, and crowdsourced data. This session will look at the ways in which the humanitarian community can best use this data while avoiding breaches in privacy and data protection. Data literacy efforts are more than ever needed to improve our response and support more evidence based decision-making.

With the growth of localized humanitarian action, crowdsourced data and participatory mapping, there is need to conduct such analysis with the involvement and active participation of local communities. While these efforts have the combined benefit of providing more accurate depictions of needs, there are several key questions that need to be addressed, including: How to make crowdsourced data collection sustainable over longer periods of time? How to manage expectations of communities that might be anticipating immediate response? How can we better engage local communities with data readiness?

This open forum will discuss the opportunities and challenges in new forms of data collection facilitated by the digital revolution, with experts from the IFRC, as well as input from other organisations, governments, civil society, and the business sector.
Tag 1: Big Data
Tag 2: Community Empowerment
Tag 3: Data Localization
Name(s) of Speaker(s):
CJ Hendrix, Data Systems Analyst, Humanitarian Data Exchange (HDX), Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
Emir Hartato, Project Co-Manager for PetaBencana.id (an applied research project affiliated with MIT Urban Risk Lab)
Rania Alerksoussi, Coordinator of the Federation-wide Databank and Reporting System (FDRS), IFRC
Heather Leson, Data Literacy Lead, International Federation of the Red Cross Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) (moderator)

Rania Al Erksoussi is the Coordinator for the Federation-wide Databank and Reporting System. Rania joined the IFRC in 2008 and worked in multiple roles within the Humanitarian Pandemic Preparedness team first, then in the Health Department. More recently, she supported the Health Department’s data and information management, strategic planning, and reporting. Additionally, she worked on coordinating, disseminating and training National Society representatives in collecting and analysing data using the Rapid Mobile Phone-based system. Rania has a Master's degree in business administration (MBA) and an undergraduate degree in French Literature. She comes to the RCRC from a business background working in the private sector in Syria.

CJ Hendrix is a data systems analyst for the Humanitarian Data Exchange (HDX), a project of UN OCHA. He has worked in the fields of geographic information systems and satellite imagery analysis for over 20 years with focus on humanitarian information management since 2005.  He has worked in environmental projects and humanitarian emergencies in Kenya, Eritrea, Pakistan, Uganda, Haiti, Sudan, South Sudan, and the United States.  In 2011 he began work on the Humanitarian Exchange Language (HXL) which is now being used to improve data sharing in the humanitarian community and is a core component of HDX.

Emir Hartato is a Project Co-Manager for PetaBencana.id<https://info.petabencana.id/about/>,an applied research project affiliated with MIT Urban Risk Lab that has won Internet for Development Award from The Information Society Innovation Fund (ISIF) Asia at the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) 2017. He has an undergraduate degree in Geography (University of Indonesia) and recently, he completed a  Masters of Geographic Information Science (MGIS) at the University of Canterbury (UC), Christchurch, New Zealand with the thesis focusing on crowdsourcing framework for disaster management. He also worked for almost four years with the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) that involves capacity building for various stakeholders in the use of OpenStreetMap (OSM) data for humanitarian and economic development in various regions (Indonesia, the Philippines, and Malawi).

Heather is the Data Literacy Lead at International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. As a technologist, she strengthens community collaboration via humanitarian technologies and social entrepreneurship. She builds partnerships, curates digital spaces, fosters volunteer engagement and delivers training while inspiring systems for co-creation with maps, code and data. At the International Federation of Red Cross Red Crescent, her mandate includes data skills global advocacy and training programs in partnership with the 190 national societies and the 13 million volunteers. Previously, she was lead programs on community, social innovation, and technology at Qatar Computing Research Institute (Qatar Foundation), Ushahidi, and Open Knowledge (School of Data). Her experience also includes working on internet technologies including domain name services, network operations, and software-as-a-service. She is a current Board Member at OpenStreetMap Foundation and a past Board Member at the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (4 years).   She co-wrote a chapter on Open Communities and articles the power of data and digital literacy for the World Economic Forum and Civicus Datashift. Heather holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Combined Political Science and History from Carleton University, as well as a Library and Information Technician diploma from Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology.

Tags - big data, community empowerment, data literacy/data localization

Name of Online Moderator: Barbara Rosen Jacobson
Background Paper: data_for_the_humanitarian_field_-_igf_proposal.pdf
Past IGF Participation: No
Report Link:
Name: Ms. Heather Leson
Organizational Affiliation: IFRC

Session Organizers
avatar for Heather Leson

Heather Leson

Data Literacy Lead, IFRC
Heather is the Data Literacy Lead at International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. As a technologist, she strengthens community collaboration via humanitarian technologies and social entrepreneurship. She builds partnerships, curates digital spaces, fosters volunteer... Read More →

Tuesday December 19, 2017 10:10 - 11:10 CET
Room XXIII - E United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG)

17:20 CET

Big-data, business and respect for human rights (OF49)

Big-data, business and respect for human rightsTuesday 19/12  Room XXI E from 5:20 to 6.40 PM


Organizational Affiliation:
 joint open forum by WBU/EBU, Council of Europe and Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA)


Is it possible for business entities to use Big Data in a fair way that respect human rights and privacy rules ?
This open forum will bring together companies, governments and other stakeholders to discuss the importance of fostering sustainable and responsible business on/via the Internet, with regard to the management of (big-)data. It will explore the opportunities for governments, companies and the civil society to constructively collaborate together, in order to address common issues facing the management of (big-)data.
Various models of self-regulation in the use of Big Data will be discussed in the Media, in non ICT and in the Internet sector.
Swiss policy in relation with the Business and human rights framework at the national level (Swiss government) will be presented.
While Council of Europe will present model of enforcement and of self-regulation agreements at the international level.                 

The European Broadcasting Union (member of the WBU)  has made the challenge of big-data a priority. A ‘big-data’ week has been organised in Geneva with speakers from
all over the world (including UN privacy rapporteur Prof. Joe Cannataci) to  discuss why big-data are so sensitive as media and how could do they relate to human rights.

The Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) is following the topic of big-data because of its implications for the realisation and promotion of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

The Council of Europe is also working on big data related issues from a standard setting angle, having already addressed the data protection implications of big data and examining the broader impact of algorithms on human rights. 

In a press release issued on 4 April 2016, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights underlined that the effects of business practices on human rights have become a central issue for human rights protection. He also referred to a survey carried out by The Economist which highlighted that many businesses have started to view themselves as important actors in respecting human rights. While it is the task of governments to secure for everyone within their jurisdiction the rights and freedoms enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights, there is now wide recognition that businesses are key actors in the respect for human rights. This is confirmed by the Committee of Ministers in a Declaration in 2014 and a Recommendation in 2016.
The protection of personal data and the right to privacy online are at odds with the very nature of the Internet which is to facilitate the free flow of (big-)data in an open environment. There is a growing technological ability to collect, process and extract new and predictive knowledge from great volume, velocity, and variety of data. The main issue is the analysis of the data using software to extract new and predictive knowledge for decision-making purposes regarding individuals and groups. 

-       Respect for human rights - what are the challenges for Internet business vis-à-vis respecting human rights in the management of personal data they process? To what extent have the tech sector/Internet businesses committed to respecting the UN Guiding Principles on business and human rights (i.e. ‘Ruggie Principles’). How companies can avoid infringing on the human rights of others and how should they address adverse human rights impacts with which they are involved?

-       Fostering business online - looking ahead, how can governments, business and other stakeholders work together to respect human rights in the management of personal data? Where are common issues and opportunities of collaboration? What does sustainable and responsible Internet business practice look like? Reference to good practices.

-       Conclusions :

The final round of interventions, will close the discussion with proposal of solutions on how to establish a correct relation between digital service suppliers and their users on the way to use their data.

Tag 1: Big Data

Tag 2: Human Rights Online

Tag 3: Digital Geneva Convention

Organizers: Giacomo Mazzone for EBU, Rémy Friedmann for FDFA, Peter Kimpian and Lee Hibbard for CoE:

Lee Hibbard - Council of Europe


EBU – Giacomo Mazzone Head of Institutional Relations

FDFA– Rémy Friedmann,  Senior Advisor, Desk Human Security and Business, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA)
- Human Security Division, Deputy Head, Human Rights Policy Section

CoE - Corina Călugăru,  Coordinator on Information Policy (TC-INF), Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Republic of Moldova to the Council of Europe

CoE – Alessandra Pierucci, Chair of Data Protection Committee of Council of Europe

eXascale/scigility – Philippe Cudré-Mauroux,  
Full Professor at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland, leading the eXascale Infolab. 

Institute for Human Rights and Business - John Morrison,  Executive Director of IHRB

Microsoft – Bernard Shen,  Assistant General Counsel     Corporate, External & Legal Affairs – Business & Human Rights

Name of Online Moderator: Peter Kimpian

Background Papers  & Links to relevant documents and to recently organized events




- www.ebu.ch/member-services/big-data
; ebu_big_data_initiative_newsletter.pdf

- https://www.ebu.ch/contents/events/2016/12/big-data-initiative-workshop-algorithms-and-society.html

- http://us6.campaign-archive1.com/?u=fb1289bbe8d8438ceb20398df&id=2d49d094ac

Council of Europe:
- Guidelines on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data in a world of big data see https://rm.coe.int/16806ebe7a                                              
- (Ms. Pierucci)
-  Letter of intent exchanged with Internet Service providers and Social media organizations: https://www.coe.int/en/web/freedom-expression/exchange-of-letters
- (Ms. Calugaru)


Institute for Human Rights and Business
The Wilton Park conference of June 2016 : https://www.wiltonpark.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/WP1478-Programme.pdf


IHRB report, November 2016 :


The concept note of the session that took place at the UN annual forum on business and human rights in November last year:


GNI principles
http://globalnetworkinitiative.org/principles/index.php  & http://globalnetworkinitiative.org/staff


Microsoft  https://shop.icrc.org/handbook-on-data-protection-in-humanitarian-action.html  see Chapter on the cloud


Session Organizers

Giacomo Mazzone

Head of Institutional Relations, European Broadcasting Union (EBU)

Tuesday December 19, 2017 17:20 - 18:20 CET
Room XXI - E United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG)
Wednesday, December 20

09:00 CET

Data in Environmental and Climate Activities (OF93)
Data plays central role in numerous environmental and climate activites. The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) coordinates one of the most complex data networks worldwide, across its 185 Member States and 6 Member Territories. Global Observing System (GOS) and Global Telecommunication System (GTS) and Global Data-processing and Forecasting System (GDPFS) are the backbone of the Wordl Weather Watch (WWW), These three components combined and working together user requeriments will lead to offer the best services. Its Global Observing System collects data from tens satellites, thousands of aircraft and ships, and nearly 10,000 land-based stations, covering the oceans, land-bodies, and the atmosphere. Considering the users requirements, a seamless infrastructure safety and sustainable is needy, in providing high quality observations, safety dissemination and facilitating assimilation and processed into products.
This session aims to facilitate sharing of experiences between environmental and digital communities. In particular, the session will address the question such as: what type of data is used by environmental and climate organisations? What can be done in order to improve sharing of data among countries and other actors? What are potentials for public-private partnerships in dealing with environmental data? How can national and regional regulations affect use of data in ernviornmental and climate fields?

Tag 1: Big Data
Tag 2: Community Networks
Tag 3: Environmental Impact of ICTs

Name(s) of Speaker(s): 
Fernando BELDA, Director of the Observing and Information Systems Department, WMO 
Peiliang SHI, Director of the WMO Information System, WMO
Stephan Bojinski, Scientific Officer, Satellite Utilization and Products Division, WMO Space Programme Office
Dejan Dincic, digital transformation specialist (moderator)

Name of Online Moderator: Barbara Rosen Jacobson
Background Paper:
Past IGF Participation: No
Report Link:
Name: Mr. Fernando BELDA
Organizational Affiliation: WMO

Session Organizers
avatar for Barbara Rosen Jacobson

Barbara Rosen Jacobson

Programme Manager, DiploFoundation

Wednesday December 20, 2017 09:00 - 10:00 CET
Room XII - A United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG)

15:00 CET

Data Protection and Humanitarian Action (OF31)

Launch of the Handbook on Data Protection in Humanitarian Action

Safeguarding the personal data of individuals, particularly in testing conditions, such as armed conflicts and other humanitarian emergencies, is an essential aspect of protecting people's lives, their physical and mental integrity, and their dignity – which makes it a matter of fundamental importance for humanitarian organisations.

This Handbook was published as part of the Brussels Privacy Hub and ICRC’s Data Protection in Humanitarian Action project. 

The project brought together humanitarian organisations, the Data Protection Authorities and Privacy Commissioners of the Working Group of the International Conference of Privacy and Data Protection Commissioners' Resolution on Privacy and International Humanitarian Action, academics, companies involved as third party stakeholders, and civil society. 

The focus of the Handbook on the application of data protection and privacy principles in humanitarian action, and the implications of these principles in the adoption of new technologies in the humanitarian sphere, such as biometrics, big data and data analytics, cash transfer programming, instant messaging applications, cloud based solutions, and drones.
Tag 1: Data protectionTag 2:Tag 3:Name(s) of Speaker(s): 

Chair: Jean Philippe Walter, Deputy Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner (Switzerland)

Moderator: Jacobo Quintanilla, Community Engagement Adviser, ICRC


Alessandra Pierucci, Chair of the Consultative Comittee of Convention 108

Massimo Marelli, Head of Data Protection Office, ICRC

Marie-Charlotte Roques-Bonnet, Director of Privacy EMEA, Microsoft

Bryan Ford, Associate Professor, EPFL

Alexandrine Pirlot De Corbion, Advocacy Officer, Privacy International

Name of Online Moderator: Mr. Victorien Hanché, Legal Adviser, ICRC Data Protection OfficeBackground Paper:Past IGF Participation: NoReport Link:Name: Mr. Massimo MarelliOrganizational Affiliation: International Committee of the Red Cross

Session Organizers

Wednesday December 20, 2017 15:00 - 16:00 CET
Room XXIV - E United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG)
Thursday, December 21

10:10 CET

Data & the SDGs: From opportunities to impact (OF89)
"The importance of data for social and economic development is often mentioned in international discussions. However, the practical applications of data in development field is still largely under-explored. 

This session aims to discuss this interplay between the potential of new kinds of data and their practical application. In particular, the session will focus on data as tool for monitoring and implementing the SDGs. The rapid rise of new kinds of data - from mobile phone records to drone footage - can give new insights for the international community in assessing needs and gaps in their operations and respond in a more targeted manner. In addition, big data might offer a way to measure progress towards the 2030 agenda more comprehensively.

Yet, these opportunities are coupled with a number of challenges. Is data retrieved from digital devices representative of the whole population, or do these new kinds of data obscure the experiences of people who are unconnected? How to ensure data protection in areas where privacy is not properly regulated, yet where the sensitivity of the data might be enhanced with the vulnerability of the population? This Open Forum attempts to tackle the opportunities and challenges related to the use of Big Data for the SDGs."

Tag 1: Internet Governance
Tag 2: Data
Tag 3: Data

Name(s) of Speaker(s):
Nadia Isler, Director, Director of SDG Lab, UN Office in Geneva (moderator)
Barbara Rosen Jacobson, Programme Manager, DiploFoundation & Geneva Internet Platform
Rosy Mondardini, Managing Director, ETH/UZH Citizen Science Center
Linus Bengtsson, Executive Director, Flowminder Foundation
John Crowley, Manager of Knowledge and Learning at IFRC

Name of Online Moderator: Katharina Höne
Background Paper:
Past IGF Participation: No
Report Link:
Name: Ms. Katrina HARDIE
Organizational Affiliation: UNOG

Session Organizers
avatar for Barbara Rosen Jacobson

Barbara Rosen Jacobson

Programme Manager, DiploFoundation

Thursday December 21, 2017 10:10 - 11:10 CET
Room IX - A United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG)