Digital Humanitarianism

Edited by Katerina Nakou,


“Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”

Article 19 Universal Declaration of Human Rights





Technologies must be used for liberation and not repression as everyone has the right to be included in the discussions on access to the new technologies. There is a digital divide between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’ of internet access in the world today. Access to new technologies encourages social awareness and promotes social balance.

The disastrous earthquake in Haiti taught humanitarian groups an unexpected lesson: the power of mobile devices to coordinate, inform, and guide relief efforts. At TEDxRC2, Paul Conneally shows extraordinary examples of social media and other new technologies becoming central to humanitarian aid.

Paul Conneally is the public communications manager for the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, and a leader in using digital technologies for humanitarian aid.

Paul Conneally has worked as a journalist since 1988 in the print and broadcast media, primarily in the area of news reportage and documentaries that focus on socio-economic development and international politics. He worked with the International Committee of the Red Cross for 11 years working in communications, cooperation and operations in regions from North Caucasus and Central Asia to the Balkans, Afghanistan, Somalia, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Sudan and Israel & the Occupied Territories. He has also spent two and a half years as head of ICRC’s donor reporting unit in Geneva.

Since August 2008, Paul oversees all aspects of public communication including audio visual production, advocacy initiatives, and online and social media for the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.