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Breakout Session [clear filter]
Tuesday, March 21


Morning Breakout 3 – Digital Payments: Moving Together from Principles to Action
Limited Capacity full
Adding this to your schedule will put you on the waitlist.

Cash-based assistance is an increasingly significant part of emergency response, and it can be quicker, more efficient and more end-user friendly than traditional in-kind assistance. To get cash transfers to people affected by humanitarian emergencies more quickly and effectively, humanitarian actors need to work with and leverage the experiences of private sector partners and, in particular, draw from technological advances in the ICT sector. How can humanitarians access the best thinking on payments solutions, and how can tech and communications actors use their products and systems to reduce humanitarian suffering? In February 2016, USAID's Global Development Lab convened 24 humanitarian and financial inclusion partners to co-create the Barcelona Principles for Digital Payments in Humanitarian Response. In January 2017, 18 private sector companies and humanitarian organizations endorsed Principles on Public-Private Cooperation in Humanitarian Payments at the World Economic Forum. This session will explore how these principles are being put into practice and ask what more can we do to optimize collaborations and partnerships to serve affected people. We seek to leave this session with concrete and actionable ideas to improve humanitarian actors’ access to digital payments technology, and to ensure that the transfer of ideas, expertise and technology is optimized to serve people affected by crisis. Registration is required for this session and participation is capped at 35 people.


avatar for Chrissy Martin

Chrissy Martin

Digital Finance Expert, US Agency for International Development (USAID)
Chrissy Martin works at the U.S. Global Development Lab, where she scales the use of digital financial services to increase household resilience, especially through improved agricultural incomes, access to energy, and effective delivery of humanitarian assistance. By bringing together... Read More →

avatar for Thea Anderson

Thea Anderson

Director, Financial Inclusion, Mercy Corps
Thea is Director for Financial Inclusion at Mercy Corps, a global development and humanitarian organization operating in over 40 countries. Thea is an accomplished expert in financial inclusion and digital financial services with a focus on fragile and conflict-affect environments... Read More →
avatar for Matt Bohan

Matt Bohan

Senior Program Officer – Financial Services for the Poor, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Matt Bohan is a Senior Program Officer with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on the Financial Services for the Poor team. In this role he: Works with partners and grantees on technical and business model enablement of mobile/digital payments, financial services interoperability... Read More →
avatar for Sam Kansara

Sam Kansara

Product Manager - Google Wallet, Google
Sam Kansara is the product manager for Google Wallet, Google’s person-to-person payments platform tasked with the mission of making sending money between users a truly frictionless experience. In his role, Sam is responsible for defining the product vision and roadmap for Wallet... Read More →
avatar for Barbara Span

Barbara Span

Vice President, Global Public Affairs, Western Union
Alumna, Northwestern University; Harvard Business School Strategic Program on Microfinance. Vice President, Global Public Affairs, Western Union. Responsible for policy, regulatory and consumer issues/advocacy including migration, financial inclusion, humanitarian, economic development... Read More →

Tuesday March 21, 2017 10:45am - 12:30pm
CL5 - Altoona Curve 1500 Crittenden Lane, Mountain View, CA 93403


Afternoon Breakout 1 – Increasing Access to and Use of Digital Identification
Limited Capacity filling up

Following a crisis, it is vital that affected people can securely and consistently identify themselves in order to access services and restore livelihoods. However, in many humanitarian emergencies, affected people lose access to critical identification documents, or they never had official identification to begin with. Lack of identification can make it exponentially more difficult to access emergency aid services. What is needed to increase the access to and use of digital identification? How can we scale existing solutions and avoid wasteful duplication and lost data from one-off projects? How do we work with Governments to strike a balance between meeting this urgent need and respecting national legislation? Panellists on this session will present a number of visions for how technology can be used to ensure that people affected by crisis have reliable and secure identification over the long term. We hope to leave this session with concrete commitments to leverage and scale existing solutions, standardize our approaches, and put the security and convenience of the beneficiary at the heart of our efforts.

avatar for Isaac Kwamy

Isaac Kwamy

Director, Global Programs, Humanitarian Disaster Management, NetHope
Isaac is presently the Global Programs Director of Humanitarian Operations and Disaster Management for NetHope. Isaac leads NetHope’s Global Humanitarian Operations Programs including Emergency Preparedness, Response & Recovery efforts, Crisis Informatics, Access to Information... Read More →

avatar for Alpha Bah

Alpha Bah

Chief – Emergency Telecommunications Cluster and IT Emergency Coordination, World Food Programme (WFP)
Alpha Bah is the Chief of IT Emergency Preparedness and Response and Global ETC Branch at the World Food Programme (WFP). He oversees the coordination and provision of live-saving ICT emergency services to support WFP’s operations and that of the humanitarian response community... Read More →
avatar for Dakota Gruener

Dakota Gruener

Executive Director, ID2020
Dakota Gruener is the Executive Director of ID2020, a public-private partnership working to ensure that everyone on the planet has access to a digital identity. As Executive Director, she leads overall strategy, builds critical partnerships with public and private-sector stakeholders... Read More →
avatar for Paul Musser

Paul Musser

Senior Vice President, Humanitarian, Development and Donors at Mastercard, Mastercard
Paul leads the team responsible for Mastercard’s humanitarian and development solutions. His work focuses on creating and implementing innovative business models and technology solutions leveraging a shared value approach. His clients and partners include UN agencies, international... Read More →
avatar for Kyla Reid

Kyla Reid

Head of Digital Identity and Disaster Response, GSM Association (GSMA)
As Head of the GSMA Digital Identity Programme, Kyla is responsible for working with mobile operators, governments and NGOs to identify the opportunities, barriers, and value of mobile as a scalable and trusted platform for enabling digital identity. Kyla has been with the GSMA since... Read More →

Tuesday March 21, 2017 1:30pm - 3:15pm
CL3 - Maxwell Tech Talk 1300 Crittenden Lane, Mountain View, CA 94303
Wednesday, March 22


Morning Breakout 3 – Towards Common Humanitarian Standards for the Use of ICTs
Limited Capacity seats available

In a modern humanitarian response, success often depends on the use and deployment of ICTs. However, while the humanitarian community has general protection principles and standards, there is currently no comprehensive guidance on the use of ICTs and the information they generate. ICT solutions in emergency settings require ethical standards so that they can be truly deployed in a humanitarian way. How can humanitarians and the private sector work together in agreeing on common humanitarian standards for the use of ICTs in emergencies, and what should these be? Registration is required for this session and participation is capped at 35 people. This session will be conducted under Chatham House rules.

avatar for Daniel P. Scarnecchia

Daniel P. Scarnecchia

Researcher at Signal Program on Human Security and Technology, Harvard Humanitarian Initiative
Daniel Scarnecchia leads the Standards and Ethics program at the Signal Program on Human Security and Technology at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, focusing on data governance, standards, and ethics in the Humanitarian sector.  His current work aims to understand and identify... Read More →

avatar for Joseph Guay

Joseph Guay

Associate, The Policy Lab
Joseph Guay is an independent consultant who has developed innovation strategies for the Global Alliance for Humanitarian Innovation (GAHI), World Vision’s Nepal Innovation Lab (NLab), the Global Protection Cluster at UNHCR, and the inter-agency Response Innovation Lab (RIL) drawing... Read More →
avatar for Christine Knudsen

Christine Knudsen

Executive Director, Sphere
Christine Knudsen joined Sphere as the Director in November 2014, bringing with her nearly 20 years of experience balanced between UN and NGO assignments, field response and policy development, focusing on operational collaboration.  As the chief of UNICEF’s humanitarian partnerships... Read More →

Wednesday March 22, 2017 10:45am - 12:30pm
CL5 - Altoona Curve 1500 Crittenden Lane, Mountain View, CA 93403


Afternoon Breakout 1 – Establishing and Expanding Digital Payment Infrastructure
Limited Capacity seats available

How do we reach people in contexts where digital infrastructure is lacking? How can we transpose solutions developed in northern California to northern Cameroon? How can we ensure that where we engage we are leaving a permanent legacy of greater connectedness and financial inclusion? Perhaps the best way to increase the use of digital distribution of cash assistance today is through the expansion of existing payment infrastructure to countries that lack such infrastructure. Digital payment networks, such as those that support wire transfers and credit card transactions, do not exist in many countries affected by humanitarian crises. In other countries, fees for such transactions are prohibitively expensive. How do we operate in contexts where infrastructure is lacking, and can humanitarian and ICT partners incentivize the establishment of new payment networks and the expansion of existing networks? We will hear from panellists working in some of the most challenging contexts on earth, both those using technology to substitute for digital infrastructure where it does not exist, and those seeking to use their interventions to strengthen digital infrastructure over the long term. We seek to leave this session with a clearer picture of how to flex tools and technologies to address limited-infrastructure contexts, and what we can do to ensure our engagement incentivizes the strengthening of digital infrastructure to serve the world’s poorest and most remote communities.

avatar for Greg Puley

Greg Puley

Senior Advisor, Coordination and Response Division, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
Greg Puley is Senior Advisor in the Coordination and Response Division of UN OCHA, where he supervises a team that supports the delivery of more effective humanitarian action in the field. In 2016 Greg led an inter-agency team supporting the Secretary General's Special Envoys on El... Read More →

avatar for Lily Frey

Lily Frey

Electronic Cash Transfer Officer, Electronic Cash Transfer Learning Action Network (ELAN)
Lily supports the Electronic Cash Transfer Learning Action Network (ELAN), which seeks to improve the effectiveness and impact of humanitarian cash transfer programs through the appropriate use of payments technology. Lily has led work on assessing mobile money partnership choices... Read More →
avatar for Gregory Matthews

Gregory Matthews

Deputy Director of Economic Programs for Cash Initiatives, International Rescue Committee
Gregory Matthews is the Deputy Director of Economic Programs for Cash Initiatives. Greg is a food security and nutrition specialist with over ten years of experience in humanitarian response and coordination. He currently oversees the IRC’s cash transfer programming and emergency... Read More →
avatar for Beth Porter

Beth Porter

Policy Advisor, Financial Inclusion and Better Than Cash Alliance, United Nations Capital Development Fund
Beth has over two decades of experience in financial inclusion throughout Africa, Asia and Latin America.  At UNCDF she provides policy guidance on financial inclusion, particularly to advance responsible finance and promote financial access of women and youth.  She also supports... Read More →
avatar for Dr. Satwik Seshasai

Dr. Satwik Seshasai

Chief Technology Officer, Segovia
Satwik is founding Chief Technology Officer of Segovia, where he has led development of a payment technology platform for NGOs to scale cash transfer programs globally in partnership with major donors (USAID, DFID, ECHO, BMGF) and every major mobile network operator in sub-Saharan... Read More →

Wednesday March 22, 2017 1:30pm - 3:15pm
CL3 - Maxwell Tech Talk 1300 Crittenden Lane, Mountain View, CA 94303