Working Group on Emergency Telecommunications (WGET)

Dubai, United Arab Emirates
10:00 am GMT

The 35th Working Group on Emergency Telecommunications (WGET): ICT Humanitarian Forum will be held April 29 - 30, 2015 in Dubai, UAE.

This years' forum will explore communicating with communities (CwC) from an operational perspective, addressing the need to know where populations are and looking at dimensions such as data standards, security (cyber/info),ethics, and protection. As part of the focus on CwC, we will consider how the humanitarian ICT community should adapt to manage the greater dependencies on technology created by the digital transformation of humanitarian action. How do we achieve conditions, such as reliable, secure and affordable connectivity, to realize the full potential of citizen driven aid? How do we mitigate risks? The aim within this digital vision is to develop strong strategic partnerships among industry, academia, governments and humanitarians to meet the needs of affected communities during crisis and support informed decision making.

The WGET is an open forum to facilitate the operational use of telecommunications in the service of humanitarian assistance. The forum seeks to increase the effectiveness of its participants related to regulatory, operational and technical aspects of telecommunications for disaster relief.

In 2015, the WGET will be held during Humanitarian ICT Week in partnership with International Humanitarian City and sponsored by Thuraya and Yahsat. The Emergency Telecommunications Cluster (ETC) Plenary meeting will also be held during this week.

How to participate

The WGET - ICT Humanitarian Innovation Forum is open to organizations which have an interest in humanitarian and emergency relief within the remit of ICT.

If you are interested in participating, complete the registration form.

Deadline for registration: 15-Apr-15


Additional Information

For more information about the WGET:



Wednesday, 29 April 2015

TimeAgenda ItemPresenter(s)
08:00 - 09:00

Coffee and Registration

09:00 - 09:10

Official Opening of the 36th WGET Forum

HE Abdullah Al Shibani

Secretary General of the Executive Council & IHC Board Member

09:10 - 09:20

Serving Humanity through Space Development 

Dr. Mohammed Al Ahbabi

Director General of the UAE Space Agency

09:20 - 09:40

Digital Aid: Game-changing humanitarian transformation  

Ms. Gwi-Yeop Son

Director, Corporate Programmes, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) 

09:40 - 10:00ETC 2020: Today’s Partnerships for Tomorrow’s Life-Saving Digital Solutions Mr. Jakob Kern
CIO & Emergency Telecommunications Cluster (ETC) Chair, UN World Food Programme (WFP)
10:00 - 10:10

Satellite and the Transformation of the Humanitarian System  

Mr. Samer Halawi

CEO, Thuraya 

10:00 - 10:20

 Satellite, Critical Infrastructure for First Response

Mr. Masood M. Sharif Mahmood

CEO, Yahsat

10:20 - 11:00

Coffee Break

11:00 - 11:40

Connected Societies and the Digital Transformation: The Impact on Humanitarian Response

Mr. Rutger Reman

President and Head of Customer Unit Industry and Society, Middle East and Africa Region, Ericsson  

11:40 - 12:20

Prepositioning Relationships and Technology to Better Communicate with Communities in Disaster Response

Ms. Angela Rouse, Senior Programme Manager, CDAC Network Secretariat

Mr. Mike Adams, International Coordinator, First Response Radio

Mr. Gil Arevalo, Communications with Communities Coordinator, UN OCHA  

12:20 - 13:50


13:50 - 14:20

Multi-channel Mobile Crisis Response Platforms: Lessons Learned in the Middle East

Mr. Yazeed Sheqem
Director of Business Development, MENA & Africa, Souktel Inc.
14:20 - 15:00

Humanitarian Connectivity Charter: Mobile
Industry Commitment to Supporting Affected Populations

Ms. Kyla Reid, Head, Disaster Response, GSMA

Ms. Alexandra Sicotte-Levesque, CwC Coordinator, UN OCHA

Mr. Karim Khoja, CEO, Roshan Telecom

Mr. Ramon Isberto, Head, Public Affairs, PLDT and Smart Communications

Mr. Abdulla Hassan, Public Relations & Communications Senior Manager, Asiacell  

15:00 - 15:30

Coffee Break

15:30 - 16:30

Communicating with Communities: Social Data and Predictives for Humanitarian Response

HMs. Heather Leson

Program Manager, Social Innovation, Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI)  

16:30 - 17:10

Partnerships: Achieving the ETC 2020 Strategy

Mr. Mark Banbury, Global CIO, Plan International

Ms. Marianne Donven, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Luxembourg

Ms. Najat Abdulrahman, Executive Director, Yahsat

Mr. Edward Happ, Global CIO, International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)

Mr. Brent Carbno, Program Director, Ericsson Response  

17:10 - 17:20

Close of Day 1

Patrick Gordon
17:30Group Photo and Reception hosted by Thuraya and Yahsat

Thursday, 30 April 2015

TimeAgenda ItemPresenter(s)
09:00 - 09:10

Welcome Day 2

Mr. Patrick Gordon
09:10 - 09:40

Designing Future Solutions, Listening to the Most Important Stakeholder

Ms. Abi Weaver
Global Technology Project, American Red Cross
09:40 - 10:40

Digital Aid: Biometric Identity Management and Electronic Cash Transfer

Mr. Doug Greene, CIO, UN Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

Mr. Jakob Kern, CIO & ETC Chair, UN WFP

Ms. Alexa Swift, Regional Economic Opportunities Advisor for the Middle East, Mercy Corps

Mr. Jeremy Cole, Director, Red Rose Mr. Chris Dooley, Regional Technical Advisor for Payments, UNDP and UNCDF  

10:40 - 11:20

Coffee break

11:20 - 11:50

Panel Discussion on Digital Aid: Biometric Identity Management and Electronic Cash Transfer  

11:50 - 12:20

From Typhoon Haiyan to Typhoon Hagupit: Reflections on a Year of Building Data Preparedness and Resilience Networks in the Philippines 

Mr. Andrew Schroeder, Director of Research and Analysis, Direct Relief

Mr. Justin Richmond, Mission Specialist, Palantir Technologies  

12:20 - 13:30


13:30 - 14:00

World Humanitarian Summit: Defining the Future Humanitarian Response 

Mr. Matthew Hochbrueckner Business Partnership Adviser, UN OCHA 

14:00 - 14:30

Communication Technology: Challenges and Opportunities for Humanitarian Security 

Ms. Raquel Vazquez, Researcher, European Interagency Security Forum (EISF)

Ms. Lisa Reilly, Executive Coordinator, EISF 

14:30 - 15:00

Innovative Communication Systems for Situational Awareness during Crises

Mr. Hassan Abouwafia Senior Manager Wireless Business Development, Alcatel-Lucent 
15:00 - 15:40

Coffee Break

15:40 - 16:10

Citizen Engagement During a Crisis

Mr. Tom Malanfant
CSR Product Manager, Motorola Solutions
16:10 - 16:40

Disruptive Innovation: Train Wrecks on the Right Track

Mr. Edward Happ
Global CIO and Head of ISD, International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)
16:40 - 16:50

Wrap up

Ms. Gwi-Yeop Son
Director, Corporate Programmes, UN OCHA
16:50 - 17:00


Mr. Patrick Gordon

Refreshments and networking


For more information about the upcoming WGET ICT Humanitarion Innovation Forum, contact us.