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Session Overview
Session
Opening Plenary Keynote by Houman Haddad: Depoliticizing Information Through Blockchain
Time:
Sunday, 25/Oct/2020:
9:00am - 10:30am


Houman Haddad is the Head of Emerging Technologies at the United Nations World Food Program (WFP). Houman is the founder of WFP’s “Building Blocks” (BB) project, which seeks to harness the power of blockchain to foster interagency collaboration and create efficiencies. Building Blocks is the world’s largest implementation of blockchain technology for humanitarian assistance, currently serving 700,000 Syrian and Rohingya refugees in Jordan and Bangladesh. Blockchain technology also has the potential to empower the vulnerable through financial inclusion and digital identities. Houman joined WFP in 2010 and, prior to WFP, worked in Canada’s banking sector.


Session Abstract

The humanitarian aid landscape is increasingly complex, with multiple active economic, natural, and conflict crises around the globe at any given time. Various organizations assist affected populations. However, their efforts are typically siloed, and the people served are viewed through the narrow lenses of nutrition, health, and protection, for example. There is no common visibility on precisely who is assisting whom with what. Therefore, the harmonization and optimization of assistance at a global level are not possible. Furthermore, people’s information is fragmented inside the assisting organizations’ systems, making it difficult for the affected population to access and utilize their data. Building Blocks (BB) is a blockchain-based humanitarian network that seeks to overcome these challenges.




 
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