Podcast: Carleen Maitland, “ICTs for Refugees and Displaced Persons”

Expanding use of information and communication technology (ICT) together with the humanitarian reform agenda are changing both the experience of being a refugee as well as humanitarian response. These forces are giving rise to the digital refugee and a new form of humanitarian operations, digital humanitarian brokerage. In this talk, Carleen Maitland presents these two concepts, evidence of their emergence and differences in the role information plays in each. The concepts emerge from a synthesis of scholarship from international law, information and organization science, GIS, computer and data science as presented in her upcoming edited volume Digital Lifeline? ICTs for Refugees and Displaced Persons. The talk culminates in an analysis of the implications of these trends for information policy as well as the research necessary to insure both technologies and policies evolve to mitigate potential harms and amplify potential benefits for refugees.

Carleen Maitland is co-Director of the Institute for Information Policy and Associate Professor in the College of Information Sciences and Technology at Penn State University. Her expertise includes analyses of ICT use in international organizations, particularly those involved in fostering economic and social development as well as humanitarian relief. Her work, reported in over 100 refereed journal articles, conference proceedings, and presentations, has influenced scholarship in the fields of Information and Communication Technologies for Development (ICTD), communications, information systems and human computer interaction fields. Her work is supported by the National Science Foundation, USAID, the U.S. Department of Commerce, and IBM, among others. She has held several leadership positions in both the ICTD and policy communities, currently serves as Associate Editor of the open access journal Information Technology & International Development (USC Annenberg Press). Also, from 2010-2012 she served as a Program Manager in the U.S. National Science Foundation, both in the Office of International Science and Engineering and the Office of Cyberinfrastructure.

Vicky Zeamer

About Vicky Zeamer

My passions fall more in the realm of human-centered design. I have spent my previous education and work experience in the tech industry, specifically focusing on how user experience (UX) can help guide the development of technology to be better for people and society. At MIT, I earned my M.Sc. in Comparative Media Studies where I wrote my thesis on how the dining out food industry shifted in response to the proliferation of digital food culture on Web 1.0 & 2.0. I earned my B.A. at Wellesley College where I studied both how people and societies function and create culture (American Studies) and how computer science and design could be leveraged for innovation (Media Arts and Sciences). I am currently a UX Research role at HubSpot in Cambridge, a software company dedicated to helping small and medium-sized businesses grow through an online marketing and sales platform. I sit as a user-centered researcher within the Machine Learning (ML) engineering team where my main focus is to gather insights about our users and strategize how to create ML-enabled solutions for our customers. Being at the intersection of technology and people is really my sweet spot.

 
 

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