Humanitarian Geospatial Technology Workshop

Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

COVID-19 Update: 2020 Workshop Cancelled

Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Harvard University has cancelled The Humanitarian Geospatial Technology Workshop, originally scheduled for Monday, June 15 - Friday, June 19. 

The workship will be held again in summer of 2021.

We wish you all health and safety in these challenging times. 

Course Overview

This workshop was previously known as the Remote Sensing for Humanitarian Programs Workshop.

The workshop is a five-day training conducted by the Signal Program on Human Security and Technology at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative. This workshop provides the basic skills and knowledge required to use geospatial technologies in humanitarian operations. Through a series of lectures and hands-on exercises, workshop participants can expect to learn about the application of geospatial technologies across three core subject areas as they apply to humanitarian emergencies, including 1) public health and epidemiology; 2) climate change and natural disasters; and 3) conflict and human rights forensics.

The goal of the course is to equip participants with the necessary expertise to manage, design, and utilize geospatial technologies in humanitarian emergencies. Participants will be able to learn from and engage with course faculty who are experienced in remote sensing for humanitarian response, geospatial analysis and geostatistics, and have extensive expertise in analyzing satellite imagery from diverse humanitarian emergencies. Using the knowledge obtained during lectures, participants will have the opportunity to process and analyze satellite imagery and GIS datasets that pertain to crises in hands-on exercises.

Policies and Frequently Asked Questions

For more information and answers to your questions, including payment and cancellation policies, please see a page of frequently asked questions and policies for the course. 

For Registered Participants: Please consult your course Canvas page for a checklist to complete before the workshop begins and further information. You should have received an invitation from Canvas after registration.

Course Fee

Standard Registration: $2050 ($1900 early registration discount available until April 1)

Course fees will cover the workshop, light breakfast, lunch and course materials. Additionally, there will be a networking reception on the first day after class. Formal confirmation of enrollment will be sent upon receipt of course fees and review of requested registration materials. Please note that registration is not completed and your spot in the workshop is not guaranteed until full payment of the course fee has been received. This workshop is a self-funded program and all participants are required to pay a registration fee. At this time participation scholarships are not available. Please note that accommodations and travel are not included in the course fee.


Gregg Greenough, MD, MPH, Co-Director, Humanitarian Geoanalytics Research and Education Program; Research Director, Division of International Emergency Medicine and Humanitarian Programs, Brigham and Women's Hospital; Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Erica Nelson, MD, PhM, MAS, Co-Director, Humanitarian Geoanalytics Research and Education Program, Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, Research Faculty, Brigham and Women's Hospital; Instructor, Harvard Medical School

Caitlin Howarth, Manager, Signal Program on Human Security and Technology, Harvard Humanitarian Initiative

Saira Khan, Researcher, Signal Program on Human Security and Technology, Harvard Humanitarian Initiative

Technical Requirement

Introductory GIS and remote sensing analysis will be used throughout the course. If you have a basic understanding of geospatial technologies, this course will be an excellent addition to your knowledge base. If you are an advanced user of geospatial technologies, you are also welcome and will benefit from the specific application areas but will likely know methodologies introduced during the exercises.

Intended Audience

The intended audience for this workshop is NGO and UN workers, national and local government, and other actors involved in humanitarian response and operations. Individuals interested in exploring the intersection of technology and the humanitarian sector are also welcome to participate in the course.

Please note that this workshop will be conducted in English. 

Contact Us

All questions, cancellations, and deferment requests should be submitted to: