Humanitarian Geospatial Technology Workshop

January 6 - February 3, 2021 | Online

Covid-19 Update: Virtual Workshop

Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Harvard University has adapted the five-day in person summer workshop, previously known as the Remote Sensing for Humanitarian Programs, to a 5-part online course. 

Course Description

The Humanitarian Geospatial Technology Workshop course will introduce participants to spatial technologies and spatial analytical methods currently and potentially used in the humanitarian and disaster-response sectors. This course is led by the Signal Program on Human Security & Technology and the Humanitarian Geoanalytics Research & Education Program at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative.  

Through a combination of synchronous lectures, discussions, and an online forum, students will be able to explore and envision how critical geographies, data ethics, and geospatial technologies can improve humanitarian research, preparedness, and response. Participants will be able to learn from and engage with course faculty who are experienced in geospatial analysis and spatial epidemiology and have extensive expertise in analyzing satellite imagery in diverse humanitarian emergencies.

This course will not teach the technical use of GIS or remote sensing, but will introduce tools, concepts, and techniques used in geospatial analysis, and will support students’ independent use of whichever tools are familiar to them.

Learning Objectives

  1. Identify the spatial tools and methodologies that are currently being utilized within humanitarian, human rights and disaster research, prevention, and response;
  2. Reflect on existing power structures of data, diversity of narratives, and digital colonialism as it affects the humanitarian space;
  3. Critically review the limitations, ethics, and challenges of spatial data and methods in the humanitarian sector;
  4. Learn the subjectivity of the visualization of spatial data and ways to clearly communicate outcomes; and
  5. Understand how spatial technologies can be leveraged to explore and address diverse thematic areas relevant to the humanitarian sector in novel ways.

Course Dates and Times

Note: All below times are in the time zone of New York, NY (EST / GMT-5)

Module 1 Wednesday, January 6, 2021 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM EST
Module 2 Wednesday, January 13, 2021 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM EST
Module 3 Wednesday, January 20, 2021 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM EST
Module 4 Wednesday, January 27, 2021 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM EST
Module 5 Wednesday, February 3, 2021 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM EST

Tentative Course Outline

Critical geography and power structures within spatial technologies

  • What is critical geography? 
  • Mapping as a tool of power and communication
  • Decolonizing mapping

Standards and ethics of geospatial technology in humanitarian assistance

  • Standards and ethics for humanitarian data
  • Challenges working with geospatial data
  • Possible solutions and workarounds

Introduction to GIS and spatial analytics

  • What is GIS, what is spatial analytics? 
  • What are the pros and cons of GIS and spatial analytics? 
  • Limitations of spatial data and analysis
  • Integrating GIS and satellite imagery analysis

Introduction to satellite imagery analysis

  • What is remote sensing? What kind of data is collected through remote sensing?
  • What are the pros and cons of working with satellite imagery?
  • How has remote sensing been used in the humanitarian sector thus far, and how can it be used in the future? 

Case studies in satellite imagery analysis, GIS, and spatial statistics

  • Monitoring displacement
  • Monitoring conflict
  • Environmental, climate-hazards
  • Public health, epidemiology 

Registration and Course Fees

General Admission: $600 USD

Global South Organizations*: $400

Students, Freelancers: $275

*Global South organizations are defined as those headquartered in these countries. If you have any questions about pricing, please contact hhiRemoteSensing@gmail.com.

Course fees include access to online modules and resources provided on Canvas LMS. 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. 

Course registration will close on January 05, 2020 at 11:59 PM EST. 


Instructors

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; Research Director, Division of International Emergency Medicine and Humanitarian Programs, Brigham and Women’s Hospital; Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School.

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

Saira Khan, MSc, Research Coordinator, Signal Program on Human Security and Technology, Harvard Humanitarian Initiative


Contact Us

All questions, cancellations, and deferment requests should be submitted to: hhiRemoteSensing@gmail.com


Policies and Frequently Asked Questions

Making a payment: 

Harvard recently increased the security around online credit card payments, so the address you input must exactly match the address that is on record with your bank (including capitalization and punctuation). Please ensure that the addresses match and try initiating the payment again. 

Is this a degree course or a certificate course:

Please note that HHI Professional Education Workshops are not offered as part of a Harvard degree program. There will be a certificate of participation from the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative offered at the end of the course. Please note that in order to obtain the certificate at the end of the course, you must attend all days of the workshop and participate in all of its activities.

Cancellation policy: 

If you are unable to attend the course, you may transfer registration to a colleague at any time free of charge. If you need to cancel your registration, you are eligible for a refund minus a $150 cancellation fee up to one week before the first day of the course. Cancellations within one week of the course will not be eligible for a refund. 

Scholarships:

Unfortunately we do not offer any scholarships. Please do note the sliding payment scales that offer special rates for students and freelancers as well as institutions in the Global South. 

For registered participants: 

You should have received a registration confirmation email with more information. 

Course Information

Audience 

The intended audience for this workshop includes NGO and UN workers, national and local government, journalists, and others 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.

Pre-Requisites

This is an introductory-level course, there are no prerequisites.

System Requirements

This synchronous course will use Zoom and Canvas. Please check the basic OS requirements to run Zoom on your computer. Canvas may be accessed through any browser and will be used to host an online forum, readings, lecture recordings.

Contact Us

All questions, cancellations, and deferment requests should be submitted to: hhiRemoteSensing@gmail.com