The World Food Programme (WFP) and the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) recently came together to address various operational challenges during their United Nations Digital Solutions Bootcamp. Though the Bootcamp is usually an in-person event, this year’s iteration took place remotely, with teams based in Geneva, Munich, and Rome.
The decision to go remote was made due to concerns about the coronavirus. The event ran from March 9 to 13, and now stands as the WFP Innovation Accelerator’s first virtual Bootcamp.
The workshop itself focused on five key areas of development, with teams splitting up to develop business cases in the areas of digital identity, VR and AR supply chain training, automated medical clearance, centralized databases, and humanitarian booking. The solutions presented during the workshop will be further developed by the United Nations Digital Solutions Centre (UN DSC) and the International Computing Centre (ICC) to make sure that those solutions can be deployed at scale.
Both the WFP and the UNHCR have displayed considerable enthusiasm for biometric technology in recent years. For example, the UNHCR has used biometrics to register the identities of Syrian and Rohingya refugees, while the NEC lent its biometrics expertise to the WFP to facilitate the distribution of food and resources.
March 23, 2020 – by Eric Weiss