Humanitarian technologies

Reem Talhouk*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The chapter provides an overview of both non-digital and digital technologies deployed in humanitarian settings- including but not limited to food aid technologies, shelter, artificial intelligence, drones, chatbots, and digital identity systems. The technologies and their humanitarian design are critically examined through a lens of decoloniality and juxtaposed against indigenous technologies. As such, the chapter highlights the ways in which humanitarian innovations’ preoccupation with efficiencies results in universalist designs that shape the everyday experiences of refugees in the image of Eurocentric coloniality/modernity. In doing so, the chapter surfaces instances in which humanitarian technologies maintain inequalities tied to the coloniality/modernity of the humanitarian system and limit spaces for refugees to exert their agency in re-appropriating technologies with and for their indigenous ways of being.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook on Humanitarianism and Inequality
EditorsSilke Roth, Bandana Purkayastha, Tobias Denskus
PublisherEdward Elgar
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781802206555
ISBN (Print)9781802206548
Publication statusPublished - 13 Feb 2024

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