Global Event 2021 Digitalisation: The Digital Divide and Forced Displacement

Every year, DRC sets out to explore problems and their solutions around a pressing topic of transnational dimensions, which affects displaced populations, and which challenges the humanitarian sector. As we strongly believe in the value of collaborative action and knowledge, DRC seeks to enable an event brimming with actors that we do not normally engage with. Actors who will make us smarter, more responsive and accountable towards displacement affected people.

Photo by Rico Reutimann on Unsplash

Output Report 2021

Thank you for joining us in the 2021 global innovation journey. With you, we learned so much around the digital divide and forced displacement. Please revisit sessions below and Download the output report 2021 packed full of useful information and knowledge. Get it here

Watch recap video of DRC Global Event 2021

The DRC Global Event on Digitalisation was held on 24th Nov 2021. Enriching, insightful, thought-provoking and actionable. Watch recap video here.

DRC Global Event 2021: Get a recap of the Launch event!

The Launch Event kicked off this year’s journey. DRC experts accompanied by our Collaborators engaged in inspirational keynote sessions as well as started exploring and interacting around digitalisation – the digital divide and forced displacement. Building on various macrotrends, the ambition is to open and spark our curiosity, with collaborators bringing readiness to connect purposefully with new playmates. We discussed and harvested knowledge across sectors and disciplines in co-creational spaces and set a ground for the deep dives that followed in mid-October.


Last year, DRC launched a strategic ideation process – the DRC Global Event – acknowledging that the humanitarian sector needs a wider approach, new brain powers and stronger cross-disciplinary partnerships to lever the mandate to protect marginalised people and to develop real solutions for people affected by conflict and displacement. This exciting process was lifted by invaluable thinkers, speakers and collaborators contributing across geographies to offer intel, ideas and perspectives about how the nexus of climate change, environmental degradation and forced displacement will unravel and what we can do to start tackling this serious problem. 

Building on a strong foundation and recognition of the wealth of know-how that exists beyond the humanitarian sector, we are eager to re-engage with others to co-explore and co-create in a wider ecosystem. We are both curious and determined to become better at what we do, and to improve protection for affected people by innovating and taking into account the complexity of forced displacement dynamics. This year, we turn our focus to digitalisation and examine the interconnectedness between this mega trend and forced displacement. 

As tech and digitalisation becomes more powerful and ubiquitous, we will invite experts to join us and delve into the ‘what is’ and ‘what will be’ of digitalisation, the digital divide and forced displacement. Part of this journey is to understand the new interactions, drivers and values that are enabled by the digital era, framing the dynamics of forced displacement to understand how humanitarian actors can better protect and enable people live dignified lives. DRC is strategically committed to digitalisation, acknowledging that humanitarian response work must also be oriented towards the trends of tomorrow. 

Click here if you want to join us for the culmination of this year's journey on the 24th of November!


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DRC Global Event Ambassadors


Alexandra Singpiel

Digital Access

Project Coordinator in DRC’s Civil Society Engagement Unit, leading the Diaspora Emergency Action & Coordination initiative (DEMAC). DEMAC aims at contributing to transforming the humanitarian ecosystem by enhancing inclusive coordination across diaspora organizations and institutional humanitarian actors. Alexandra has previously worked with other NGOs and the EU system on civil society engagement and humanitarian efforts. Most recently, before joining DRC, she worked in Afghanistan with Welthungerhilfe as Partner Advisor on capacity development and topics of localization, civil society empowerment and accountability. In addition, she is a trainer and facilitator for intercultural topics and has been involved with youth networks across Europe, MENA and Africa.

Roberto Sollazzo

Digital Access

Dr. Roberto Sollazzo has worked since 2003 as conflict analyst in West Africa and the Great Lakes Region, specializing on cross-border illicit trafficking of arms, goods, commodities and persons. Since 2020 he serves as Regional Humanitarian Access and Safety Coordinator for the Danish Refugee Council (DRC) office for West Africa, based in Dakar. He developed DRC Access strategy for West Africa that maximizes the chances of securing durable access to hard-to-reach areas, while always keeping within the higher threshold of the organizational risk appetite.​


Rikke Olsen

Rights & Digitalisation

Rikke is a gender and protection specialist with more than 15 years of experience working on human rights, hereunder 10 years in the context of forced displacement. Rikke has worked with human rights monitoring, advocacy and policy since 2002, including for the Danish Institute for Human Rights and the UNOHCHR. From 2011-17, Rikke served in protection and policy roles for the UNHCR, from coordinating GBV prevention and response in Nepal, leading protection mainstreaming and information management activities in the Syria response to acting as human rights liaison in Geneva.​

Oscar Muriithi

Rights & Digitalisation

Oscar Muriuki is the Programme Coordinator at the Danish Refugee Council in Kenya with a decade of experience of working with humanitarian responses and governance programmes in Kenya. In his current role, he specializes in the design and management of multisectoral programmes to protracted refugee crises. He is also involved in advocating for inclusive policies for displaced persons. Oscar is a lawyer with a bachelor of laws degree from the University of London and human rights certification from the University of Pretoria.


Edward Fraser

Digital Financial Inclusion

Ed is a humanitarian professional with unique expertise in Economic Recovery, Market-Based Programming in Emergencies and Cash & Voucher Assistance (CVA). Currently the Global Economic Recovery Adviser and CVA Lead for the Danish Refugee Council, his prior experience includes 2 years as Global CVA Adviser & UK Humanitarian Representative for People in Need and 5 years as Team Manager for the field audit/verification of ECHO-funded Humanitarian Aid Projects across 24 countries. He holds an MSc in Violence, Conflict & Development from SOAS.

Alistair Cowan

Digital Financial Inclusion

Works in the East Africa regional office as the Alternative Finance Specialist. He has been with DRC for 2 years, previously working for DRC in Ethiopia and Djibouti as a livelihoods specialist where he worked on several financial inclusion projects, and has a background in the private sector working in finance and banking. He is currently setting up a large digital financial inclusion project in Kenya working with a private bank to provide finance alongside DRCs programming expertise and hopes to continue supporting the roll-out of financial inclusion projects across the region.


Jakob I. Myschetzky

Digital Employment

Jakob has 15 years of experience in coordinating multi stakeholder engagement, facilitating strategic development and managing projects focused on youth in displacement globally and in particular the Middle East. During 2016-2019 Jakob served as Development Manager in DRC, Volunteer Section, building a range of projects targeting young refugees. In 2010-2016 Jakob worked as International Director and project manager at the Danish Centre for Culture and Development, MFA, implementing development programs in 12 DANIDA priority countries in the Middle East, Africa and Asia. In 2007-2010 Jakob lived in Jordan and Egypt, working as project manager for the American University in Cairo, developing trainings and projects for youth in displacement.​​

Rahul Mitra

Digital Employment

Rahul is the Economic Recovery Manager at the Danish Refugee Council in Jordan. He is a development expert with over a decade of expertise across 12 countries in the Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and Asia. Rahul specializes in human-centered approaches to intervention design across the sectors of livelihoods, financial inclusion and social protection. He is passionate about innovating financing, private sector partnerships and integrated approaches that bridge the nexus between disaster and development.

Laila Zulkaphil

Digital Employment

Laila Zulkaphil is the Danish Refugee Council's Head of Program in Turkey, overseeing protection and economic recovery programs, including a pilot project to facilitate digital employment for youth from refugee and host communities. Laila is a passionate humanitarian and development professional with a decade of experience in the Middle East, Central Asia, and Eastern Europe, focusing on resource mobilization, grants management, partnership management, and quality assurance. She holds a Master's degree in Conflict Resolution from Georgetown University with a specialization in Refugees and Humanitarian Emergencies.


Joanna Nevill

Digital Accountability

Global Accountability and Participation Advisor. She has worked extensively in humanitarian contexts and brings over 14 years’ experience in project management, monitoring and evaluation, research and community development. Over the past decade, her direct field experience has seen her work in positions across Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Iraq, Mongolia and Myanmar with both international and national NGO’s. She is currently the Danish Refugee Council’s (DRC) Global Advisor for Accountability and Participation and dedicated to ensuring that globally DRC’s efforts are principled, high-quality and aligned with the CHS.

Isaac Robinson

Digital Accountability

Isaac Robinson, an international lawyer by profession, has spent the last 21 years in promoting and protection rights of the displaced people in a dozen of countries and territories of Africa, Asia and Europe. His areas of expertise include legal aid; economic self-reliance; housing land and property rights; and advocacy.

Digitalisation and forced displacement

Digitalisation transforms societies, organisations, economies and governments, with a potential for real and positive change. Yet, as convenient and enabling as it may seem, digitalisation may also lead to increased repression, instability and (digital) divides that leave marginalised groups behind. Due to a lack of affordable or relevant products and services, or because of political, social or economic factors, these groups often find themselves in situations where equitable access to the benefits of digitalisation is limited. 

In our exploration of digitalisation and forced displacement, we need to consider the risks of exclusion, gaps and imbalances, governance and ethics, infrastructure, finance and power dynamics. Digital skill-building, access to technology and digital inclusivity can bridge and support transformation for people who are otherwise left behind and/or left out of developmental advances. 

As we see jobs, information, services, finance and identity transcend into the digital, and as we strive to improve our support to and protection of the displacement-affected, it is time to ask: How do we tap these opportunities? And how do we tackle the risks? Most importantly, perhaps,  what will the future of refugee response be? 

We would love for you to embark on this journey with us and explore topics such as digitalisation and rights; digital financial inclusion; digital employment; digital accountability towards affected people; and digital access, connectivity, safety and participation in post-pandemic times.  

If you have ideas, questions or want to become a collaborator future ideation journeys - get in touch:

DRC Global Event

[email protected]