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HNPW & GISF | Tackling Mis-Information and Dis-Information in Humanitarian Response

HNPW & GISF | Tackling Mis-Information and Dis-Information in Humanitarian Response table
Date19 May 2022
Time2:30 pm 4:00 pm CEST |8:30 am10:00 am EDT
Provider OCHA, GISF
Type Virtual
CostNo cost
Booking URLhttps://vosocc.unocha.org/GetFile.aspx?xml=7099mNSNuyt2ObIjn0rASVQuOcrk99i1yNbKXSwpylU9vDMx_B_l1.html&tid=7099&laid=1&ows=1LDVgf9xxxslashOiV9xxxpluspVNZH6xxxslashx4CiZlTNTlz5

In February 2022, the Digital Humanitarian Network [DHN] supported by UN-OCHA published a report by Kristen Pear nans Andrej Verity Mis & Disinformation: Handling the 21st Century Challenge in the Humanitarian Sector.  The report arrived at a conclusion that given the pervasiveness of mis and disinformation in several domains, there is reason to believe the humanitarian sector is highly susceptible to becoming a direct or indirect target on a regular basis. However, the spread of false and/or misleading information is not new. A brief peek into the twentieth century provides us with examples such as Joseph Goebbels’s machinery of Public Enlightenment. Today’s information ecosystem though, has drastically changed the ways in which mis and disinformation are produced, disseminated, and consumed and the intent behind their initiation. False information is also rampant, and collectively during Covid 19 a new term called an ‘infodemic’ was coined and evidence is showing that that distrust in traditional and digital news media leads to selective exposure to news which can break the chain of being informed.

This session will explore an understanding of what false, mis and disinformation are and how they have become more pervasive in several discourses, including humanitarianism. It will be framed on the key points from the UN-OCHA Report and investigate how social engineering is being utilised and what actions the humanitarian sector needs to take to mitigate risk.

Key Messages Impacting the Infodemic Phenomenon

  • The plethora of social media platforms and the technological architecture that run them, such as algorithms, bots and fake accounts.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic and the influx of information, good and bad, online.
  • The changing demographic of social media users – to younger generations, such as Generation Z, Millennials and Generation X – and their content consumption.
  • A lack of sufficient digital literacy and critical-thinking skills in today’s media-rich environment.
  • Underlying social, cultural, and political issues.


  • Professor Lisa Short, FRSA, Grad. Cert Sc., Bch T&D, Dip. T&A Sys., Adv. Dip. OHS, BA (Economics, Geog., Fin. Mgt.) Dip. Ed. Founder, Areté Business Performance. Adjunct Professor, La Trobe University, London Graduate School & Commonwealth University, SARChI Innovation Research Group [Tshwane University of Technology [South Africa]], African Post Graduate Academy [APGA]

Steps to register for a session:

  1. Log in (or create an account)on the HNPW homepage;
  2. Select ‘Event Programme‘ on the navigation toolbar, where you can view the full HNPW event programme;
  3. To find any GISF event, you need to find ‘Priority Topics‘ in the filter selection on the left-hand side of the screen;
  4. Under ‘Priority Topics’ please select ‘Humanitarian Security’– this will filter to show you any registered GISF event;
  5. To register your attendance for any event, please select ‘register‘ just to the left-hand of the session title;
  6. You will have the option to register, either face to face or virtually depending on the session; bookmark the event; or cancel your registration;
  7. When you select register, the ‘register’ button will change to ‘registered‘, and you will receive a confirmation email from ‘no-reply@un.org’. 

If you have any questions on registration, please reach out to Megan (gisf-info@gisf.ngo)

To find out more about HNPW please click here.


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