Webinar: Regulating AI in the International Humanitarian Sector: Approaches, Challenges and Solutions

In this talk, Eleonore Fournier-Tombs and Robert Trigwell will discuss some of the most important current issues regarding the use of AI solutions in the humanitarian sector, including biometrics, logistics optimisation and forecasting. Dr. Fournier-Tombs will describe the EU AI regulation proposal, which categorises uses of AI into low risk, high risk and forbidden categories, and explore whether such an approach could be adopted by international organisations. She will also decrypt the report by the Human Rights Commissioner Michelle Bachelet entitled “The right to privacy in the digital age”, which pleads for increased regulation of AI by UN members states. Mr. Trigwell will present the work of the Humanitarian Data Science and Ethics Group, which has developed ethical guidelines for the deployment of advanced machine learning systems in the humanitarian sector, and propose longer-term solutions, such as the adoption of United Nations interagency standards for AI.


Eleonore Fournier-Tombs
Full Professor, Faculty of Law, Civil Law Section, University of Ottawa

Eleonore Fournier-Tombs is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Ottawa, Coordinator of the Global Responsible Artificial Intelligence Chair, and a lecturer in international cooperation at the Université de Montréal. She has worked extensively in the humanitarian field at the UN and the World Bank as a data scientist. She holds a PhD from the University of Geneva and a post-doc from McGill University.

Robert Trigwell
Analytical, Knowledge and Output (AKO) Unit Lead, OIM – ONU Migration

Rob Trigwell has a humanitarian relief background, having worked with NGOs and the UN across the Middle East, East Africa and Asia. Rob currently works within the Global Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) team, where he co-coordinates the Analytical, Knowledge and Output (AKO) quality Unit, a recently established research unit part of the Global DTM team based in London. The role of the unit is to enhance engagement with academic institutions to expand DTMs knowledge, enhance its analytical capacities and harness the use of its wealth of data. Rob’s primary interest area is on the responsible and ethical use of data and understanding how data science methods can support humanitarian outcomes. In his current role, Rob is co-lead of the Data Responsibility Working Group (DRWG) co-lead, and co-investigator on the academic Data & Displacement project.


Participants who wish to obtain a certificate of attendance of this event can indicate it in the registration form. It will be sent by e-mail by the OBVIA in the days following the event. Each participant is then responsible for taking the necessary steps to have their attendance recognized as a continuing education activity by their educational institution, their employer or their professional order.

This event will be held in English only.

  • Céline Castets-Renard

    Professor, Faculty of Law, Chair on Accountable Artificial Intelligence in a Global Context

    University of Ottawa

  • Karine Gentelet

    Holder of the Abeona-ENS-OBVIA Chair on AI and Social Justice, Professor at the Department of Social Sciences

    Université du Québec en Outaouais

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