Titia Kuipers is a master thesis student at 510. At TU Delft she follows the Engineering and Policy Analysis program.
How did you hear about 510?
During my study at the TU Delft, I attended a lecture where a humanitarian worker came to tell about his experience in the field in the Middle East. We were told that one of the reasons why the humanitarian response was still so complicated was because despite the fact that lots of data and information were being gathered; they lacked the tools and time to translate all of this into something useful and make sense of it. ‘And that’s where we technical students come in!’ I thought. When one of my fellow students told me about 510, I figured I wanted to contribute to 510 too!
What project are you currently working on?
I am currently working on my MSc thesis in collaboration with 510 and the HumTechLab of the TU Delft. The focus of my research is the role of data and information sharing when slow-onset natural disasters and conflict collide. The aim of my research is to enhance understanding of data and information sharing mechanisms, to generated insights on how to improve information sharing in fragile states that are prone to both slow-onset natural disasters and conflict.
Natural disasters are getting more and more intertwined with conflict due to a number of reasons such as climate change. This also means that development and humanitarian aid interventions (such as Disaster Risk Reduction, conflict prevention, forecast based financing, climate change adaptation) have to be more and more aligned. There is a huge potential to improve humanitarian response through better use of information.
510’s purpose is ‘Improve speed, quality and cost-effectiveness of humanitarian aid by using data & digital.’ How are your skills helping 510 reach its purpose?
The core of my masters degree Engineering and Policy Analysis is the connection between data science, computer modeling & simulations and international policy, development and politics. In my research project, I use these techniques to evaluate policy interventions that are aimed at improving data and information sharing between organizations in fragile states that are prone to slow-onset natural disasters and conflict. Also for 510 it is important to understand what this means from a data perspective. How do the dynamics of a disaster and the interplay of natural disasters and conflict reinforce each other and what is the relationship with different information sharing policies? This research can contribute to 510s aim to improve the speed, quality and cost-effectiveness of humanitarian aid.