On 16 September 2015, PHAP hosted a live online consultation event on the draft Humanitarian UAV Code of Conduct and Related Guidelines, in collaboration with UAViators, UNOCHA and the World Humanitarian Summit.

This event featured:

  • Presentations from Patrick Meier of UAViators and Brian Grogan of UNOCHA on the draft Humanitarian UAV Code of Conduct and Related Guidelines.
  • The possibility to have your questions answered regarding these documents by a panel of experts, including also Col Angela Fitzsimmons, Chief of the Assessment Team in the Office of Military Affairs at UNDPKO, Guilhem Ravier, Head of the Protection of the Civilian Population Unit with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Joel Kaiser, Emergency Response Officer with Medair, and Michele Lynch, who manages the Global Technology Project for the American Red Cross.
  • An opportunity for participants to provide their input and perspectives on the draft Code of Conduct as well as each of the related guidelines throughout the event.

Event description

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) offer the potential to improve humanitarian assistance and disaster reduction. As such they offer the possibility to better meet the needs of those affected by humanitarian crises. This can only be realized if UAVs are employed in a responsible and ethical manner.

The Humanitarian UAV Code of Conduct, along with the supporting Guidelines on Data Ethics, Community Engagement, Effective Partnerships and Conflict Sensitivity, aims to guide all actors involved in the use of UAVs to support the delivery of humanitarian assistance in disasters and situations of conflict. The goal is that acceptance and adherence to this Code and related Guidelines will contribute to safety, professionalism and increased impact while building public confidence in the use of UAVs.

In March 2014, UAViators drafted the first version of the Humanitarian UAV Code of Conduct, which was then revised several times in 2014 and 2015 based on feedback from across the humanitarian sector. The Code of Conduct was further revised in July and August 2015 and additional guidelines were produced on four priority areas: Data Ethics, Community Engagement, Effective Partnerships and Conflict Sensitivity.

These revised documents are now being shared more broadly to solicit additional feedback through an open consultative process. This live online consultation event is a key event to that effect leading up to the 2015 UAV Experts Meeting on Humanitarian UAVs, which is being co-organized with UN/OCHA, the World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) and MIT in October 2015.


Col Angela Fitzsimons Col Angela Fitzsimons is Chief of the Assessment Team in the Office of Military Affairs at the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO). She has deployed to Bosnia in UNPROFOR in 1995, to Bougainville, Papua New Guinea in 1998, to East Timor in UNMISET in 2002, to Afghanistan in 2006, and to Syria as the Chief Military Information Officer of UNSMIS in 2012. She has held various posts with the New Zealand Defence Force, including as Director Defence Intelligence and Security. She is a graduate of the Officer Cadet Training Company in Waiouru and holds a Bachelor of Arts in French from Canterbury University, a Diplôme d’Etudes Approfondies from the Sorbonne, and a Masters in International Relations from Victoria University, Wellington.
Brian Grogan has nearly 15 years of experience with the United Nations. He has spent the majority of his UN Career with the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, where he is now the Chief of the Policy Analysis and Innovation Branch. Brian has also served the organization in short stints in peacekeeping missions in Burundi, East Timor, Haiti, and Sierra Leone. Brian holds a Master’s in Human Rights from Columbia University.
Joel Kaiser Joel Kaiser is an Emergency Response Officer for Medair. He is a humanitarian emergency specialist with ten years field experience, much of that as a first-responder to major emergencies. Joel earned a Master’s degree studying complex emergencies, and holds expertise in emergency management and cash-based programming. His research interests center around technological innovation in humanitarian aid. He currently leads humanitarian response teams throughout Africa, Asia and the Middle East as an emergency response officer with Medair, a Swiss-based humanitarian organization. Medair specializes in bringing emergency relief and recovery assistance to remote and vulnerable communities throughout the world.
Michele Lynch Michele Lynch manages the Global Technology Project for the American Red Cross which seeks to explore how emerging technologies can help strengthen urban resilience. She has been involved with the American Red Cross in varying capacities, managing resource development and as Chief of Staff to the Chairman of the Board of Governors. Michele previously worked for the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office based in Malaysia, monitoring foreign policy and regional security issues across ASEAN. She also worked in USAID’s Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance, supporting response efforts in East and Central Africa. She currently serves on the Advisory Council of the Humanitarian UAV Network. She holds a Masters Degree in Conflict, Security and Development from Kings College London and a Bachelors in International Studies and Political Science from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Patrick Meier Patrick Meier is currently Director of Social Innovation at QCRI where he works with experts in advanced computing to develop Next Generation Humanitarian Technologies and is the founder of the Humanitarian UAV Network (UAViators). Over the past 12 years, Patrick has worked in a wide range of humanitarian contexts with several international organizations including the United Nations and the World Bank. His influential and widely-read blog iRevolutions has received over 1.5 million hits. Patrick serves on the Innovation Team of the World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) and co-founded the Digital Humanitarian Network (DHN). Prior to QCRI, Patrick co-founded and co-directed the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative’s (HHI) Program on Crisis Mapping & Early Warning at Harvard University and served as Director of Crisis Mapping at Ushahidi. Patrick also co-founded the International CrisisMappers Network and the Standby Task Force (SBTF), both early and notable pioneers of digital humanitarian action. Patrick holds a PhD from The Fletcher School, a Pre-Doctoral Fellowship from Stanford University, an MA from Columbia University and EAP from UC Berkeley. In addition, Patrick was a Research Fellow at the Peace Research Institute, Oslo (PRIO) and holds certificates in Complexity Science from both the Santa Fe Institute (SFI) and the New England Complex Systems Institute (NECSI).
Guilhem Ravier Guilhem Ravier is the Head of the "Protection of the Civilian Population" unit in the Protection Division at the International Committee of the Red Cross headquarters in Geneva since October 2012. He has worked with the ICRC since 2000, mostly in the field as Protection Coordinator (Colombia, Iraq, Indonesia, Guinea). Before joining the ICRC, he worked in Bosnia and Herzegovina with the United Nations’ High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Guilhem studied International Law and Politics at the Universities of Bordeaux and Warwick (UK), and earned an MA in International Humanitarian Aid at the University of Aix en Provence (NOHA network) in 1998.


Angharad Laing Angharad Laing Executive Director, International Association of Professionals in Humanitarian Assistance and Protection (PHAP)


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Event supported by

This World Humanitarian Summit consultation event is made possible with the support of the Federal Foreign Office of Germany