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EPFLx: Humanitarian Action in the Digital Age

The first MOOC about responsible use of technology for humanitarians. Learn about technology and identify risks and opportunities when designing digital solutions.

6 weeks
3–4 hours per week
Progress at your own speed
Optional upgrade available

There is one session available:

After a course session ends, it will be archivedOpens in a new tab.
Starts Feb 26

About this course

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As humanitarian practitioner, you are interested in technology but you feel it should be used more responsibly? You are worried people tend to jump on opportunities without properly considering risks? This MOOC is for you!

This course will first introduce you to the basics of computer and data science and help you understand what happens underneath the surface when using a computer, the internet or social media. You will then dive into some more complex technologies like artificial intelligence, cryptography or distributed ledgers. Equipped with this knowledge, you will then explore with world-leading experts how to use technology responsibly, covering topics such as accountability, ethics, data protection, the do no harm principle and inclusion.

Course created with support from


At a glance

  • Institution: EPFLx
  • Subject: Computer Science
  • Level: Intermediate
  • Prerequisites:

    No specific IT or technical knowledge is required but you should still hold a Bachelor and have at least 2 years of professional experience in order to make the best of it.

  • Language: English
  • Video Transcript: English

What you'll learn

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This MOOC will initially provide you with a holistic understanding of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) – including:

  • Computers, network, internet and cloud computing
  • Software, data and digital transformation
  • Cryptography, cybersecurity and privacy
  • Artificial Intelligence and Distributed Ledgers

Once you have a better grasp of technology, you will explore these topics through a humanitarian lens:

  • Ethics, accountability and the “do no harm” principle
  • Challenges for humanitarian principles in the digital age
  • Data protection and cybersecurity
  • Digital inclusion and human centered design.
  1. The ABC of digital - part 1 Infrastructures
  2. The ABC of digital - part 2 Solutions and data
  3. Security and privacy in the digital realm
  4. Technological trends
  5. Humanitarian organizations and technology
  6. People and technology

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