iMMAP and the Qatar Computing Research Institute Announce Memorandum of Understanding

Combining the experience in the field of iMMAP with the technical know-how of QCRI to improve decision-making processes and response operations in disaster and crisis situations

Doha, 17 February 2019– Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI), part of Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU), and iMMAP have announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to apply data analysis and artificial intelligence techniques with the aim of solving humanitarian problems.

Under the terms of the agreement, they will combine the technical know-how of QCRI with the experience in the field of iMMAP to improve decision-making processes and response operations in disaster and crisis situations. They will also collaborate with UN agencies and NGOs providing direct responses in the field.

This agreement, signed by iMMAP´s Chief of Operations Mr. Christophe Bois and QCRI´s Executive Director Dr. Ahmed Elmagarmid, aligns with iMMAP´s mission to find innovative solutions by harnessing the power of information to facilitate evidence-based decisions in order to improve people´s lives.

Mr. Bois from iMMAP said that "our extensive field presence across different world regions means that iMMAP has the potential to provide on the ground support to the extraordinary work of the Qatar Computing Research Institute, where some of the most innovative methodologies in data science and information management are being pioneered today."

Dr. Elmagarmid also welcomed the MoU, which has followed several months of work between QCRI and iMMAP: “we look forward to further strengthening this relationship by supporting iMMAP’s efforts in the Middle East and elsewhere with state-of-the-art analysis tools to provide targeted assistance to the world’s most vulnerable populations.”

The relationship between iMMAP and QCRI began in 2018 following strategic information management research performed by QCRI and the UNICEF Innovations Research Lab that used Facebook data to track the location and distribution of Venezuelan migrants in Colombia.

iMMAP and QCRI have since fine-tuned the tools of the QCRI Facebook methodology, with iMMAP taking the system to decision-makers such as the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) as part of its work on the Venezuela crisis. This has resulted in the inclusion of this information in operational planning for Colombia and the wider region.

About Qatar Computing Research Institute

Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI) is a national research institute, established in 2010 by Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, a private, non-profit organization that is supporting Qatar’s transformation from carbon economy to knowledge economy. QCRI operates under the umbrella of Hamad bin Khalifa University.

About iMMAP

iMMAP is an international not-for-profit 501(c)3 non-governmental organization that provides professional information management services in humanitarian and development settings. For over 17 years, iMMAP’s services have facilitated informed and effective disaster risk management, emergency response, and development activities by enabling evidence-based decision-making for cluster/sector leads, critical NGO and government operations. iMMAP is headquartered in Washington, DC.

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