Elise Thomas

Elise Thomas

Elise Thomas is a Masters candidate in International Affairs at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies.

Seeing the light: DIY spectrometry for safe water in disaster zones

Finding safe water for drinking or cooking can be a challenge in disaster zones. Even water which looks clear can in fact be contaminated with chemicals or pollutants. Since 2010 the Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science has been developing DIY spectrometry kits to help citizens find out just what is in their water.

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Humanitarians in the Age of Open Data

In 2014 the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs created the Humanitarian Data Exchange. Designed to facilitate the free sharing of data between UN agencies, NGOs, civil society groups and local actors, this platform represents a step forward in the quest for open data in humanitarian work.

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Mapping the Crisis in Ukraine

Keeping up with the rapidly changing conflict in Ukraine can be difficult. International agencies and citizen journalists alike are exploring the potential uses of crisis mapping platforms to track infrastructure damage, monitor incidents and navigate the conflict zone. However, when using these tools it is important to think critically about what information they are based on and why.

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Drier, Cleaner, Safer – New Hydrophobic Materials Could Save Lives

Water-borne diseases kill millions of people every year. The flow-on effects of poor sanitation and lack of access to safe drinking water can impact almost every aspect of life, from preventing children from attending school to exposing women to sexual violence when they go to collect water from distant sources. New super hydrophobic surfaces are promising to change the game in sanitation and hygiene.

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