Humanitarian organizations are increasingly using innovative technologies to respond to the needs of people affected by war, disaster or public health emergencies. However, technological innovation can come into conflict with moral values, norms and obligations of humanitarian organisations. A research team at the Institute of Biomedical Ethics and Medical History is now analysing ethical issues in connection with humanitarian innovations. Three questions are to be answered using the example of the use of drones for humanitarian missions:
What is known about the interplay of technological innovation and ethical values, norms and obligations in the humanitarian use of drones?
How should the values of humanitarian actors be interpreted and taken into account in the development and deployment of drones?
How can guidelines for the integration of ethical values into humanitarian innovation be generated from these findings?
To answer these questions, field studies are being conducted on the use of humanitarian drones in mapping, cargo delivery and telecommunications. A seed grant from DSI supported the preparation of the application.