We ensure that ethics and human rights are at the forefront of emergency and disaster, preparation, mitigation, response, and recovery, including when new and emerging technologies are used. This covers humanitarian crisis resulting from man-made, natural and hybrid hazards. We also provide expertise in the areas of conflict prevention, human security and stabilisation. Our services enhance the resilience of groups at risk and increase the capacity of crisis management, government, humanitarian, and civil society actors with whom we closely collaborate.
We help our partners and clients focus on the human and social impacts of crises and engage directly with civil society
We build trust with communities by supporting transparent, accurate and explainable approaches to human security, including emergency and disaster response, management, and Ethical-AI technologies
We work on theory and practice related to human security, including emergency and disaster response and management from recovery to prevention, learning from past (in)actions to build resilience
Our interdisciplinary team translates research into sustainable impact by ensuring inclusive pathways and narratives for dialogue between all actors involved in human security, and emergency and disaster response and management
The field test, held in October 2021, was hosted by Swedish firefighter association Södertörns brandförsvarsförbund. It was part of the EU-funded INGENIOUS project that is developing integrated smart tools to improve search and rescue. These include, augmented reality googles, smart boots, helmets and uniforms for firefighters and smart vests for K9 dogs. Trilateral’s Dr Mistale Taylor provided ethical oversight of the field test.
In 2019, Trilateral hosted the first cross-government and civil society conference in the UK focused on tackling Modern Slavery & Human Trafficking in conflict. Attended by circa 80 people, the conference was an opportunity to discuss how the use of technology and risk assessment can be leveraged in the area and welcomed guest speakers from the UK military, academia and civil society. The conference facilitated multi-stakeholder dialogue on a critical social issue.
Susannah Copson, Katrina Petersen and Su Anson presented findings from the EU-funded pandemic projects COVINFORM and STAMINA. Susannah and Katrina spoke on ‘What is trust in a pandemic? Exploring the role of technology, data, and good governance as part of pandemic response’ at the 5th Northern European Conference on Emergency and Disaster Studies (NEEDS) (online) in September 2021. In November 2020, Su and Katrina presented on risk assessment and the communication of uncertainty during the Society for Risk Analysis (SRA) conference on ‘Risk Analysis: From Perception to Prediction’ in Kaunas, Lithuania.
Between 2019 to 2021, Trilateral’s Mistale Taylor spoke to a range of legal audiences on Trilateral’s work in the EU–funded CURSOR and INGENIOUS search and rescue projects. Mistale gave a guest lecture to law students at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam March 2021 on ‘Using Ethical, Privacy and Data Protection Impact Assessments to Enable Disruptive Technology in Disaster Zones’ and to staff at the Public International Law and Policy Group on ‘Advancing Technology in Disaster Zones: Privacy, Legal and Ethical Issues’ in Amsterdam in November 2019.
Trilateral’s Dr Katrina Petersen presented a paper based on an ethical impact assessment conducted by Trilateral in the EU funded IN-PREP project at ISCRAM 2019. This project produced a collaborative crisis planning platform operational across transnational boundaries. The paper discusses the ethical and data protection challenges faced by planners and responders as they collaborate across different organisations and risk cultures.
The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the importance of predictive modelling to assist policymakers in pandemic decision-making. Yet strategic decision-makers often struggle to fully understand the nuance in the information communicated by modellers. In 2022, as part of the EU–funded STAMINA project, Leanne Cochrane developed policy proposals to address this challenge, including an emphasis on the need for an enhanced two-way communication structure between modellers and policy makers, which were workshopped with partners by Susannah Copson and Katrina Peterson.
We engage with international organisations, humanitarian actors, researchers, policy makers, planners, first and second responders, civil society actors, faith communities, lawyers, and other audiences relevant to the protection of people in emergency and disaster response and management. Our activities generate tangible impact, ensuring that foundational ethical principles, such as autonomy, transparency, accountability, and justice ground all activities. This includes adherence to the ‘do no harm’ principle and the avoidance of re-victimisation. The results include among others, increased platforms for civil society voices, greater understanding and ownership over personal data, safer and more sustainable technologies and risk and management methodologies.
We provide subject-matter expertise on cluster areas, including:
Emergency and disaster mitigation, preparation, response, and recovery;
Crisis and risk communications;
Human security, stabilisation, conflict prevention and humanitarian crisis.
These areas cover crisis and security issues arising from man-made, natural and hybrid hazards as well as the root causes and key triggers.
We work with our clients to gain an in-depth understanding of a particular issue or challenge that they face and develop recommendations. Our multi-disciplinary humanities, social sciences and sociotech research team have extensive experience of collaborating with government organisations, practitioners, non-governmental organisations, policy makers, industry, and the public, to understand current issues on diverse topics, e.g., COVID-19, communicating risk, new technology (AI, big data, first aid apps, social media analysis tools) issues, and misinformation. We facilitate and conduct focus groups, interviews, surveys, living labs, data modelling, natural language processing and other forms of first-hand data gathering to inform your research questions. Based on our research findings, we help clients develop evidence-based recommendations.
We advise and assist policymakers on changes they can make to improve human and social well-being in emergency, conflict and disaster response and management. Our research is tailored to inform and aid policymakers who hold a unique position to effect change across law, policy and practice. We write policy briefs, white papers, and attend and engage in public consultation processes, and expert working groups. Our staff are experienced in providing evidence to legislative scrutiny committees on draft laws. Our policy engagement work extends to informing standards development at the national and EU level.
We provide impact assessments informed by secondary and primary research activities. Our methods are systematic and informed by global best practices. They provide an in-depth understanding of the ethical, legal (human rights, privacy and data protection) and social challenges faced by proposed measures and actions in emergency and disaster response and management, including emerging technologies.
Our legal, human rights and data protection specialists advise on compliance with statute and jurisprudence: international, regional, and national. Our goal is to bring clients and partners beyond compliance towards the realisation of rights-based norms. We extend our analysis to categories of ‘soft law’, such as UN Treaty body recommendations and General Comments. Legal analysis can be additionally integrated into our impact assessment model or carried out as a stand-alone service.
We advise on research ethics in line with EU and global best practices. This includes research with human participants and higher risk research, such as with victims of crime, children, persons with disabilities and refugees, requiring heightened safeguards. We have extensive experience with Research Ethics Committees and Ethics Advisory Boards. We further assure the quality of our project outputs through clear management and review processes. This is an integral control in research ethics.