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10 Humanitarian Aid Organizations Using ICT4D to Help Refugees

By Wayan Vota on March 29, 2023

ict4d solution humanitarian relief

Humanitarian aid organizations use ICT4D tools with refugees to provide displaced people with many lifesaving services. Education, healthcare, livelihoods, protection, and social cohesion are all more efficient with digital development solutions.

Here are four more ways humanitarian aid organizations can use ICT4D to help refugees:

10 Relief Organizations Using ICT4D to Help Refugees

Many humanitarian relief organizations use ICT4D to improve refugee program coverage, efficiency, transparency and accountability. Here is a list of ten development firms that are assisting displaced persons with digital development tools:

Showcase Your Digital Humanitarian Solution!

  • CRS Nigeria: ICT4D solutions improved humanitarian program efficiency in Nigeria by using digital beneficiary registration and electronic vouchers to reduce fraud and increase transparency with people affected by conflict, displacement, and food insecurity.
  • Médecins Sans Frontières: ICT4D solutions such as mobile health services, digital data collection, and telemedicine to improve the health care delivery and quality for refugees and host communities in Dadaab, Kenya.
  • Mercy Corps: digital solutions such as mobile health services, digital financial inclusion, and agricultural market information systems improve the health, livelihoods and resilience of refugees and host communities.
  • Nigeria Red Cross Society: ICT enhances disaster preparedness and response, including using SMS to communicate with volunteers and constituents, social media to raise awareness and mobilize resources, and satellite imagery and GIS to map vulnerabilities.
  • Save the Children: digital solutions such as digital storytelling, mobile education, child protection systems, and more empower refugees, children, and their families to access quality education, protection services, and psychosocial support.
  • UNHCR West Africa: ICT4D solutions such as biometric registration, mobile connectivity, and online learning platforms enhance protection and assistance for refugees.
  • UNICEF:  ICT4D solutions including digital education, digital storytelling, and child protection systems empower Syrian refugee children and their families to access quality education, protection services, and psychosocial support.
  • USAID: ICT4D solutions including mobile cash transfers, digital vouchers, and digital health services improve the food security, health care access, livelihood opportunities, and resilience of Syrian refugees and host communities.
  • World Food Programme: digital solutions such as biometric registration, mobile cash transfers, blockchain technology, and more to provide food assistance, nutrition support, livelihood opportunities, and resilience building for refugees.
  • World Vision: ICT4D solutions such as mobile education, digital storytelling, digital literacy, and more to empower refugees and other marginalized groups to access quality education, participate in decision-making, and express their voices.

3 Challenges Using ICT4D with Refugees

Sadly, there are no perfect digital humanitarian relief solutions. Each one fails somehow, and overall there are at least three major challenges that organizations face when deploying digital development solutions.

ICT4D solutions for refugees can:

  • Create digital divides and inequalities among refugees who have different levels of access, affordability, and literacy to use technology. For example, refugees may not have reliable internet connectivity, adequate devices, or sufficient data plans to access online services.
  • Pose ethical, security, and privacy risks for refugees who share their personal data and information with humanitarian aid organizations. For example, refugees may not consent to data collection and have no protection against hacking or misuse their data.
  • Reduce human interaction and trust between refugees and humanitarian actors who rely on technology to communicate or deliver assistance when refugees prefer face-to-face contact or personal support from humanitarian staff.

These challenges can be mitigated by adopting good practices for using technology in humanitarian contexts. For example, you can use the Digital Principles to evaluate ICT4D solutions when working with displaced persons.

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Written by
Wayan Vota co-founded ICTworks. He also co-founded Technology Salon, MERL Tech, ICTforAg, ICT4Djobs, ICT4Drinks, JadedAid, Kurante, OLPC News and a few other things. Opinions expressed here are his own and do not reflect the position of his employer, any of its entities, or any ICTWorks sponsor.
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2 Comments to “10 Humanitarian Aid Organizations Using ICT4D to Help Refugees”

  1. Victor says:

    This sounds more like a new and exciting field in development … ICT4R …


    I am vice-president of the DAGROPASS Association, in charge of researching funding to carry out our actions.
    We were created to help the suffering refugee population of rural areas subject to post-armed conflict in BUBANZA, BURUNDI. The population was impoverished and displaced by the war that lasted more than 12 years from 1993 to 2005.
    I need your support to support and promote the economic social rights of women and marginalized children in the rural areas.