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4 Social Impact Projects Using Emerging Technologies in Indonesia

By Wayan Vota on May 11, 2023

indonesia drone usage

Indonesia is a country that faces various humanitarian challenges, such as natural disasters, conflicts, displacement, poverty, and health crises. To address these challenges, humanitarian actors are using emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, biometrics, and drones to transform the way humanitarian organizations deliver aid and assistance to people affected by crises.

Emerging technologies can provide data-driven and evidence-based solutions that involve and empower affected communities. Here are four examples submitted to ICTworks:

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence can perform tasks that normally require human intelligence, such as recognizing patterns, analyzing data, making decisions, and learning from feedback. Humanitarian organizations are using AI to enhance their situational awareness, risk analysis, early warning, and response coordination. AI can help humanitarian actors to analyze large amounts of data, identify patterns and trends, and provide insights and recommendations.

For instance, UNICEF has developed a predictive analytics platform called Magic Box that uses AI to analyze real-time data from various sources to provide early warning and response for humanitarian emergencies. In Indonesia, Magic Box has been used to predict the risk of measles outbreaks and to monitor the impact of COVID-19 on children’s education.


Blockchain can create secure and transparent records of transactions and data without the need for intermediaries or central authorities. Humanitarian organizations are using blockchain to improve transparency and accountability of funds and resources, reduce fraud and corruption, and enhance efficiency and coordination.

For example, Oxfam has launched a blockchain-based project called UnBlocked Cash that allows people affected by disasters to access cash assistance through digital vouchers that can be redeemed at local shops. In Indonesia, UnBlocked Cash has been used to support communities affected by the 2018 Sulawesi earthquake and tsunami.


Biometrics can identify and verify people based on their physical or behavioral characteristics, such as fingerprints, iris scans, facial recognition, or voice recognition. Biometrics can help humanitarian actors to improve security and protection of beneficiaries, reduce duplication and errors, and personalize services and assistance.

For instance, the World Food Programme (WFP) has implemented a biometric-based system called SCOPE that allows people to receive food assistance through their fingerprints or iris scans. In Indonesia, SCOPE has been used to support refugees and asylum seekers in Jakarta and Makassar.


Drones are unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that can fly autonomously or remotely controlled. Humanitarian organizations are using drones to improve their mapping, assessment, monitoring, and delivery of goods and services, especially in remote and hard-to-reach areas.

For example, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has partnered with WeRobotics to use drones to map disaster-prone areas, assess damage, and deliver medical supplies. In Indonesia, drones supported disaster response and recovery in Lombok, Palu, and Sunda Strait.

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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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