Innovating for Access: The Role of Technology in Monitoring Aid in Highly Insecure Environments
Rahel Dette and Julia Steets Sept 2016
Operating in insecure environments is one of the more critical tests for the humanitarian community. Access constraints, uncertainty, attacks and aid diversion make these unlikely settings for innovation. Yet several new approaches come from highly insecure environments. In these settings, technologies like mobile phones, radios, Internet platforms and GPS trackers are sometimes the only way to send and receive vital information, or track the movement of goods.
TIMO LÜGE AND DENISE SOESILO (FSD) SEPT 2016
As part of the EU-ECHO funded research initiative 'Drones in Humanitarian Action', the Swiss Foundation for Mine Action (FSD), CartONG and the Zoi Environment Network are looking at how drones can have a real impact in humanitarian crises and what humanitarian organizations should consider before using them.
Lotte Ruppert and Elias Sagmeister Feb 2016
Consulting people about the aid they receive is recognised as central to improving the quality of humanitarian assistance. This is particularly valuable in insecure contexts, such as Afghanistan and Somalia, where humanitarian staff have limited opportunities for face-to-face contact with the population. But are we communicating in an appropriate way, on the right issues, on a consistent basis and through the best channels? And what happens when aid agencies receive that information?
Elias Sagmeister Oct 2015
Over the summer, the SAVE research team met with stakeholders in Afghanistan and Somalia to discuss the use of Third Party Monitoring (TPM) mechanisms. TPMs take a range of different forms in practice, but generally involve the collection and validation of monitoring information using parties external to an aid agency or donor organisation.
Rahel Dette Aug 2015
As we research the monitoring of aid in insecure environments, practitioners repeatedly express great interest in new technologies to gather information or communicate with affected populations. In contexts as diverse as Afghanistan and South Central Somalia, mobile phones and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) equipped with cameras are promising: they can inform organisations about the needs of beneficiaries or, the whereabouts of food trucks. They can help us know whether vaccines have been administered and canals have been dug, and how many women, men, and children are staying in a shelter. Such knowledge crucially informs daily decision-making and keeps goals and efforts in alignment.
Photo: © Nichole Sobecki / AFP / Getty Images