In emergencies, such as natural disasters or armed conflicts, people are increasingly relying on messaging apps and other such platforms to keep in touch with their loved ones or to remain informed about the situation.
“Messaging apps help humanitarian organizations gather information to better understand needs from hard-to-reach areas where it is often difficult to conduct face-to-face meetings,” said the ICRC’s director of communication and information management Charlotte Lindsey-Curtet.
New research, led by the ICRC, suggests messaging apps could play a vital role in humanitarian work in the future. The report says humanitarian organizations need to better understand the opportunities and challenges of Messaging Apps, and that strategies and standards need to be established to determine where Messaging Apps might be most appropriate and effective.
The research carried out by the ICRC, The Engine Room and Block Party, says messaging apps have become so widespread that they deserve to be considered ‘strategically’, for use in humanitarian operations. The results of the research have been released in the report ‘Humanitarian Futures for Messaging Apps’.