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Building digital ecosystems: Partnering for market readiness and local contexts

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Digital solutions do not exist in vacuums. They require a system of end-users, service providers, regulators and, in the humanitarian context, both local and international humanitarian actors. A well-established ecosystem ensures provision of mobile and digital services in ...

GSMA mobile money enabled cash aid delivery courses

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With over 235 million people worldwide in need of humanitarian assistance and protection, cash and voucher assistance (CVA) is increasingly becoming the modality of choice in many crisis situations. For many humanitarian organisations, this shift from in-kind aid (food & ...

Three lessons from LevelApp, REFUNITE’s GSMA-funded innovation project

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The GSMA Mobile for Humanitarian Innovation Fund aims to promote innovation in the use of mobile technology to address humanitarian challenges. The first round of the Fund focused on providing support to help to test or scale innovative ideas which support ...

Building and strengthening digital ecosystems in humanitarian contexts: Shaping an enabling environment

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The transition to digital humanitarian assistance has exponentially increased in the last year, largely driven by COVID-19. The pandemic has interrupted conventional humanitarian assistance, and demanded a shift to more agile, adaptable and contactless humanitarian ...

Verifying recipients of cash assistance through Voice ID: Pilot project lessons and outcomes

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Somaliland has an incredibly developed mobile money market, with an estimated 78 per cent of adults using the service. The situation is similar across the other regions of greater Somalia. ZAAD, the mobile money service from the Somaliland operator, Telesom, is the market ...

M4H Innovation Fund COVID-19 adaptation: The impact and reach of grantees’ responses

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The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on global, social and political systems continues to have adverse consequences for some of the world’s most vulnerable populations. Isolated communities lack access to essential services and lifesaving commodities, while more vulnerable ...

Three lessons from CHANTER, Mercy Corps’ GSMA-funded innovation project

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The GSMA Mobile for Humanitarian Innovation Fund aims to promote innovation in the use of mobile technology to address humanitarian challenges. The first round of the Fund focused on providing support to help to test or scale innovative ideas which support ...

Digital Dilemmas Debate: Connectivity as Aid

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I was delighted to take part in the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) DigitHarium series last month. DigitHarium is a global forum to discuss and debate digital transformation within the humanitarian sector, with a focus on humanitarian protection, policy, ...

Learnings from M4H Innovation Fund grantees’ responses to the Nyiragongo Volcanic Eruption

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On Saturday, 22 May 2021, the Nyiragongo volcano began to erupt 16 kilometres from the city of Goma in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The volcano released ash and lava, which spread into the city, eventually stopping just 300 metres from Goma airport. At least 31 ...

Building and strengthening holistic digital ecosystems through strategic partnerships

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COVID-19 has emphasised the importance of digital humanitarian assistance. As social distancing requires increased remote delivery of services and information, mobile network operators (MNOs) are leveraging their core services to serve the public, and partnering with ...

Developing guidelines for humanitarian cash assistance in Somalia

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Many humanitarian actors apply the consortium approach as a tool for coordination, learning, alignment and accountability. The Somalia Cash Working group (SCWG) leads the inter-sectoral cash coordination mechanism with an aim of improving the coordination of cash assistance, ...

COVID-19’s impact on mental health in humanitarian contexts

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Since July 2019, Naya Jeevan has been a part of our GSMA Mobile for Humanitarian (M4H) Innovation Fund portfolio. Round two of the Fund focused on supporting organisations to enable solutions to empower, assist or protect individuals and communities affected by complex ...

Three lessons from the Lumkani, Fire Detection and Insurance GSMA grant project

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The GSMA Mobile for Humanitarian Innovation Fund aims to promote innovation in the use of mobile technology to address humanitarian challenges. The first round of the Fund focused on providing support to help to test or scale innovative ideas which support responses to ...

Building resilience through mobile-enabled solutions: Lessons for innovators

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Mobile networks and the connectivity they provide can be a lifeline for those affected by sudden-onset disasters and protracted humanitarian crises. Be it access to critical information, the ability to communicate with family and friends, or through the provision of ...

COVID-19 and digital humanitarian action: Virtual vs in-person training

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This blog post is the final in a series exploring COVID-19 and its impact on digital humanitarian action. More findings related to current trends, risks and the path forward can be found in our report. Since August 2019, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) has been a ...

COVID-19 and digital humanitarian action: Mobile money enabled cash assistance and the role of the agent network

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This blog is part of a series exploring COVID-19 and its impact on digital humanitarian action. More findings related to current trends, risks and the path forward can be found in our report. In a world where minimising human contact where possible is at the forefront ...

Providing meaningful feedback to research participants with visual and hearing impairments

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In February and March 2020, the GSMA Mobile for Humanitarian Innovation (M4H) team worked with partners, including UNHCR, Safaricom and Butterfly Works, in Nairobi to better understand how both Kenyans and refugees with visual and hearing impairments use their mobile phones. ...

The shift to mobile technology for amplified government and humanitarian cash and voucher assistance amid the COVID-19 pandemic in Kenya

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This blog is part of a series exploring COVID-19 and its impact on digital humanitarian action. More findings related to current trends, risks and the path forward can be found in our report. On 5th January 2020, the World Health Organization identified the first case of the ...

COVID-19 and digital humanitarian action: Trust and the uptake of information

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In a pandemic, almost nothing is as important as timely, trustworthy and actionable information. In responding to COVID-19, many humanitarian organisations realised the importance of these factors quickly and have used mobile channels to deliver vital information to the ...

COVID-19 and the future of digital humanitarian action: Advice from the experts

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Last week we were lucky to have three exceptional panellists bring to life some of the key lessons from our respective COVID-19 reports from ODI Humanitarian Policy Group and the GSMA focusing on the impact of the pandemic on the future of digital humanitarianism.