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The IRC’s shift to digital humanitarian assistance

Every year, millions of dollars in cash assistance are being delivered via mobile money, supplanting traditional delivery methods. The case study explores the IRC’s experience partnering with mobile network operators (MNOs) in six countries, and the experiences of clients ...

What is the promise of mobile money cash and voucher assistance in Jordan?

This blog post was co-authored by Elizabeth Barnhart, Senior Cash Based Interventions (CBI) Coordinator at UNHCR Jordan. Two weeks ago, at one of the largest refugee registration centres in the Middle East and North Africa, the GSMA Mobile for Humanitarian Innovation ...

Do no digital harm

‘Do no harm’ is a core humanitarian principle that is intended for the protection of beneficiaries of humanitarian assistance, and is considered the minimum standard to avoid causing inadvertent harm. This principle must accordingly be considered when looking at the ...

Understanding the mobile disability gap in refugee contexts

The ubiquity, affordability and capability of mobile technology can make it a powerful tool in delivering life-changing products and services in many contexts, including during humanitarian crises. GSMA research demonstrates the degree to which people affected by crises are ...

Lessons from Lumkani: Building resilience to fire in South Africa’s informal settlements

The GSMA Mobile for Humanitarian Innovation Fund supports a portfolio of 13 projects globally, each leveraging mobile technology to positively accelerate the digitisation of humanitarian assistance. Lumkani was one of the first projects to receive funding in Round 1, via the ...

The Digital Lives of Refugees: Lessons from Uganda

This blog post is the final of a five-part blog series unpacking the findings from our latest report, ‘The digital lives of refugees: How displaced populations use mobile phones and what gets in the way.’ The Ugandan Government’s decision last month to ease access to ...

The Digital Lives of Refugees: Mobile-enabled utilities

This blog post is the fourth of a five-part blog series unpacking the findings from our latest report, ‘The digital lives of refugees: How displaced populations use mobile phones and what gets in the way.’ In humanitarian contexts, many people lack access to reliable energy ...

The Digital Lives of Refugees: Digital Identity

This blog post is the third of a five-part blog series unpacking the findings from our latest report, ‘The digital lives of refugees: How displaced populations use mobile phones and what gets in the way.’ The ability to prove your identity is an essential part of accessing ...

The Digital Lives of Refugees: Mobile financial services

This blog post is the second of a five-part blog series unpacking the findings from our latest report, ‘The digital lives of refugees: How displaced populations use mobile phones and what gets in the way.’ Mobile money is available in 90 countries across the globe, including ...

The Digital Lives of Refugees: how displaced populations use mobile phones and what gets in the way

Global displacement has topped 70 million, with an average of 37,000 new displacements every day. The rate of overall growth in displacement continues to exceed the rate at which solutions are being found for people affected by crises. For refugees, the best solution is ...

Somaliland Pushing the Mobile Money CVA Frontier

In November 2018, GSMA M4H Insights team went to Hargeisa to understand the success of mobile money cash and voucher assistance (CVA) in humanitarian settings better. We were impressed by how pervasive mobile money is in the region—with an active customer conducting 60 ...

Working across sectors to enable access to connectivity for refugees

The world is experiencing its highest number of refugees since World War II. Across the globe, 172 countries host 19.9 million refugees. Yet, 93 per cent of all refugees are required to provide a proof-of-identification in order to access a SIM card. 81 refugee-hosting ...

Is mobile money the future of cash and voucher assistance?

This is the question we posed at a GSMA Mobile for Humanitarian Innovation (M4H) event last week in Nairobi – where we launched two important handbooks that will support mobile operators and humanitarian organisations to effectively operationalise mobile money enabled ...

The case for mobile money enabled CVA programming

The humanitarian sector has shifted from a protracted period of research on the potential to use cash to strong recommendations on significantly increasing its use. Moreover, given the benefits of digitising cash and voucher assistance (CVA) –increased transparency, reduced ...

Sizing the mobile gender gap in refugee contexts

GSMA research has repeatedly demonstrated that women are less likely than men to own a phone and to access mobile internet. The GSMA 2019 Mobile Gender Gap report demonstrates that women in low-and middle-income countries are 10 per cent less likely than men to own a phone ...

3 lessons learnt from #M4HInnovationFund due diligence in Africa

In late 2018, the GSMA Mobile for Humanitarian Innovation (M4H) Fund team undertook due diligence visits with shortlisted applicants. The independent Fund Panel has since made its selection and grantees will be publicised mid-year. Ahead of this, the team has taken some time ...

Electrifying Kakuma Refugee Camp – the case for pay-as-you-go solar home systems

Pay-as-you-go (PAYG) solar is a flagship example of how mobile technology can help make clean energy affordable for low-income populations, while also creating sustainable business models. It has seen impressive growth in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia in the last five years, ...

Recognising Urban Refugees in Jordan: Opportunities for mobile-enabled identity solutions

By Matthew Wilson and Jenny Casswell More than one billion people globally are unable to prove their identity. In an increasingly digitised world, where two-thirds of all people have a mobile phone, identity is a foundational element of this digital environment and being ...

Can we build a digital ecosystem to address humanitarian crises?

Humanitarian crises present a daunting challenge to the humanitarian and private sectors. These crises are more prolonged, displacement lasts an average of 10 years, and conflict continues to be the main driver of humanitarian needs. Moreover, UN OCHA estimated that in 2018 ...

3 Key Trends from Round 2 of the GSMA Mobile for Humanitarian Innovation Fund

During Mobile 360 Series – Africa in July 2018, the GSMA Mobile for Humanitarian Innovation Fund (M4H) opened the call for Round 2 (grants of £100,000 and £300,000) for projects in Asia Pacific, Latin America, MENA and Sub-Saharan Africa.   This Round was ...