Zoe Hamilton

Senior Insights Manager,

As a Senior Insights Manager, Zoe is responsible for designing and delivering a range of research projects, aligned with the M4H team’s priorities. Her work builds on experience at the intersection of participatory research methods, communication technologies and the rights of vulnerable or marginalised groups. She works across M4H’s five thematic areas: mobile money, climate change and food security, mobile utilities, gender and inclusivity, and digital identity.

Previously, Zoe worked as a Program Design and Insights Manager, creating and evaluating communication technologies for a wide range of social development issues across West Africa and South Asia. She has also worked as a Fulbright Scholar in India, a UNFPA researcher, and an independent documentary filmmaker, researching issues of sexual and reproductive health and rights.

Zoe holds a MSc in International Development Management from the London School of Economics and a BA (Hons) from Middlebury College in Political Science and French.

Posts by Zoe Hamilton

Papua New Guinea – Challenges and opportunities in the digital worlds of displacement-affected communities

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Reaching Iowara refugee settlement in Western Province, Papua New Guinea (PNG) is a challenge. The nearest city, Kiunga, is accessible through a combination of boat and car although rainy season can easily take out the road, leaving access by foot as the only option. In many ...

World Refugee Day – The power (and limits) of mobile technology

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Worldwide 89.3 million people are forcibly displaced 27.1 million of these people have crossed a border and are refugees. As a result of conflict, violence, human rights violations, and increasingly severe climate shocks, a growing number of people are forced to flee homes ...

User perspectives in humanitarian settings: Initial insights

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In September 2021, the Mobile for Humanitarian Innovation team kicked off a large-scale piece of mixed methods research in partnership with the UNHCR and The Research People. Our goals were to better understand how people in humanitarian settings use their mobile phones, to ...

The Climate Crisis: Mobile-enabled solutions to address the growing humanitarian challenge

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World leaders recently gathered in Glasgow at COP26 to accelerate action towards addressing climate change. They’ve come from around the world to grapple with the most pressing existential crisis of our time with an urgent need to reduce global emissions. No matter how ...

Trust, misinformation and the role of technology in the localisation of information: Five key lessons

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As COVID-19 has illustrated, in the context of a pandemic almost nothing is as important as timely, trustworthy, and actionable information. Due to the circumstances, mobile technology came to play a key role in disseminating information over the last 18 months. And while ...

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 ...

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. ...

COVID-19 and digital humanitarian action: Three early lessons

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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 launched today. In humanitarian contexts, COVID-19 has had a particularly severe ...

User Journeys in Burundi: A conversation with Ground Truth Solutions

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In 2019, the GSMA Mobile for Humanitarian Innovation (M4H) team worked with Ground Truth Solutions in Burundi to understand users’ experience of receiving cash assistance through mobile money. The work used human-centred design (HCD) methodologies to empathise with users and ...

5 Tips for Inclusivity in Human-Centred Design

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Human-centred design has become something of a buzzword in the humanitarian sector. But what does it actually mean? In the simplest terms, human centred design is a practical and iterative methodology for problem solving. It draws upon lived experiences, recognising that ...

Pandemic response in action: KDDI’s COVID-19 response in Japan

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This is the third post in a blog series highlighting the efforts that GSMA Humanitarian Connectivity Charter signatories have taken to help tackle the COVID-19 pandemic in their respective markets. A leading MNO in Japan, KDDI has long been at the forefront of disaster ...

Pandemic response in action: Turkcell’s responses to COVID-19 in Turkey

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This is the second post in a blog series highlighting the efforts that GSMA Humanitarian Connectivity Charter signatories have taken to help tackle the COVID-19 pandemic in their respective markets. Turkcell has been helping fight the effects of Coronavirus with several ...

Towards digital inclusion of refugees and Kenyans with disabilities in Nairobi

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According to the UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, an estimated 10.6 million persons with disabilities are forcibly displaced globally. These populations are at greater risk of violence, stigma and exclusion. Mobile technology and the digitisation of services can bring ...

UNHCR’s experience: Delivering mobile money enabled cash assistance to Burundian returnees

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Interview with Richard Ross, Cash Based Intervention Officer with the UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency   GSMA: Can you tell us a little bit about the current situation with returnees coming back to Burundi? Richard Ross (RR): Most Refugees fled Burundi following the events of ...

Building a Resilient Industry: A new guide to help mobile network operators prepare for and respond to natural disasters

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Building a Resilient Industry: How Mobile Network Operators Prepare for and Respond to Natural Disasters is a web-based interactive guide for MNOs based on experiences with the Humanitarian Connectivity Charter. For the first time, GSMA has collated experiences from MNOs ...

The Francophone Experience: IRC’s shift to digital humanitarian assistance

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As network coverage and mobile phone ownership around the world soars, mobile technology is increasingly being used to deliver information and services to people in need. Humanitarian organisations have begun to take advantage of this to reach vulnerable and displaced people ...

Expérience francophone : la transition de l’IRC vers une aide humanitaire numérisée

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Avec le développement rapide de la couverture des réseaux et de l’accès aux téléphones portables dans le monde, la téléphonie mobile est de plus en plus utilisée pour apporter des informations et des services aux personnes en détresse. Les organisations humanitaires ont ...

The Digital Lives of Refugees: Mobile-enabled utilities

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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 ...