Lessons Learned: Social Media Monitoring during Humanitarian Crises

Evaluation and Lessons Learned
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Part of ACAPS’ Nepal project included a social media monitoring pilot: the team produced fortnightly monitoring reports, with the aim of helping to identify needs, concerns, developing trends and emerging risks among the effected population; and conversations related to the quality and accessibility of aid.

Our lessons learned report draws key lessons from the pilot and provides recommendations for future social media monitoring, including

  • Monitoring was mainly useful in analysing public reaction to media reports, and in seeing the relative prevalence of topics of conversation and identifying changes.

  • The ‘digital divide’ between rural and urban populations and socio-economic groups, and potential bias in the data, must be taken into account.

  • More sensitive topics, such as some health issues, are not discussed publicly and therefore public social media data is less valuable

Social media monitoring could provide significant value in contexts where humanitarian access is poor, the information landscape fragmented and social media is widely used.