Serbia + 1 more

‘Worst flooding in the Balkans in decades’

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A ShelterBox Response team is now in Serbia field-testing a new way of capturing vital information from the families we have helped. Severe flooding in the country in May 2014 forced tens of thousands of people from their homes in what many have called the worst flooding in the Balkans in decades. Despite difficult conditions for a speedy recovery, ShelterBox response teams continue to work with local Rotary clubs to deliver vital aid to families in need.

Once the floodwater had receded geologists were deployed to survey the land to ensure there was no further risk of landslides or secondary flooding. Although many communities were quick to open their doors to displaced families, surveying the land has added time to the recovery efforts. This has left many families in desperate need of shelter.

ShelterBox sent 1,500 mosquito nets to neighbouring Bosnia where disease is on the rise with the heat, water levels and mosquitos, although emergency shelter was not required.

In Serbia however the need for aid has remained high; ShelterBox has provided tents, water filters and water carriers, mosquito nets, solar lamps, groundsheets and blankets. These aid items have been distributed by ShelterBox response team members as well as local firemen, Rotarian volunteers and community members across as many as nine different municipalities.

‘It really is all about accountability to our donors.'

Rachel Simpkins (UK) is a ShelterBox response team member currently reviewing previous aid distribution in Serbia. She is using new technology to capture information from the people who have received aid.

‘We are en route to Despotovic. We are looking at how successful the previous ShelterBox team’s distribution of aid has been and trialing a new beneficiary monitoring app.’

The phone application, or ‘app’, has been designed by ShelterBox to enable response team members to gather beneficiary data whilst overseas responding to disasters.

‘The app allows us to collect data for noting which households received aid…Their names, their locations and if there are any particular reasons they were given aid. It is the first time we have been able to take electronic records to thoroughly monitor household profiles.’

Rachel is a long-standing response team member and has seen the evolution of different processes in line with the organisation’s ongoing commitment to monitoring and evaluating our aid responses.

‘It really is all about accountability to our donors. We need to show that the aid has reached the areas it was supposed to reach. It ensures that aid has been properly distributed.’

ShelterBox is committed to measuring and evaluating the impact our aid has by listening to the needs of the people that we are helping. You can read more about the development of this new ShelterBox data capture app and other new developments on our innovation page.