Somalia

Innovative use of modern technologies in Somalia relief efforts

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Among 180 proposals a Danish Refugee Council project for Somalia has been selected by the Humanitarian Innovation Fund. The pilot project introduces innovative solutions for the improvement of humanitarian aid.

A citizen standing at a heath post in remote and difficult accessible area of Somalia sends an SMS to a short code number indicating a need for help: “No supplies at the health post” – and an auto responder replies: “Thank you for reporting – we will get back to you shortly.” This will then spark a chain of reaction rounded by verification that the problems have been solved.

The example stems from the Danish Refugee Council project selected by the Humanitarian Innovation Fund. The project integrates modern technologies into new solutions to the challenges of optimizing humanitarian aid. Involving citizens in feedback and introducing complaints mechanisms are key components in the innovation project now to be launched by the Danish Refugee Council in Somalia.

With funds from the Humanitarian Innovation Fund, the project aims at introducing the use of a series of new platforms and technologies as a way to improve accountability and strengthen transparency in relief efforts in Somalia. The Humanitarian Fund has announced its financial support for the innovation project from the Danish Refugee Council now enabling the project to be turned into reality.

“It is essential to minimize the distance between those delivering aid and people at the receiving end. The support from the Humanitarian Innovation Fund is truly a significant recognition of our ambition to be frontrunners when it comes to innovation and transparency in this field,” says Peter Klansoe, Regional Director with the Danish Refugee Council at the Horn of Africa.

The Danish Refugee Council is among the international aid agencies working to address the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Somalia and the region. This happens through comprehensive emergency relief efforts, and it is in this context that the new innovation project will be introduced.

Using mobile communication devices and access to internet based platforms, the innovation project will introduce simple and transparent tools for feed-back and beneficiary participation in community driven recovery and development projects.

“Our ambition is to develop new tools for the improvement of transparency in the context of remote management. As soon as we have tangible experience and proof of these innovative accountability systems we will share them with a wider audience. This is a strong encouragement to strive towards improving humanitarian aid in complicated and difficult accessible conflict areas as Somalia,” says Peter Klansoe.

The Humanitarian Innovation Fund has selected a total of four innovation projects among the 180 proposals.

Alexandra Strand Holm Journalist

alexandra.strand.holm@drc.dk +45 33 73 51 80 +45 20 31 66 87