Mobile app to empower migrants in East and Horn of Africa

Report
from International Organization for Migration
Published on 15 Feb 2018

Nairobi, 15 February 2018- Sometimes, the choices migrants make is dependent on the information, or lack of it, that is available to them. Being informed in a timely and accessible manner remains vital if migrants are to make the right or informed decisions. To ensure this, IOM, the UN Migration Agency has rolled out a mobile app called MigApp to empower migrants in East and Horn of Africa.

MigApp, is a mobile based tool that serves as a one-stop-shop where migrants can access updated, reliable and practical information as well as IOM services. It leverages current technology and the widespread use of mobile telecommunications to bring a secure, objective and user-friendly app. “We developed MigApp to help migrants make informed decisions throughout their migration journey. It provides a secure, reliable information for a safe journey and allows sharing of location with loved ones,” Alex Dougan, IOM’s MigApp Project Manager, said.

MigApp has been rolled out in Burundi, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Djibouti,
South Sudan and Somalia where the use of mobile telephony is common. In these nine countries, migrants and IOM partners have been receiving flyers and business cards containing information on how to use MigApp.

Political instability, drought and economic challenges continue to drive large-scale mixed migration within and from the region as people move in search of a better life for themselves and their loved ones. MigApp is a tool to help make migration safer while at the same time allowing users to access IOM services. MigApp can be used by anyone who needs information on travel, health, share their location and a secure place to save valuable documents (copies of passport, certificates, etc.).

Often, the absence of a practical and central portal containing essential migration-related information makes migrants predisposed to seek easy help from unauthorized agencies for a speedy answer to their migration needs. MigApp aims to offset the volume of misinformation on migration in circulation today by providing information on: visas, health and travel regulations; alerts on global incidents arising from conflict or natural disasters; and contacts of counter-trafficking hotlines around the world.

MigApp aims to consolidate key IOM services, making these directly available to a wider group of migrants. Migrants who are already benefitting from existing IOM programmes will be able to participate via the MigApp. Additionally, MigApp enables a secure two-way communication between IOM and migrants. Their feedback becomes an integral aspect of IOM’s communications process and is an important tool to ensure accountability and effectiveness of IOM services.

MigApp enables the capture and analysis of migration trends and patterns at country, region or global levels. It provides an opportunity for IOM’s programmes to be more proactive in formulating informed responses to migration.

Download the IOM MigApp from GooglePlay or the AppStore for free

Alex Dougan at IOM HQ, Tel: 41 22 7179 352, Email: adougan@iom.int

For media inquiries, please contact Kenneth Odiwuor, Tel: +254 722 560363, Email: kodiwuor@iom.in

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