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Report Looks at Humanitarian Futures for Messaging Apps

To develop responsible, effective and safe ways to use messaging apps, organizations need to better understand the opportunities and risks they present — new research report released by The Engine Room in partnership with International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and Block Party. From the report: "Messaging apps are the fastest growing form of digital communication ever, with smartphone ownership rising rapidly around the world and messaging becoming many people's favorite way to communicate. But what does this mean for humanitarian organizations? ... In some situations, messaging apps may be the only way that people caught up in armed conflict or crises can communicate with family, friends or humanitarian organizations. Many messaging apps have features that could help humanitarian organizations to reach people who would otherwise be impossible to contact, or to collect information that would otherwise be inaccessible. This information can save lives."

The research looks at how and why people affected by crises or armed conflict are actually using messaging apps? When and how is it appropriate to introduce a new technology that not everyone will be able to access? Could communicating with people through these communication channels put them at greater risk? "To find out about these questions and more, we’ve been researching the opportunities and risks involved in using messaging apps in humanitarian situations through interviews and a scan of existing research on the topic."

The full repot can be downloaded from this page.

Related topics: Access Providers, Mobile Internet

 
   

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