Displaced and dismayed: how ICTs are helping refugees and migrants, and how we can do better
School of Conflict Management, Peacebuilding and Development
Employing ICT platforms has the potential to improve efforts to assist displaced people, or to liberate them in being more able to help each other, or both. And while platform development has resulted in a patchwork of initiatives – an electronic version of ‘letting a thousand flowers bloom’ – there are patterns emerging as to which flowers grow and have ‘staying power’ as compared to ones that wilt and die. Using a partial application of grounded theory, we analyze 47 platforms, categorizing the services they provide, the functionalities they use, and the extent to which end users are involved in initial design and ongoing modification. We found that 23% offer one-way communication, 72%, provide two-way communication, 74% involve crowdsourcing and 43% use artificial intelligence. For future developers, we offer a preliminary list of what leads to a successful ICT initiative for refugees and migrants. Finally, we list ethical considerations for all stakeholders.
Information Technology for Development
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)