This post was originally published at PAEPARD and has been republished with permission.
Teams of sanitation frontline workers, in 11 municipalities in Accra, Ghana, who have one WhatsApp group per municipality and one shared WhatsApp group across the municipalities use the small groups to coordinate their activities to promote toilets to the urban poor and use the large group for friendly competition and to exchange strategies directly from the field. Eva Schiffer, Operations Officer, GGELI – EFI Learning Innovation, World Bank)
It then focuses on practical implications for humanitarian operations – examining how organisations are currently using messaging apps, as well as the technical challenges that these apps introduce around information management and data analysis. Finally, it looks at responsible data considerations: how introducing an app could bring in new questions related to information security, data protection, protecting users’ privacy and ensuring that they have informed consent and agency over the way that their data is used.
Messaging apps are still a new and relatively untested technology. To develop responsible, effective and safe ways to use them, organisations need to better understand the opportunities and risks they present. This report is designed as a first step in that direction: we hope it can act as a building block for future efforts to improve the effectiveness of humanitarian organisations.
Get in touch to talk more about the findings, discuss practical questions about using messaging apps in your own projects, or help take the conversation forward.