Report 09 November 2016

Technologies for Monitoring in Insecure Environments

by Rahel Dette, Julia Steets, Elias Sagmeister              
Secure Access in Volatile Environments (SAVE)

Introduction

Operating in insecure environments is one of the more critical tests for the humanitarian community. Access constraints, uncertainty, attacks and aid diversion make these unlikely settings for innovation. Yet several new approaches come from highly insecure environments. In these settings, technologies like mobile phones, radios, internet platforms and GPS trackers are sometimes the only way to send and receive vital information, or track the movement of goods.

Objectives

Consultations with the SAVE learning partners highlighted that many humanitarian organizations are interested in exploring technologies, but unsure what technological options exist and what their respective advantages and downsides for monitoring are. This toolkit provides an overview of different technological options for M&E, summarizing the lessons learned from various pilot projects in countries like Afghanistan, Somalia, South Sudan and Syria.

Approach

The team conducted research on a set of specific technology applications: handheld devices for digital data collection, feedback mechanisms using mobile phones, remote sensing with satellites or delivery tracking, the use of broadcasting with radios, and online communication platforms. For each application, the research team conducted a literature and document review, identified potential case examples and conducted interviews on practice examples. Results are collected in this toolkit that provides information on how the different applications work, conditions and costs involved, benefits for M&E and limitations and challenges encountered.

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You can download the toolkit here.undefined

SAVE is a three-year research program that explores how to provide effective and accountable humanitarian aid in insecure contexts.

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