When we think about the needs of refugees, we usually think of basics such as food, water, clothes, and shelter. But in recent weeks, new images have arisen of refugees arriving in Europe by boat, toting smartphones and taking selfies.
Nearly every day for the past few months, newspapers and television broadcasts have been full of headlines about the current refugee crisis. Tens of thousands of people are being displaced from their homes and seeking better lives across borders and seas. While plenty of journalists have been covering this, few refugees have been given the opportunity to tell their own stories. Danish newspaper Dagbladet Information is changing that.
We are inundated with headlines, videos, photos and stories detailing the current refugee crisis. While a daunting and seemingly insurmountable issue for global leaders, people around the world have taken the politics out of the situation and work to provide solutions of their own. Here we showcase current initiatives in three European countries.
The term ‘capacity-building’ has become popular in development circles, particularly in the context of partnering with southern NGOs to improve knowledge and ownership of development initiatives. However, concrete efforts to allow southern NGOs a greater voice have been relatively weak. In April 2015, an African NGO called Adeso released a report outlining the need for a global network of southern NGOs. On the heels of the report, Adeso has announced their aim to do just that.
In the three weeks since Nepal’s Kathmandu valley region was rocked by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake, UNOCHA – who does what where and when have been tasked with search and rescue, and the provision food, health and shelter for thousands of people. The quake affected 3 districts, 5 municipalities, over 130 wards. Many of these communities are situated in remote and inaccessible regions have been the last to receive aid. In a local effort to bring relief to these communities more quickly, a local organization, backed by a US organization is utilizing open map technology to make visible remote communities, open spaces for logistical operations to set up, and to highlight any and all areas that might hinder or help the relief effort.
In 2014 the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs created the Humanitarian Data Exchange. Designed to facilitate the free sharing of data between UN agencies, NGOs, civil society groups and local actors, this platform represents a step forward in the quest for open data in humanitarian work.