How Can Humanitarian Organisations Support Crisis-affected Communities Online? [Bread&Net 2020 Session]

In this #BreadandNet 2020 session, Sacha Robehmed from International Rescue Committee (IRC) discusses the role of online platforms in connecting organizations to individuals, while maintaining online privacy and security. 

COVID-19 forced many humanitarian organizations to rapidly adopt digital tools like Whatsapp to share information with crisis-affected populations, and to deliver services like education, health information, and mental health support. Crisis-affected populations increasingly have access to mobile internet access and use social media platforms like Whatsapp and Facebook. Humanitarian organizations want to “meet people where they are, yet “where they are” may pose privacy risks.

How do we balance the right to privacy with other rights like the right to education?

How can we digitally communicate and engage with crisis-affected communities, responsibly and ethically? How might international aid organisations work with social media companies in a way that supports digital rights?

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SMEX is a registered Lebanese NGO that works to advance self-regulating information societies in the Middle East and North Africa.