Masdar: the interactive information platform for refugees

The current refugee crisis asks for data-driven and mobile-based innovation. The Nomads project group, initiated by the Dutch Coalition of Humanitarian Innovation and chaired by TTC Mobile, has designed a crowd-sourced information platform where refugees and trusted entities can add, retrieve, and rate personal experiences. The platform will facilitate more self-reliance by refugees and will lead to better data-driven decisions by humanitarian aid organizations.

The Masdar platform
Masdar (“source” in Arabic) is a mobile-accessible platform that will support and empower refugees in various phases throughout their journey, from staying safe when navigating through Europe to ending with economic, social and cultural integration. The heart of Masdar revolves around a central crowdsourced data source, where people and trusted entities can add, retrieve and rate personal experiences, how-tos and articles relevant to their personal situation. That way the different needs in different phases of the journey are addressed.

This year, Masdar will be launched in one of the refugee camps in Athens, Greece. The city council of Athens contacted the Nomads project group as soon as they heard about the Masdar platform, because Athens is currently struggling with the information needs of large groups of refugees. The first camp where Masdar will available is currently home to 2,000 men, women and children.

Creative design process
Unique to the process leading to Masdar, was the coming together of a diverse group of partners. A creative design process was started by Deloitte, TNO, the Netherlands Red Cross, the Centre for Innovation (Leiden University), the Dutch Coalition of Humanitarian Innovation (DCHI) and TTC Mobile. The team worked according three important principles: co-creation, user-centric design and create via connecting. To ensure the development of a solution that provides a useful tool for an entire refugee population, refugees that recently arrived in the Netherlands were part of the project group from the beginning. They were invited to share their experiences of their journey to Europe, and later took part in the development phase of the platform.

About DCHI
The Dutch Coalition for Humanitarian Innovation (DCHI) supports innovative partnerships to improve the impact and decrease the costs of emergency aid. TTC Mobile, expert in innovative mobile technology, has been involved at an early stage of the Coalition that was initiated by the Dutch government and a group of partners, among which the Netherlands Red Cross, UNICEF Netherlands, Care Nederland, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, the Municipality of The Hague, and VNO NCW. The coalition brings together governmental actors, knowledge institutes, academia, business and humanitarian organizations. Read about the other DCHI projects on their website.


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