Souktel’s ‘AidLink’ mobile platform has been used in crisis responses from Somalia to Iraq, but recent events in Gaza are a stark reminder that the technology was developed in a place which, itself, is often in crisis. When conflict escalated this month, Souktel moved quickly to deliver mobile services that helped communities in its own region, especially when traditional forms of communication--such as landlines, Internet and even radio or TV signals--were disrupted.
One of these services, run in partnership with UNESCO
, had already been in place since launching in Gaza last year
; it allows teachers and staff at local schools to send out SMS alerts to families, warning them about potential danger in the area. Throughout this month’s conflict, 29 schools used the service to send thousands of alerts each week. One message read, "No classes today due to ongoing fighting. Please ensure children stay at home," while another asked teachers to attend an emergency training session.
In parallel, Souktel worked with aid agency CHF International
to set up a rapid response platform which let staff collect data from local families about shelling damage to their homes. CHF personnel at multiple sites used the incoming results to inform their response planning. As of Nov. 22, the agency had delivered World Food Program emergency aid to nearly 50,000 Gazans.
Meanwhile, a custom mobile data collection platform is giving Save the Children
new tools to carry out rapid needs assessments, and to inform community members--at scale--about available emergency aid. The non-profit is preparing to distribute food, water and shelter materials to families, and vital medicines to hospitals. Targeted SMS alerts will help ensure that this assistance reaches those who need it most. Dynamic web interfaces let staff monitor these messaging and distribution campaigns--whether they’re in Gaza or in Save the Children’s US head office.