Three-day Humanitarian Innovators Network lab brought together emergency response workers to discuss how innovation can improve humanitarian action. © UNICEF Video
Three-day Humanitarian Innovators Network lab brought together emergency response workers to discuss how innovation can improve humanitarian action. © UNICEF Video

With a snap of a camera and a few clicks on a mobile phone, registering children who have been separated from their families during disasters is now simple and quick. Before RapidFTR, the process of helping reunify families ate up so much time and paper.

RapidFTR is an open-source mobile phone application that helps humanitarian workers gather, sift and share information about unaccompanied and separated children in emergency situations. It is just one of the many technologies emerging from UNICEF designed to help its staff, partners and the aid community at large overcome challenges in delivering on their mission.

To develop RapidFTR, the innovation unit has teamed up with the child protection division. Recently, it launched an initiative in partnership with the emergency operations group, or EMOPS, to identify, test and bring suitable innovations to humanitarian space.

As part of the new initiative, the innovation unit and EMOPS convened in October a three-day gathering of UNICEF emergency officers from around the globe. Emergency officers typically have 16-hour days and face constant pressure, so the meeting gave them time, space and freedom to think of creative and different ways to respond better to crises.

The New York summit yielded some ideas, including a method that indicates the location of vaccines during transport through radio frequency identification as well as a virtual marketplace that enables beneficiaries to determine relief supplies and services they require the most.

Read the full article at Devex.

Related reading:

Innovators network lab – Searching for creative solutions in humanitarian action

Applications for family tracing and reunification (RapidFTR)

Innovations in emergencies reporting from the Philippines – First 6 days

Innovations in emergencies reporting from the Philippines – Days 7-12

Reaching the unreached: Innovations and child protection

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