Humanitarian Issues: A new way to access information
21 Mar 2013
Q and A on Humanitarian Kiosk app.
What is Humanitarian Kiosk?
One of the challenges faced by humanitarian workers is access to timely, relevant and accurate information. New technology provides an opportunity for humanitarian workers to develop better ways to access and share this information, and get aid to those who need it more quickly and effectively. OCHA has developed the Humanitarian Kiosk to address the diverse information needs of humanitarian agencies and workers. This app enables an office to share key, up-to-date humanitarian content that is readily available for download from a mobile device. Users might be aid workers on the ground or senior UN managers attending high level meetings in New York, Nairobi or Bangkok.
Emergency aid workers on the ground can access details about crises and engage constructively in coordination mechanisms. Donors can make urgent decisions about funding priorities on the basis of more information. People who are affected by emergencies can get a better idea of the scale of the crisis and what humanitarian aid may be available to them.
Why was Humanitarian Kiosk Created?
One of OCHA’s responsibilities in the early phases of an emergency has often been to provide a physical kiosk where responders can go to find out the latest information and coordination material and download it on to USB flash drives.
“With the proliferation of mobile devices, it became possible to share kiosk information with a wider audience in a much simpler, cleaner and more convenient way,” says Andrej Verity of OCHA. “And why not put such information into the palms of decision-makers around the world so that they can have it where and when they need it?”
Why is it useful?
Humanitarian Kiosk makes information obtained from the heart of a humanitarian crisis available to a large audience. By downloading the H.Kiosk app to your mobile device, you can synchronize and access the latest crisis information from around the world.
The app allows users to select one or more emergency kiosks from countries with ongoing crises. The associated documents will automatically be downloaded, synchronized and made available off-line. Users can navigate multiple kiosks in the app, to see content published by the various country offices where OCHA operates. It provides quick access to maps, infographics and narrative reports. Users can easily share information as it comes in a variety of formats that are accessible via email, SMS, QRCode and social media platforms including Twitter and Facebook.
How Can I Get Humanitarian Kiosk?
You can install the app on any of your Apple devices (iOS5+) through this link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/humanitarian-kiosk/id546482411
To learn more and to find the latest information and pertinent links for Humanitarian Kiosk, please visit http://kiosk.humanitarianresponse.info/
Humanitarian Kiosk is the first mobile application from OCHA. We hope to build an Android-based version in 2013.