Darfur call centre

Darfur is home to an estimated 2.5 million internally displaced people, most of whom are living in established camps. In March 2013, with the humanitarian response in the region having entered its tenth year, partners observed worrying gaps in basic services in camps in West Darfur State. In an effort to improve the quality of the response, it was agreed that OCHA would pilot, in collaboration with NGOs, humanitarian agencies and other partners, a “hotline” allowing displaced people to report issues such as broken water pumps or closed schools.

The project was rolled out in West Darfur and, by March 2014, was covering all five of Darfur’s states. As well as empowering displaced people by providing a means for them to provide direct feedback on services, the hotline seeks to reinforce accountability of aid providers to the people they are seeking to assist. In a vast and challenging operating environment like Darfur, with new and evolving needs and funding shortfalls demanding continual reprioritization of the response, the hotline provides an innovative means of ensuring that gaps in core services are identified in real time.

How it works

Using a mobile phone, camp residents can dial 1391 free of charge to report any issue or gap identified in five core humanitarian sectors:

  • Water, Hygiene and Sanitation (e.g. water management and latrines)
  • Health (e.g. clinics)
  • Food Security and Livelihoods (e.g. food for new arrivals, and animal vaccines)
  • Nutrition (e.g. nutrition centres)
  • Education (e.g. schools rehabilitation).

In addition, findings from Inter-Sector assessments and Emergency Shelter/Non-Food Items needs for new arrivals (e.g. emergency household supplies) are monitored through the hotline. Only Protection issues are not handled by the call centre.

When a call is received, the OCHA “Referral Officer” records the complaint, verifies it with camp and community leaders and other partners on the ground, and then notifies the Sector Lead agency . The aim is to respond to gaps concerning the existing services, not to address new needs (e.g. the hotline is used to report the malfunctioning of an existing water pump, not to request the construction of a new water facility). The service is supported by the three main mobile operators in Sudan (Zain, MTN, Sudani) and the National Telecommunication Company.

Download factsheet>>