Making sure that refugees receive vital information from humanitarian groups is a difficult and often frustrating process. Through no fault of their own, refugee communities are often scattered and disorganized.
One thing that nearly all refugees have, though, is a phone. No matter how long or dangerous their voyages have been—or what kind of infrastructure surrounds them—many refugees use phones to stay in contact with loved ones and circulate information. But up until recently, there wasn’t a way to leverage that into a simple, effective, mass-coverage solution for keeping refugees informed.
Enter Refugee Text, the brainchild of designers Kåre Solvåg, Ciarán Duffy, and Caroline Arvidsson. Refugee Text is a chatbot, or an artificial-intelligence–powered messaging service management system. The system gathers up-to-date information from reputable humanitarian groups, feeds it into the CMS program that structures and translates it. Then it spits it out into SMS flows that any refugee with a phone can access through text messages, Facebook, or through Refugee Text’s own website.
Below, watch a video about the program and learn more about how it works.