Salesforce.org Join Other Techies to Help Aid Groups Tackle the Global Refugee Crisis
As the global refugee crisis persists, it’s become clear that old humanitarian aid models no longer hold up, forcing nonprofits and NGOs to look to tech to expand and overhaul the way they operate.
“At the moment, there are about 65 million people displaced as result of conflict, and typically, they are displaced for a decade,” says Ravi Gurumurthy, chief innovation officer of the International Rescue Committee speaking on a panel at the Fast Company Grill during last weekend’s South By Southwest gathering. “So, it’s not just weeks and months that we have to think about their needs–we have to think about education, their health, and jobs as well as just protecting them.”
Rob Acker, CEO of Salesforce.org, the nonprofit arm of Salesforce discussed one of the many benefits of connectivity in humanitarian work. If each refugee had a smartphone upon which they could carry a blockchain-empowered universal transcript—a digital record containing data on an individual’s health, education, and skills—refugees could utilize this resource to help them access the employment and health resources they need when they arrive in a new place.
Often, educated refugees must start over when they arrive somewhere new. “There are too many stories of someone who, for instance, was doing trauma surgery in Iraq, but has to go back to a 101 class and begin the qualification process all over in a new country,” Acker tells Fast Company. The universal transcript would both democratize and legitimize people’s qualifications....