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AI in the Humanitarian Sector

As part of my February series, I am featuring ways that AI can be used for good. Today I am highlighting AI’s role in humanitarian work.


According to an article by Leila Toplic in ReliefWeb (2020):


  • Danish Refugee Council / Dansk Flygtningehjælp has used an AI tool to forecast forced displacement in West Africa by using open data sources from UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, The World Bank and NGOs.

  • International Rescue Committee has used AI to optimize service delivery and facilitate job-matching for refugees, and for predictive modeling of conflicts and crises and individualized learning experiences for children affected by crises.

  • Norwegian Refugee Council has used AI chatbots to assist Venezuelan immigrants in Colombia with learning their rights according to immigration policies and laws.


These case studies represent the incredible potential of using AI to enhance humanitarian programming. Of course, there will be barriers to adoption for smaller organizations, but starting small and allocating resources to experimenting with tools is a good jumping off point.


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