Update from UNHCR and WFP: Use of innovation and technology, January 2020
One of “the reduce management costs” workstream commitments of the Grand Bargain is to decrease the costs of delivering assistance with the use of technology and innovation (commitment 4.1). Reducing management costs will increase the portion of funding used for the direct benefit of affected people. There are various ways to do so, including with mobile technology for needs assessments/post distribution monitoring; digital platforms/mobile devices for financial transactions; communication with affected population via call centers/SMS; sustainable energy and biometrics.
This update summarizes the progress made by UNHCR and WFP on this particular commitment, as it relates to refugee contexts, and provides an example of advancing the use of technology and innovation for aid efficiencies and effectiveness. UNHCR has introduced the Global Distribution Tool (GTD) to support functions in registration and identity management and in particular has increased the use of biometrics for both registration and authenitcation before distribution. The use of this tool is enabling UNHCR and partners like WFP to ensure equitable access to food, cash, and core relief items at distribution sites across the world.