How the International Committee of the Red Cross uses social listening to navigate crisis and deliver aid
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) needs timely news updates and real-time understanding of public sentiment in rapidly evolving situations.
The core mission of the ICRC is to protect the lives and dignity of those impacted by violence and provide humanitarian aid when and where it’s needed most. To deliver assistance in dangerous, volatile situations, the ICRC relies on accurate and timely information to coordinate strategy and communicate directly with at-risk communities. It needs to be able to monitor thousands of social media conversations to filter misinformation, communicate assistance opportunities, and ensure the safety of their team in an uncertain environment without guaranteed access to computers or traditional technology infrastructure.
When ICRC president Peter Maurer embarked on a mission to Kabul, Afghanistan following sudden political turmoil there, he needed a clear source of news and insight into public sentiment in a rapidly changing situation. ICRC needed to hear thousands of conversations on social channels in the region to filter out misinformation, communicate opportunities for assistance, and protect their team — all in an uncertain environment without guaranteed access to computers or traditional technology infrastructure.
To complete its mission, the ICRC needed a solution that would:
- Provide real-time, mobile-first access to news and social media conversations in English and Pashto, one of Afghanistan’s official languages
- Create customized dashboards to synthesize and visualize unstructured data and prescribe action
- Coordinate strategic planning remotely on a single, unified platform
- Assist in developing and delivering timely, accurate messages to those in need
Digital communication across multiple, disparate channels creates increased uncertainty and complexity across the globe, especially in times of crisis. But the right technology synthesizes real-time, unstructured information to alleviate this complexity and suggests the right steps the ICRC needs to take next.
The Sprinklr team helped the ICRC develop customized dashboards powered by artificial intelligence (AI) to collect and analyze real-time conversations happening throughout Afghanistan. AI-powered reporting also helped ICRC detect anomalies in unstructured data, so the team could filter out false or misleading claims, including identifying fake Red Cross accounts, and avoid transmitting misinformation in their own messages. These dashboards were delivered through a unified platform with a seamless, multilingual mobile experience, so ICRC could meet their goals remotely and without reliance on computers.
The ICRC can now navigate the complexity that arises from digital communication across multiple channels during global crises.
With customized dashboards supported by a strategic partnership, the ICRC can now:
- Listen to real-time conversations happening across all social-media channels in both English and Pashto to deliver the specific assistance most needed by the people of Afghanistan
- Protect the safety of their internal teams by remotely transmitting messages on a daily basis, ensuring ICRC agents could adapt to rapidly changing circumstances
- Build on their reputation of trust that is essential to delivering aid by communicating accurate information to those in crisis
- Collaborate and share actionable data across enormous geographic regions with a mobile-first, unified platform
The ICRC’s mission to support the lives and dignity of those at risk of violence will, by nature, always face challenges.
"Digital communication across multiple, disparate channels creates increased uncertainty and complexity across the globe, especially in times of crisis,” says a social media strategy lead for the ICRC. “But the right technology synthesizes real-time, unstructured information to alleviate this complexity and suggests the right steps the ICRC needs to take next."