3c. Best Use of Mobile in Emergency or Humanitarian Situations

Category 3: Social & Economic Development

3c. Best Use of Mobile in Emergency or Humanitarian Situations

Mobile Technology has proven over the last decade or more, to be an incredibly powerful tool during and following major humanitarian disasters and mass emergency situations. In the aftermath of the appalling tsunami that hit coastlines of the Indian Ocean in 2004, the Haitian earthquake in 2010, the tragic earthquake and Tsunami in Japan in early 2011, and more recently post Hurricane Sandy in the US and Caribbean in 2012, for example, people, rescue missions and relief agencies on the ground were supported and boosted by mobile phones and networks in countless ways, in addition to post-disaster fund raising via mobile.

This category is specifically for mobile services, initiatives, applications, solutions or products that have been in place, developed or deployed to provide emergency support to communities hit by natural disasters such as earthquakes, famine, tornadoes, floods etc. or other humanitarian disasters, such as refugee crises, conflict, terrorist attacks or epidemics, in terms of speed and scale of support or through innovation that provides new ways to save and enhance lives.

The award aims to recognise the critical role of mobile communications as a vital lifeline in times of disaster. Whether it be emergency warning systems, first response emergency aid, survivor locator services, reuniting people and families, reporting systems or crises mapping, health and emergency medical support and information, or practical and actionable advice and information about shelter, food supplies and general sanitation, such as how to purify water or register a missing person and direct people to hospital. It will also highlight how mobile enables aid agencies to interact with people at scale to serve a social good and be in touch with people’s needs, or donation and fund raising campaigns in the immediate aftermath. These are just a few of the ways that mobile is proving to be a critical element of disaster response.

The shortlist will be published by the GSMA in January 2014, and one winner in each category will be announced at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on Tuesday 25th February 2014.


This category is open to:

  • Mobile network operators
  • Manufacturers of mobile equipment & technologies
  • Application Developers
  • Relief Agencies, NGOs, foundations, private organisations or Charities
  • Emergency service organisations, Governments or local authorities

The service, product, application or initiative entered must have been deployed, implemented and proven to have been of aid or service during times of, or post, an emergency before the deadline for entry, Friday 6th December 2013. Please provide evidence in your entry to support this, such as launch and deployment dates, including testimonials and details of countries or regions where the service is available. The Entry Deadline has been extended until Friday 6th December 2013.

Judging criteria

Entries for the Best Use of Mobile in Emergency or Humanitarian Situations category will be judged on the following main criteria:

  • Speed and scale of deployment prior to, during or following the disaster
  • Clear and proven life-saving or life enhancing capabilities, services or assistance to people, emergency services or aid agencies
  • Innovation or technical breakthroughs that have provided new ways to assist in saving or enhancing lives
  • Clear and defined use of the unique proposition of mobility in providing assistance, information, support or aid
  • Demonstration of the clear advantages or benefits brought by mobile in comparison or relation to traditional disaster relief approaches i.e. how did mobile make a big difference?

Entry forms, supporting materials & formats:

The submission of video to support your entry/entries is strongly encouraged.You may provide one URL to a video link demonstrating your entry. This should be either privately or publicly posted to YouTube (if a private post, please provide a user name and password for judges to access). The video should be between 3 and 5 minutes in length, but no more.

If pointing judges to a website within your entry, please include one website URL, where specific information relating to your product or service entry can be found easily (judges will not surf websites looking for the information).

The on-line entry form includes an upload facility for you to provide multimedia. You will have the ability to upload 5 additional files to accompany your entry up to a maximum file size of 5MB each. These can be illustration pdfs, such as for customer testimonials, jpeg for photos or PowerPoint for technical diagrams or statistics, but please keep these relevant to your entry and keep the pages to a maximum of two.

Specific Entry Form Questions for this category:

On the entry form, in addition to submitting contact and company information, you will be asked to answer the following questions, (Please note the maximum text/character length for your answers including spaces are shown in brackets below):

Preview of entry form questions:

  1. What is the name of your Service/Solution/ Initiative/ Product or Application used in the context of a public emergency or humanitarian disaster situation? Please note the name given here will be used in all awards publicity. (150 characters = approx. 25words)
  2. Is this a joint entry? If so, who are the partnering organisations? (150 characters = approx. 25words)
  3. When was it launched and in which countries/ regions? (500 characters = approx. 85 words)
  4. Please describe actual situations in which your entry provided support? (500 characters = approx. 85 words)
  5. Please describe specifically what your entry does or has done in terms of support of the emergencies or disasters specified? Please describe it as accurately and succinctly as possible? (1500 characters = approx. 250 words)
  6. What unique benefits it has brought to people, emergency services or aid agencies? (1500 characters = approx. 250 words)
  7. Describe how and why the entry was conceived (to fulfil what specific need?), how rapidly it can be deployed, and what is new, or innovative about it, including what new features or functionality it provides to people in times of crises? (1500 characters = approx. 250 words)
  8. Please describe how it was used, how it saved or enhanced lives during or after the crises and the key outcomes as a result? (1500 characters = approx. 250 words)
  9. Please describe which elements of the entry are unique to it being a mobile solution? (1500 characters = approx. 250 words)

Please note: Use one URL that is specific and relevant to the category and will help judges further understand your entry, but due to the number of entries received, judges will not have time to surf company websites looking for further information on the entered product/service or initiative.

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