Barcelona 27 Feb - 2 Mar 2017

3c. Mobile in Emergency or Humanitarian Situations

Unlike any other technology, mobile has proven to be an undisputedly powerful tool during and following major humanitarian disasters and mass emergency situations that have afflicted the world, coming into its own with huge network, device, and application advances over the last decade or more.

The award recognises its critical role as a vital lifeline in times of disaster.  It 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.

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.

2016 Winner

Flowminder, Ncell and TeliaSonera for Aid the displaced post Nepal Earthquake 2015

Entry Deadlines & Key Dates

The Deadline for entries is Wednesday 23rd November 2016
The Shortlist will be published in late January 2017
Winners will be announced at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona 27th February – 2nd March 2017


Below you will find information on eligibility, criteria, supporting materials as well as the questions that you will be asked on the entry form.

Please also refer to the Rules of Entry and frequently asked questions sections for additional information. To begin your entry, click the ‘Enter Here’ button, and complete the registration information. Once underway, you can save, return to and amend your entry at any time until you formally submit.

The judges will review and score your entry on the basis of the information that you provide in answer to the questions, so please be as accurate and succinct as possible.

Note on The Importance of Video as part of your entry: While you can also add supporting materials in the form of documents, pictures and presentations within the entry form, a short video (of maximum 3 minutes) linked to your submission will help our judges significantly, in terms of visualising the use case and understanding the innovation and partner, client or user benefits.


The category is for services, products, applications or initiatives etc. that must have been deployed, implemented, in ‘live’ service or available and proven to have been of aid or service ahead of (in terms of disaster preparedness) during, or post an emergency in and up to year end 2016. Entries must be supportive of, utilise deploy or be accessible via mobile technologies based on open industry standards.

Below are some examples of organisations and entities that this category could be appropriate for, however, it is by no means exhaustive.

Eligible entrants include:

  • Mobile network operators
  • Manufacturers of mobile equipment & technologies
  • Application & Software Developers
  • Relief Agencies, NGOs, foundations,
  • Private organisations or Charities
  • Emergency service organisations,
  • Governments, local authorities or community organisations
  • Any of the above working in partnership

Sector Examples & References

Through the Humanitarian Connectivity Charter, the GSMA Mobile for Development, Disaster Response Programme works with mobile operators to determine how they can most effectively support each other and improve preparedness and resilience among networks in disasters. The Disaster Response Programme works with humanitarian organisations, governments, NGOs and the broader mobile ecosystem on a national, regional and global basis to drive the creation and adoption of coordinated, impactful solutions and practices that leverage the ubiquity of the mobile technology under the umbrella of the Humanitarian Connectivity Charter. For more, click here

  • Flood, Hurricane, Disease & Conflict mapping, tracking, warning and alert systems
  • First Response Services
  • Preparedness & scenario planning
  • Effective two way communications
  • Emergency network deployments
  • Incident management Systems and contact procedures
  • Emergency cash transfer mechanisms
  • First aid & health alert, support & advice tools
  • Shelter, food & sanitation advice & information
  • Continuity & Contingency planning
  • Location based people reunification & survivor location tools
  • Disaster campaign support and fund raising


The judges will be looking at how well entries meet the key criteria, as follows:

  • 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 must have been deployed or available or in live service during (and up to the end of) 2016
  • Entry must utilise, deploy, support or be accessible by mobile (cellular) technology

Supporting Materials

Enter here
You can submit additional materials to support your entry through direct upload on the entry form. Please keep supporting information submitted to a maximum of:

  • A link to one x 3 minute (maximum) video
  • Up to three x 1 page documents (word, pdf, ppt) with further information, images, graphics etc.
  • Up to three x web pages (which should be very specific to the entry) linked by URLs

Video: Please provide a URL link to your video on the entry form (e.g. via YouTube, Vimeo or other public, English language video platforms) and if required, please make sure you provide a password. Videos should ideally be in the English language or with English subtitles.

Other supporting information Documents can include data, extracts from analysts’ reports, testimonials or press articles, graphics etc. Please do make sure this supporting information is succinct and clear.

Web pages: If pointing judges to a website within your supporting materials or entry, please include a URL which is to very specific information relating to your entry, up to a maximum of three web pages, as judges will not have time to search websites looking for the pertinent information.

The on-line entry form includes an upload facility for you to provide the above links and documents. You will have the ability to upload three additional files to accompany your entry. These can be pdfs, jpegs, Word documents or PowerPoint, but please, as above, keep these relevant to your entry.

Preview of Entry Form Questions

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 length for your answers including spaces are shown in brackets below):

  1. What is the name of your entry to the Mobile in Emergency or Humanitarian Situations award? Please note the name given here will be used in all awards publicity and materials. (approx. 25 words)
  2. Is this a joint entry? If so, who are the partnering organisations? (approx. 25 words)
  3. Please describe actual emergency situations or disasters which your entry was created to address or support? (approx. 100 words)
  4. Please confirm that the subject of the entry was deployed, or will be, in “live” service or implemented and available on the market for clients, customers, organisations or end users to buy or access during and up to year end 2016, and in which markets or countries? (approx. 100 words)
  5. Please confirm that your entry utilises, supports, deploys or is accessible through mobile (cellular) technologies based on open industry standards? (approx. 100 words)
  6. Please describe specifically what your entry has achieved in terms of support in times of emergencies, disasters or crises thus far (these can be preventative measures, or during and post emergencies). Please describe it as accurately and succinctly as possible. (approx. 250 words)
  7. What unique benefits has it brought to people, emergency services or aid agencies? (approx. 250 words)
  8. Describe how rapidly it can be deployed, and what is new, or innovative about it, including what new features or functionality it provides to people beforehand, or in times of crises, or in the aftermath? (approx. 250 words)
  9. Please describe the scale to which it can be (or has been) deployed, together with elements that have been built in to ensure that it is sustainable for the long term? (approx. 250 words)
  10. Please describe which elements of the entry are unique to it being a mobile solution? (approx. 250 words)