Request for Proposals: Improve Messenger Platforms’ Use for Development

Earlier this year, the International Committee of the Red Cross released the Humanitarian Futures for Messaging Apps report, that details how refugees and migrants are using internet messaging platforms on the move. Connectivity is vital for refugees and migrants. They increasingly use messenger platforms to find information about their destination countries, get information about potential routes to safety and communicate with friends and family around the world. More broadly, development agencies and governments are also increasingly using internet messengers such as WhatsApp, Telegram, WeChat and Facebook Messenger to deliver health, education and transport services to their populations in poorer countries.

The growing use of these mobile messaging apps makes their potential use in international development attractive, but more research needs to be done on the suitability of these platforms for development programs. Each app offers different capabilities, adaptability, privacy protections and user reach. The Digital Impact Alliance (DIAL) has opened an RFP for help to explore the use of messenger platforms for development to gain insights into the following questions:

1) How are messenger platforms being used for development work?

2) Are messenger platforms effective tools for teams deploying them in development programs, and if so which methodologies, techniques, and applications for using messengers appear most effective under what circumstances?

3) Based on how their products are being used in development projects, what adjustments or additions should messenger providers make so that their applications are more effective for the development community?

More information about the RFP can be found here:
The deadline for this RFP is Tuesday, June 13th. Please contact Carolyn Florey,  with any questions.

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