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REFAID

Design team: Shelley Taylor (creator), Keit Kollo, Mansimran Singh, trellyz (United Kingdom and United States); Current locations: Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Haiti, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Montenegro, Morocco, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Moldova, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States; Planned: Algeria, Bangladesh, Belize, Benin, Bolivia, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cote d’Ivoire, Ecuador, El Salvador, Gambia, Ghana, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Honduras, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Mexico, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Panama, Peru, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo, Tunisia; Years: 2016–present

RefAid is a mobile application designed with the understanding that people fleeing conflict often travel with few possessions except a phone. The app shows refugees, and those who help them, where services are nearby, geolocating them on a map. Available in a growing number of languages, the interface uses simple, color-coded icons to indicate necessities such as food, shelter, toilets/showers, and legal help. The app has transformed the speed with which organizations can update their services and communicate with people on the move in realtime by aggregating information into a single platform, pushing the entire sector to be more digital.

Image: Users display the RefAid app on their mobile phones; Credit: Alvar Sánchez © trellyz, inc.