Chris Blattman

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Yelp, for refugees

Via a news release to my inbox (well… also told to me over dinner last night by my IRC-employed spouse):

The International Rescue Committee (IRC), one of the world’s leading humanitarian organizations providing relief and resettlement services to people impacted by crisis, today announced the launch of IRC Service Info, an online platform that will enable the more than 1 million Syrian refugees in Lebanon to search and rate aid and commercial services – ranging from healthcare to financial services and retail – online or over the phone.

Similar to websites and applications that allow users to search for hotels or restaurants and then rate those services, Service Info can be accessed on a smart phone, tablet or computer. Organizations that provide assistance to refugees – such as NGOs, medical facilities and even supermarkets – can promote services on Service Info. Once a refugee has used a service, he/she can rate their experience on the Service Info site.

Refugees can search for these services using key words. After the refugee has used a service, he/she will be able to rate the quality received by leaving a rating and comments.

While all the middle aged refugees will complain about the youngsters taking pictures of their meals-ready-to-eat, this is nonetheless a pretty impressive advance for humanitarian aid.

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