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Localising AI for crisis response

Combining collective crisis intelligence and participatory AI for local humanitarian action

Nesta hosted an online event to discuss the results of a project to research, design and test new collective crisis intelligence solutions

In April 2021, Nesta’s Centre for Collective Intelligence Design, in partnership with the IFRC Solferino Academy, launched a new project to research, design and test new collective crisis intelligence (CCI) solutions.

CCI combines artificial intelligence (AI) with methods that gather on-the-ground human intelligence from communities affected by crises and frontline responders.

The researchers shared the results of a year-long partnership with the Nepal Red Cross Society and Cameroon Red Cross Society, where they prototyped new CCI solutions.

They discussed:

  • NFRI-Predict – a tool that anticipated which non-food aid households in different regions of Nepal would need after a crisis.
  • Report and Respond – an SMS-based tool that allowed Red Cross volunteers in Cameroon to check the accuracy of rumours and misinformation about Covid-19 they heard from the communities they worked with, and receive real-time guidance on appropriate responses.
  • How they developed these tools using Nesta’s participatory AI methodology.
  • Key takeaways for the humanitarian sector as a whole and lessons learnt.

The event finished with a Q&A with the project team, including IFRC Solferino Academy staff, data science fellows from Nepal and Cameroon, and researchers from the Centre for Collective Intelligence and Data Analytics Practice.

Watch a recording of the event.

Read the report: Localising AI for crisis response.


The project was funded by a grant from the UK Humanitarian Innovation Hub (UKHIH). UKHIH is an independent entity hosted within Elrha and fully funded by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office.



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