In 2016, the Innovation Service and UN Global Pulse used data from Twitter to monitor protection issues for the first time using artificial intelligence to understand the interactions between refugees, host communities, and service providers during movement through Europe. UNHCR’s Innovation Service  continued exploring text analytics, open-source and commercial tools, as well as with different computer science techniques to be able to quantify, analyse and understand issues related to UNHCR’s protection mandate. For example, protection-related incidents such as hate speech, discrimination and xenophobia against refugees and asylum seekers, as well as other persons of concern to UNHCR are commonly expressed online.

Humanitarian challenge

Incorporating text data to monitor humanitarian crises and perceptions about refugees

Challenge Question

How can UNHCR teams improve their efficiency in the analysis of large volumes of text-based data, including high velocity data such as social media?

Data innovation solution

Open-source tools and techniques (e.g. topics modeling, natural language processing, NLP) and Licensed Social Media Listening tools using public APIs.