World Refugee Day: Tech companies can work together to strengthen the safety net

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Please don’t create the next trafficking app.” Those were the words I heard a few months ago while visiting a major international humanitarian organization focused on helping refugee children from Ukraine. The point of that statement was that too often, and despite our best intentions, private sector technology companies, including us, step in to help in crisis situations without first understanding the ecosystem of standards, privacy, and security required for nonprofits to to best deliver their services to the vulnerable populations they serve.

For example, a single application developed for a single organization and at a specific point in time all too often contributes to a fragmented ecosystem of applications that impedes impact at scale.

One of the things I have learned from working for a large global health NGO for 10 years is that digital technology cannot solve complex social problems on its own. Technology is a tool, a valuable tool even, but it’s also best used when it’s part of a…

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