Aid & Development

Correctly identifying locations is crucial to effectiveness of aid

Location management is key to the delivery of effective humanitarian or development services.

Knowledge about the precise location of facilities, hazards, resources and boundaries is essential to the delivery of life sustaining support systems for humanitarian field operations, especially in environments that are challenging and unaddressed.

Alphanumeric codes are complex and varied, and there is limited alignment in operational use between countries, companies or agencies.

This means that data collection, the communication of that data and general on-the-ground response all suffer. The use of 3 word addresses makes things far simpler for everyone.

Find out more about using what3words in Humanitarian

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Case studies

Tropical Health LLP is a consulting firm that specialises in providing cost-effective solutions to monitor and evaluate health programmes in Africa and Asia. Their project VectorWorks aims to monitor the durability of the insecticide-treated mosquito nets that are distributed to entire populations in order to reduce the transmission and burden of malaria. When teams establish an initial sample of households whose mosquito nets will be monitored over a three year period, they use what3words to identify the location, map the sample and find the households again during the follow-up visits.

The USAID Rwanda Mission’s programs include the Global Health Initiative, the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, the President’s Malaria Initiative, Feed the Future, and Global Climate Change. Collecting reliable & accurate location information for each project helps the Mission to better monitor results, improve aid effectiveness and coordination as well as enhance transparency and social accountability. The use of what3words helps achieve this.

H2ONow has created smart water pumps and an accompanying platform to enable local communities and agencies to improve their pump maintenance, and giving real-time information to local people about the most useful water source each day. Each smart pump installed is tagged with a 3 word address, which is used to communicate between stakeholders.

UN-ASIGN is a free crowd-sourcing app developed for use during a natural disaster or humanitarian crisis, allowing the crowd-sourcing of data such as points of flooding, damaged buildings and hazardous electric lines. These are then automatically mapped and help situational awareness and response during a crisis. Integration of what3words now means all photos and reports are geo-tagged with their 3 word addresses.

Using Aurecon’s technology combined with satellite or building footprint data, every home, shelter and asset can be remotely assigned the most useful 3 word address for asset management, urban planning and upgrading of informal settlements.

Building on UNDP’s use of what3words in the field in many regions across Africa, the regional security team in Turkey are using it to communicate across their teams. Drivers and security team members have downloaded the free what3words application, which enables them to simply describe the exact location of assets, people and even any incidents that arise.

Restless Development is an agency focused on helping young people take a leadership role in the development of their countries. Young people are most affected by the persistent problems facing the world, and yet are frequently overlooked as a resource. In Tanzania they are training their network of volunteers to provide voter education and report issues like outbreaks of violence, intimidation, or vote fraud. All Restless Development’s volunteers have been trained on how they can use what3words’ app to provide a precise location when they are reporting what they see on the ground.