engageSPARK for Disater Readiness and Risk Reduction (DRR)

Driving Rapid Response While Building Sustainable Change

Mercy Corps used engageSPARK to send 1,000,000+ automated calls and SMS messages to help 20,000 Filipino Typhoon victims get back on their feet. How? With Soap Operas. Yes, you read that right. Soap Operas.

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Emergency Alerts

Notify millions of people about emergencies, regardless of where they are

  • Send out disaster warnings, for example, based on weather forecasts or other disaster news
  • Reach all recipients instantly, no matter whether they have airtime/phone credit or internet
  • Advise recipients on the safest practices if they cannot evacuate
  • Send regular updates and hotline numbers to contact

EMERGENCY ALERTS

Timely warnings can save thousands of lives and give people time to prepare for natural disasters such as floods, typhoons, or earthquakes. engageSPARK empowers you to reach individuals in disaster-prone areas, and send them automated phone calls and SMS texts to warn them of an imminent threat.

How it works:

  1. Send out disaster warnings based on meteorology alerts 
  2. Send regular updates on a developing situation
  3. Inform and educate recipients on how respond to the crisis.
  4. Notify recipients of a disaster hotline that they can contact

The Benefits:

  • Reach millions of people in remote areas who are offline
  • Reach anyone anytime in 200+ countries
  • Send out alerts and updates that are received instantly, in real time
  • Effortlessly scale your fully automated campaigns

Inform and Educate

Send interactive, engaging programs to educate and prepare people for emergencies

  • Educate and prepare people in disaster-prone areas with engaging, educational automated phone calls
  • Test and reinforce comprehension with interactive quizzes at the end of each call
  • Reach anyone, even people in remote areas with no internet access
  • Drive action by incentivizing and rewarding people with airtime top-ups

INFORM AND EDUCATE

Education is the single most powerful tool to empower people in developing countries to improve their quality of life. While many people in underdeveloped areas do not have access to the internet, most of them do have cell phones, enabling you to reach them with life-saving educational content at any time.

How it works:

  1. Advertise a phone number on billboards, radio, TV, Facebook, etc. before crises to get people to opt-in for crisis training
  2. People in emergency-prone areas opt in for free via missed call or SMS
  3. Send them automated phone calls with educational content about how to prepare for and what to do when disaster hits
  4. Teach them skills, such as financial literacy, to be more resilient for future emergencies
  5. Conduct regular automated quizzes and questionnaires to assess effectiveness and to test and reinforce comprehension
  6. Use incentives, such as airtime top-ups, to increase engagement

The Benefits:

  • Recipients without access to Internet can be educated through their cell phones
  • Engage recipients via personalized messages, and with content that is both informative and entertaining
  • Use incentives to further increase user participation
  • Reach millions at the same time with fully automated campaigns

Disaster Response

Find out what survivors of disasters need in real time, so that you can appropriately target your response

  • Gather immediate emergency feedback from survivors in need of help
  • Target specific areas for particular responses based on feedback (e.g., food to one location, medical to another)
  • Find out what helped and what didn’t by launching post-emergency surveys
  • Research issues blocking recovery

DISASTER RESPONSE

Disaster relief depends on receiving reliable information about the situation as it unfolds. Who needs help where, and which efforts are reaching which destination? Mobile phones can be used to reach out to people in affected areas, and gather information in real time when all other communication channels are down.

How it works:

  1. Send automated messages to your network of recipients in a disaster area
  2. Enquire about their biggest needs, and whether they are receiving any help: “Press 1 if you need food, Press 2 if you need medical assistance, Press 3 if you need shelter. Now speak your location”
  3. Target relief efforts based on responses to surveys: send food to areas where huge numbers report needing food, medical care to areas where large populations need medical help, etc.
  4. Follow up after you send relief goods to determine whether they reach their destination
  5. Send automated questionnaires to assess the effectiveness of long term recovery efforts

The Benefits:

  • Interact with anyone who has a cell phone and a mobile signal
  • Gather instant emergency feedback
  • Contact millions of people simultaneously with automated messages
  • Send customized follow up messages as the situation develops
  • Conduct polls and surveys to determine how effective the relief efforts have been