In the aftermath of the 2011 flooding in Pakistan, the Strengthening Participatory Organization (SPO), a Pakistani NGO, implemented a disaster relief project to distribute food items and shelter. The organisation needed a way to collect beneficiary feedback in order to monitor the distribution process, which involved five district level partner organizations.
This case study illustrates how SPO worked alongside the Popular Engagement Policy Lab (PEPL) and Raabta Consultants to implement a complaints and response mechanism, using FrontlineSMS to send out SMS based questionnaires to beneficiaries, which were completed and submitted using mobile phones. The paper includes the steps that were taken to implement the programme, challenges that were faced, learning, and recommendations for the future use of SMS in disaster response situations.
The paper concludes that SMS is an effective channel for communication with affected communities, but the design of the service must meet the needs of the end user, particularly in areas of low literacy and where women have limited access to mobile phones in comparison to men.