Since 2008, more than 600,000 people have registered for a mobile platform made by a nonprofit called Refunite, which has reconnected more than 38,000 family members.
Red Cross and Red Crescent societies have their own reconnection initiative, called Trace the Face.
It publishes pictures online of people looking for missing relatives and lets them search photos that others have posted of themselves, filtering by criteria like gender, age, and country of origin.
Refugees often need immediate medical attention and can’t get it.
In Oslo, the creators of an app called Health Intelligence hope to work with local governments and health organizations to build a chatbot that provides pregnant refugees with medical, legal, and other advice in their native language.
As the startling images of the drowned boy spread, they prompted an outpouring of humanitarian aid—including from the tech sector, which wanted to help prevent the next Aylan from drowning.
Knowing that many refugees have access to cellphones, volunteers around the world began developing apps and other tools to help guide refugees on their journeys, adding to the innovative work under way at humanitarian organizations.
The United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) is already using drones to monitor on-the-ground conditions in refugee camps.
In the future, drones could also provide temporary Wi-Fi and extend phone networks in areas without coverage.
In 2015, Bitnation, which offers users banking, education, notary, and other services without any formal state affiliation, created a Refugee Emergency Response program that participants can use to register for emergency IDs.
These allow users to securely verify one another’s identity and connect with far-flung family members.
In 2015, Turkovic built makeshift Wi-Fi routers and set them up in Croatian refugee camps; he’s now working on a prototype of a compact, durable router called Mesh Point, which will use open-source software to give hundreds of people internet access at once.