Section: Arrival

A mobile phone application that provides newly arrived migrants relevant information on available services to help them settle in.

Case study

The Netherlands Red Cross launched the Refugee Buddy app in November 2015 to supply newly arrived migrants with information about their new area of residence. The app was developed in close consultation with migrants who had said that lack of any information on where they were or what to do was a key challenge.

The app provides information on: (a) the asylum procedure; (b) key facilities nearby (e.g., pharmacies, supermarkets, churches and mosques); (c) relevant news; (d) traffic and transportation; (e) medical facilities; and (f) Dutch culture. The app can be downloaded in Arabic or English and provides translations of common needs. The existing Red Cross Red Crescent First Aid app has been translated and integrated into the Buddy app.

Other examples

The InfoAid app, developed by the Migration Aid initiative, provides quick and reliable information to migrants entering Hungary. Users are provided information on: (a) the rules that apply to them; (b) where they can receive care; (c) how the transport system works; (d) where and how to buy train tickets; (e) where medical care is available; (f) how to dispose of waste; and (f) information on the registration process. The application is available on the Android platform as a free download. It can be used in a variety of languages including Arabic, English and Hungarian.

Assessment of impact and reach

~4,000 to 5,000 downloads of the application as of May 2016.

Cost per beneficiary
Alignment with policy

Design. [P1] Focuses on the informational needs of migrants entering the Netherlands.

Implementation. [P7] Once the app is integrated across Europe, it will provide information along the migration trail.

  • Reaching out to migrants due to the closed nature of shelter locations.
  • Developing promotion materials that connect to the culture of migrants/refugees (e.g., who might prefer more oral communication).
Lessons learned
  • Focus groups and brainstorming sessions with migrants and refugees are critical in the development of the app.
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