Digitalization as
Enabler to
Families in
Time of War


More than one million families are separated due to conflicts. An analytics solution implemented throughout the ICRC’s global operations will resolve missing persons cases through data analytics responses, and benefit families around the world.


Within a year, the ICRC and EPFL will resolve three cases in which a missing person is identified through analysis of publicly available data, in compliance with safety and data protection standards. Insights gained will provide evidence of the overall potential of data analytics to find missing persons, and identify which sources of information and technologies have the largest potential for identification of missing persons.


The problems are legal and technical. The platform must comply with data privacy requirements and be usable by non-experts. Data ownership, access rights and data privacy issues must be addressed. A technology that integrates internal and external data sources, data fusion, search mechanisms and text and image analytics must be brought together to extract relevant information from large data volumes.


Digital information can be exploited to make the search for missing persons significantly more successful and efficient. The specific circumstances of crisis-ridden areas and their requirements in order to protect the individual must be taken into account. The ICRC will use lessons learned to build sector-wide standards in the search for missing persons in humanitarian crises.


Healing cannot happen for more than a million families who do not know the fate of missing relatives, and the scars of war will continue to mark the history of entire families and communities. This can lead to unbearable suffering; the right to know the fate of missing loved ones is at the core of humanity, making this a truly people-focused challenge.

People &

Bet Captain

Charlotte Lindsey (ICRC)




No news on this bet yet – but there are insights on other bets.



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