Digitalising our set-up is crucial to providing high-quality aid to people of concern. We work to improve our digital capabilities and gradually and responsibly adapt our programmes to digital developments that impact people affected by displacement. At the same time, we work to ensure that the people we support are protected from digital risks and enable them to enjoy their full rights, also in the digital space.
Accelerating DRC Strategy 2025
Go Digital as organisational principle
DRC commits to increasing its ability to cultivate digital opportunities in high-quality interventions that add value for displaced communities. Digitalisation is a global mega-trend that is transforming societies, organisations, economies and governments. It has the potential to facilitate real, positive change, but may also lead to increased repression, instability and digital divides that leave behind marginalised groups, including people affected by forced displacement, due to the lack of affordable or relevant products or services, or because political, social or economic factors impede equitable uptake.
DRC should be known for taking a realistic, ambitious, ethical and people-centred approach to digitalisation. Rather than developing a separate strategy, digitalisation will be carefully mainstreamed into DRC’s broader goals and initiatives.
With the 2025 Strategy, DRC Danish Refugee Council intensifies its fight against systemic inequality and structural discrimination against conflict- and displacement-affected persons. Therefore, and in addition to the humanitarian principles that govern our work, DRC has identified five organisational principles that must be reflected in our programmatic work and all internal and external relations. One of those organisational principles includes the "Go Digital" principle.
By making improved digitalisation a priority in our 2025 Strategy, DRC acknowledges that our future ability to pursue our vision and mission will depend on our ability to cultivate digital opportunities as part of high-quality interventions that add value for displaced communities. To realise this ambition, DRC will strengthen its capacity to utilise digital technologies, analyse trade-offs, and mitigate potential risks.
Digital divide and digital opportunity
Digitalisation is a global mega-trend, affecting all aspects of our work at DRC, as well as the lives of displaced populations. With a greater part of their lives taking place in the digital sphere, we need to include digitalisation in our actions, in order to continue providing protection and support to the fullest of our capabilities.
4.5 bn internet users globally (59% of global population)
4g networks are accessible to 85% of the world’s population
High speed internet rolled out globally (exponential trajectories) - even space-based internet
Marginal costs of internet services declining
Hardware barriers are lowering
‘Crash course’-effect of Covid-19 – lives moving online, education, working remote, shopping online and banking online, etc.
Massive skills development as a result
Massive investments into digital
As we are increasingly ‘living online’ – the price of being disconnected increases
Noticeable digital gaps
1% of world’s population is displaced – 32% of these under 18 years old
For many refugees – its natural to calculate Wi-Fi cost into rent because it is such an essential service
Research has found that forcibly displaced spent up to 1/3 of their disposable income to get connected to internet
Despite this, refugees are 50% more likely to be left without connectivity
Gender gap: Men in low-income countries are 90% more likely to own a mobile phone than women
Lacking infrastructure in developing countries contributes to the divide
The gap between information-rich and information-poor societies
Digital divide can mean segregation in societies of individuals (ethnicity, age, race and gender)
Limited (and expensive) internet access is a barrier for young people, and especially those displaced, to equally pursue opportunities
Innovation investments: Digitalisation and forced displacement in the field