Blockchain can help with humanitarian action

The review examines the adoption of blockchain technology in terms of work done by humanitarian and development agencies. This review finds that blockchain presents a duality. On the one hand, disruptive technology can have advantages, such as the connection of smart contracts with forecast-based financing. However, on the other hand, technology can present new risks, such as those focused on privacy.

The adoption of blockchain technology by the non-governmental sector was discussed in a digital magazine article published in 2018. This took into consideration the G2 Crowd 2018 digital trends report and concern for displaced persons and their identity. According to Michael Fauscette, without a government supporting them, refugees can lose their identity. Without an identity, it becomes almost impossible to find meaningful work. Fauscette claims that the blockchain can help solve these problems.

According to the new review, the blockchain to work must be implemented with thought and purpose. Successful blockchain technology can help tackle corruption. Furthermore, it can: "improve land ownership and property rights, create secure digital identities, tackle gender inequality".

Based on big data analytics for support, blockchain can help in less political and more targeted funding and in the aid programs that occur. Blockchain can also reassure donors that their money is spent well.

However, there are factors that need to be addressed, the review found. These include data privacy and the need to further develop the technology to avoid too many interruptions in an industry that focuses on improving and saving human life. The recommendation is that an ethical guideline be implemented, supported by monitoring and analysis during the first phase of blockchain application in the "third sector".

The research was published in the Journal of International Humanitarian Action, in a research paper entitled "Blockchain for humanitarian action and development aid".

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