LIRNEasia is a regional ICT policy and regulation think tank active across the Asia Pacific

Voice-enabled Information Communication Technology for Disaster Management

Knowledge Sharing of Voice-enabled ICT for Disaster Management (VoiceICT4D) sets off to spread the message that “voice-based interfaces can foster emergency communication, especially in developing countries, by leaps and bounds, opposed to traditional keypad entry data communication systems”. This research diffusion project is made possible through a grant from the Humanitarian Innovation Fund.

VoiceICT4D builds on the success of the “feasibility study to enable Freedom Fone with voice-based emergency data exchange“. Findings from the pilot study implies that Freedom Fone is a utility.

Telephone calls are the main mode for communicating emergency information between the Sarvodaya community-based emergency coordinators and their central incident management hub in Sri Lanka. The Freedom Fone Interactive Voice Response (IVR) and Sahana disaster management system integration study revealed the technology marriage as an easy to use and useful combination for exchanging emergency response information and decision support analysis.

VoiceICT4D will share the acquired knowledge and stimulate discussions with various stakeholders to influence policy towards enabling affordable interactive voice solutions, such as the Freedom Fone and Sahana marriage, in disaster management.

Challenge(s) addressed:

  • Effective rescue and relief coordination in an accountable and transparent way to foster rapid crisis response
  • Access to near real-time emergency information for swift and accurate allocation of emergency response resources
  • Mobilizing community volunteers with localized and easy to use ICTs that do not require computer literacy and English language skills
  • Standardizing, localizing, and internationalizing emergency data to enable Inter and intra organization system, semantic, and business interoperability

Innovation Factor: Advocate the adaptation of affordable, easy to use, and usable voice-enabled last-mile technologies for community-based emergency alerting and reporting.


Key Deliverables / Impact

  • Research video – is a 5 to 8 minute short video highlighting the key messages from the Freedom Fone and Sahana integration action research.
  • Digital Story – the 12 to 15 minute production will complement the research video with all relevant research information, including visuals of the software, procedures, and analytical results.
  • Stakeholder forum – facilitate an environment for selected public and private sector experts, involved in National/Regional disaster management, to disaster management knowledge.
  • Other actions – sharing knowledge with various levels of Government in Sri Lanka and regional disaster management agencies. Periodic news briefs or summaries will be published in newsletters, websites, blogs, social media, and other public venues.


  1. Project Proposal and Annex
  2. Digital Story highlighting the research findings
  3. “Do you hear me” video.
  4. Final Report.



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