Towards a Code of Conduct: Guidelines for the Use of SMS in Natural Disasters

This joint effort draws on the wealth of existing expertise across numerous organizations and previous research to codify a series of best conduct practices for the use of SMS in disaster response. This guideline document is a collaborative work in progress and therefore neither fully comprehensive nor entirely complete. This effort focuses exclusively on “natural” disasters and thus currently excludes reference to political crises and complex humanitarian emergencies. In addition, the code of conduct is specifically limited to to Short Messaging Service (SMS) information and communication technology. The intended audiences for this code of conduct are those organizations seeking to use SMS for disaster response and those telecommunication companies that are in a position to provide technical support. To this end, the draft code of conduct also seeks to bring an improved sense of coordination and understanding between telecommunications companies and humanitarian actors.

GSMA Disaster Response
Souktel and The Qatar Foundation
© GSMA Disaster Response, Souktel and The Qatar Foundation, 2013