A global organisation that finds solutions to complex humanitarian problems through research and innovation..
Our purpose is clear: we work in partnership with a global community of humanitarian actors, researchers and innovators to improve the quality of humanitarian action and deliver better outcomes for people affected by crises.
We empower the humanitarian community. Find out how we can support you...

30% of the Asian and Sub-Saharan populations are low-literate – that means, we cannot really reach them through text messages. In the case of disaster communication, we clearly do not want to have those people excluded.

Pictographs come into mind to be used to communicate ‘non-textually’. But how should these pictographs look like? How can they be entirely understood? Are they universal enough to reach across cultural borders? How can the pictures indicate the severity of an incident? How can we communicate about actions to be taken? And how does this all go along with mobile devices? These are just a few questions that need to be asked before we can grab a pencil and start drawing.

In the “Mobile Pictographs for Disaster Communication” project, we want to reach a thorough understanding of the challenge of pictographic disaster communication. To avoid basing our research on wrong assumptions, we will start from scratch and find out first what it is that needs to be communicated. We need to understand WHAT is being talked about – and then investigate into ways HOW to do it.


We have just started working and had a first online meeting with all the project partners (Sahana Software Foundation, Microsoft Research India, and ExCiteS@UCL) to plan the next steps. Upcoming, we will meet disaster management practitioners at a workshop in Bangkok in late August to get first answers to the “WHAT” question and collect their experiences in working with pictographs and/or illiterate people.

We are excited to see the work starting and sharing the results. Stay connected!

Subscribe to our newsletters....

Elrha © 2018 - 2023 Elrha is a registered charity in England and Wales (1177110). KEEP IN TOUCH Want to stay up to date with our latest updates? Sign up to our newsletters
Elrha Please upgrade your browser

You are seeing this because you are using a browser that is not supported. The Elrha website is built using modern technology and standards. We recommend upgrading your browser with one of the following to properly view our website:

Windows Mac

Please note that this is not an exhaustive list of browsers. We also do not intend to recommend a particular manufacturer's browser over another's; only to suggest upgrading to a browser version that is compliant with current standards to give you the best and most secure browsing experience.