Introducing the Community Response App

Geneva (IOM) – To highlight the challenges and success of migration, as media and communication professionals, we are often tasked with relaying testimonies from the most valuable sources – migrants themselves.

We share photos and videos of migrants in our publications and through our social media channels; this information travels far and wide. It is vital that the men, women and children who trust us with their stories do so with the full knowledge of how that content will be used, and that they provide informed consent to this usage.

We also know that getting informed consent is a practice that can be honoured more in the breach than the observance, something that is neither acceptable nor sustainable. IOM has had to deal with at least one lawsuit from a migrant whose photo was used publicly by a mission without consent in the last 12 months.

To ensure that every photograph and every video published by IOM has the appropriate legal consent of the subject of the interview, the Media and Communications Division has developed a straightforward app to solve the consent problem. The app is only available to IOM staff and is found in the IOM App store. You do not have to use this free tool, but it makes matters far simpler when it comes to ensuring that your consent forms are properly logged.

Henceforth new photos which do not have a duly filed consent form on the MCD database will not be published.

The process is very simple.

Simply download the Community Response App to your mobile phone before starting an interview.

Click here to download the app for iOS

Click here to download the app for Android.

Once you've installed the app, select Informed Consent Toolkit and click on the '+' sign to start collecting informed consent from the interviewee.

The form can be signed on any smartphone and stored using the app; after you inform interviewees of the intended use of the collected material, ask them to sign the digital consent form to confirm their approval. The interviewee may agree to different levels of consent - audio only or full video or perhaps a photo in which their identity is protected.

This quick action will help ensure accountability and will respect the dignity of migrants who entrust us with their information.

The following short video gives a quick overview of the Community Response App’s functions and its practical uses:

For more information, download the Community Response App flyer. If you have any questions or comments, please contact MCD HQ: Amy (arhoades@iom.int), Dan (dstein@iom.int) and Vanessa (vokoth@iom.int).