Social Media Monitoring

Social media monitoring (SMM) offers opportunities for the aid sector to better understand the operating environment by knowing what people say and express on social media.

Insecurity Insight looks at social media from an aid security perspective. We examine social media to identify when it is used to incite violence against aid providers or spreads false information that can be used to incite violence. During the COVID-19 pandemic and the Ebola outbreak, health providers have been particularly affected. In some conflicts, such as Cameroon, aid efforts are often politicised on social media.

Understanding the changing security context is important for duty of care for staff and access to beneficiaries.

To find out what people are saying in the DRC and how aid providers are portrait on social media in Cameroon – read our Social Media Monitoring Bulletin.

Get involved if you have questions to discuss.

Delivering Emergency Healthcare in Insecure Settings

Our monitoring highlights the critical necessity of sustained community engagement. Use our 15-min guide for guidance on how to gain the acceptance of community members and non-state armed groups. Find out more.


SMM for the Aid Sector

In many conflict-affected countries, concerns and hopes are increasingly also expressed on social media. While public social media predominantly reflects the opinions of the self-selected influencers and is not necessarily representative, it is becoming increasingly important to identify growing negative sentiments towards aid programmes as well as minority groups.

Adverse attitudes towards the aid sector can be expressed in the form of ‘anti-foreigner’ feelings or opposition to specific activities such as vaccinations or ‘western secular education’. It may also focus on deliberately spreading false accusations. Some of the false information may be the expression of local belief systems. In other cases, it can’t be ruled out that external parties may have an interest in supporting the spread of false information.

Social media is used by individuals who express personal opinions but also by organized groups from within and outside of the affected countries.

What we do

What we do

Insecurity Insight provides regular updates on information from social media from open platforms in the Eastern DRC and some surrounding African countries with a specific focus on information related to public health emergencies such as Ebola and COVID-19 and how rumours and misinformation may translate into incitement to violence against health care providers and the aid sector more widely.

We have received support from Standby Task force and pro bono support from Novetta,


Ebola Response in Kivus

Ebola Response in Kivus

Throughout 2019, Insecurity Insight monitored violence that affected the Ebola response in the Eastern DRC. Read here an overview of the violence affecting the health response in 2019 and see recommendations and full website.

Mozambique during Cyclone Idai

Mozambique during Cyclone Idai

In March and May 2019, we tested how best to use social and local media to keep the aid sector informed about security related developments that could have affected operations with the help from Standby Task Force. Read here the threat analysis based on the examples we identified in Mozambique during the cyclone response.