Problems

Peace Corps Recruit Me App

Updated 10 months 4 weeks ago

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F1x_ADGSb9A

 

An app that allows perspective volunteers to see on the individual level if they have the necessary skills to become a Peace Corps volunteer before they apply.

Coming from a recruitment office, the most common question I receive via email from perspective volunteers is whether they are qualified to be a Peace Corps volunteer with their given education background, volunteer history and language skills. Currently, due to the large traffic of correspondence our office receives, our advice is for those interested in Peace Corps service to apply (even if they are unsure their skill set meets the basic requirements to be a volunteer). This causes a lot of extra traffic for already busy recruiters who have to sadly tell the perspective volunteer that they must gain additional skills and apply again at a later time. This smartphone app will tell perspective volunteers before they even apply if they are eligible for service or not using their answers to specific questions including educational background and past work experience. If they are eligible, it will encourage them to begin their application. If not, it will tell them exactly what they are missing before they begin an application and even meet with a recruiter.

This will eliminate a lot of traffic to recruiting offices; and therefore make the entire application process more efficient. This will bring about stronger batches of Peace Corps volunteers in the future.

Categories: Education, Transparency, Youth

Bagong Barrio Education Fund (BBEF) - Breaking the cycle of poverty through educational sponsorship

Updated 11 months 1 day ago

The Bagong Barrio Education Fund is a not-for-profit sponsorship program that focuses on education as a means of breaking the cycle of poverty.

The program supports the educational needs of the children of Bagong Barrio, the second largest slum village in Manila. It brings together Australian (and international) 

sponsors who fund the education expenses (books, uniforms, transport) of individual students.

100% of the sponsors’ money goes directly to the students.

For more info: http://www.bbef.org.au/index.html

 

 

Categories: Education, Youth

On the Map - Utilize cell phones to map rural communities

Updated 11 months 1 week ago

Accurate and accessible mapping services have changed how many of use see our place in the world. Whether it's interactive street maps, satellite imagery or detailed maps of natural resources it is easier than ever to have accurate knowledge of where we call home. Many communities in rural part of the world are not accurately mapped, current maps are not easily updated, or in many cases communities are not mapped at all. Professional GPS technology and GIS software can be very costly and very complicated, especially for those with little to no experience with computer programs, like many who live in rural communities.

Utilizing the location services already on many cell phones, location way-points could be saved and uploaded later to a simple web-based service for map creation, editing and publishing online or printing. A user would open the application on their cell phone, or location service device, and stand at a landmark or way-point. The application would save their geo-location and give them the ability to name the location and label it under a category (such as 'road' or 'water source'). Later, the user is able to upload their data-points to a web-based mapping service. Current free online mapping services could be used, like GPS Visualizer or Open Street Map, or another service could be developed. This service would be more integrated with the mobile application, designed for the purpose of mapping unmapped locations, and more user friendly to people of different world languages.

Giving rural villagers maps of their communities will provide opportunities for villages to: measure their local resources and create natural resource management plans; view infrastructure (such as water pump locations) on a village wide scale so needs and improvements can be modeled to benefit the greatest number of people. An accurate local map would be a useful teaching tool to increase spacial reasoning skills for primary and secondary school geography lessons, students could also have a chance to create their own maps of landmarks important to them. Accurate maps would also greatly help emergency planning and disaster relief efforts. Lastly, empowering individuals to define and explore their community through maps broadens minds and gives people a better understanding of their sense of place in the world. It is an opportunity to put their communities 'On the Map.'

Categories: Disaster Resiliency, Education, Environment, Transparency, Transportation, Water, Youth

Smart Giving - The Social Network for Social Giving

Updated 11 months 1 week ago

Smart Giving is a platform where individuals, charities and businesses will  interact and support each other. We are aiming to develop a web App which will allow people to give any thing they like e.g. time, skills or money and get rewarded for social giving. We are gamifying the concept of giving and making it fun. Our members will earn Joys (points) for whatever they give, which can be converted into cash back discounts offered by our business members. Its simple, we are part of nature and it has a simple rule, more we give the more we get. 

All public donations will be transferred to member charities. We have established a charitable fund called Smart Giving Trust, which is Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) endorsed by tax office and holds fundraising licenses to collect public donations throughout Australia. At this stage, we need help to build a very basic application to get some feedback. We have uploaded a presentation which help you understand our long term vision for a global platform. http://bit.ly/14610Ed

 

 

Categories: Agriculture, Disaster Resiliency, Education, Energy, Environment, Food Security, Gender Equality, Health, Human Rights, Trade, Transparency, Transportation, Urban, Water, Youth

Universal Emergency Response Management

Updated 11 months 1 week ago

In any emergency response, such as firefighting, there is a need to manage resources and optimise their utilisation. Responders, vehicles, aircraft all play a part, and it is important for team leaders and managers to know where everyting is located and the task it is currently assigned to do. Often, in a fire fighting scenario, teams are spread out over many kilometres, and also be obscured by smoke. Operational managers in the response management headquarters also require a "big picture" view to properly use the resources at their disposal.

 

Categories: Disaster Resiliency, Environment

Post-Disaster Issue Resolution - Resilience

Updated 11 months 1 week ago

After a bush fire, flood, or cyclone, emergency response management personnel need to know what issues need to be resolved, get accurate and timely descriptions of their severity and location, to be able to prioritise them, to determine which types of resources are needed for their resolution, and to track their resolution. Currently, issues are handled by verbal description, relayed in the first instance over the phone from a member of the public, to a centralised response call centre, and then to the local emergency response crews. At each step, and with each relay of information, the precise location and an accurate description may be diluted or lost. Indeed, an accurate location and description may not have been captured in the first place. For example, a tree is across the road, a road section is washed away, a fence is breached and stock is wandering.

 

This problem calls for a system that:

  1. Leverages the ubiquity of smartphones in the community. These devices are location-aware, can efficiently capture text, and can take photos.
  2. Allows for the mobile phone network to be inoperable. Information about issues can be stored offline until the user is within coverage.
  3. Provides a map- and list-based view of the issues reported for a particular disaster area. Issues can prioritised according to their severity. Crews can be assigned according to their skills and proximity.
  4. Uses smartphones to let mobile response crews to find the issue and record its resolution.
  5. Complements the existing radio-based communications used by emegency response crews.
  6. Members of the public can get a view of the current situation, so they may avoid dangerous areas.

 

Categories: Disaster Resiliency

Automated Bushfire Survival Plan Application

Updated 11 months 1 week ago

 

 

An online application that allows residents in high bushfire risk areas to easily prepare a bushfire survival plan by answering a set of questions relevant to their area.  The application will then allow residents to print out their plan, alert them to take the action that they have already pre-determined based on Fire Danger Ratings and automatically notify others when they evacuate.

 

 

Categories: Disaster Resiliency

Invisible Victims: Migrants Crossing Mexico into The United States

Updated 11 months 2 weeks ago

Every year, tens of thousands of women, men and children are ill-treated, abducted or raped as they travel through Mexico without legal permission as irregular migrants. The vast majority are headed for the US border in the hope of new life far from the crippling poverty they are fleeing. Their journey is one of the most dangerous in the world. Arbitrary detention and extortion by public officials are common. Many simply disappear without trace, kidnapped and killed, or robbed, assaulted and thrown off speeding trains. For those who survive the extreme insecurity and dangers of the journey through Mexico, reaching the US border brings its own hazards. Increased US immigration enforcement in certain border areas has pushed undocumented immigrants to use particularly dangerous routes through the US desert; hundreds of people die each year as a result.

The devastating abuses that take place against migrants is a cross border issue, involving both the United States and Mexican societies. But currently, their deaths, like their lives, remain largely hidden from view. For the families back home, there is little hope of ever finding out what happened.

How could technology, applications and digital services make the invisible visible with regard to abuses committed against migrants, and be used to support both migrants and their networks in a safe way, helping mitigate the risks and reduce the number of people who die each year?

1. Aggregate and visualize data for advocacy: How can we make invisible crimes visible without putting migrants at risk?

Data collection is vital in order to have a full and comprehensive analysis of the factors that contribute to deaths and abuses across Mexico and along the US border. The lack of such data is a serious barrier to determining the steps that need to be taken to mitigate the prevalence of migrant deaths along the border.
 
The numbers of people missing, killed, injured and abused is unknown but increasing – how can technology help those who already provide shelter/support to migrants better document and track the stories of those who are travelling to provide more accurate data on the scale of migrant abuses/deaths? How could technology applications (video, audio) be used to generate more evidence and testimony that can then be used to expose abuses and pressure the governments involved to prosecute crimes committed against migrants?
 
For example:
  • Could we create a simple, accessible digital system to provide a means for the networks of civil society organizations and shelters on the ground who could/can/are collecting and capturing data to aggregate and share this information?
  • Could we facilitate a form of ‘check in’, which migrants can do from specific safe points on their journey?
  • How could we collect this information in a manner that is safe and secure and does not put migrants at further risk?
  • How could we capture more migrant stories/voices anonymously at these safe points, for use as testimony and to use for informing others who consider making the journey of the risks involved?
  • How could we create anonymous visualizations based on these routes and stories for use in advocacy?
 
Possible type of data a system could record:
 
  • Numbers and routes
  • Abuses by smugglers
  • Sexual violence
  • Police and state abuse
  • Being thrown back over the border (when not allowed even though they’re at risk)
  • Documenting deaths
  • Water points and shelters
 
2. Relative/family support and missing persons
 
Families experience what psychologists term ‘Ambiguous Loss’, which means that the status of a loved one is in question – unresolved. The grief process cannot start because the person is neither dead nor alive. Families often report debilitating fear and an inability to focus on daily tasks. At any point in their ‘normal’ day, their loved one could be suffering somewhere without help. The search often becomes all-consuming. And without an organized system for searching, families are left to do it alone.
 
Relatives and families are a key audience and are also more likely to have access to the web. How can we use existing social networks to connect up families with lost members on migrant crossings?  How could we create a high security database that loved ones of migrants could access in order to be sure their family member is safe, or to track back to where they were last seen?
 
  • Could we develop a lo-fi, social web based missing and unidentified person system to provide more reliable information to families whose loved ones disappear?
  • Could we create a platform that supports knowledge transfer, allowing for posting missing members, sightings, news and locations?
 
3. Information provision and distribution for migrants
 
Many people know they are risking their lives; they cross because of desperation and more information on risks would be unlikely to make a difference. On the other hand, there may be some people crossing for the first time and for whom it may be hard to conceive of the reality of the journey. 
Many others are deliberately misled by smugglers/traffickers who give false information about the risks i.e. that it is just a day’s walk, etc. 
 
Could we create a platform that communicates risks to migrants through information and visibility, better planning information - where are the shelters, telephone numbers, water and food points? Could we make it accessible for them to find out information on their rights in specific states and regions e.g access to justice, support networks etc.
 
Possible areas:
  • Increase awareness of risks - how to get more accurate information available, in a secure and anonymous way
  • Increase awareness of rights - what are local laws, places to report abuse and how, knowing what they should be able to claim/demand of local authorities
  • Increase awareness of help they can get along the way - where are safe routes, houses, telephone numbers, alert systems, rescue and distress. Using maps, satellites, crowd-sourcing etc, alternative emergency service number?
Categories: Health, Transparency, Transportation

No more Tro-Tro-uble Public Transportation App ("Lose the Wait" SMS Efficiency App)

Updated 11 months 2 weeks ago

In Ghana we used a lot of shared transportation. The lowest cost form of shared transport is the tro-tro which is a privately owned van that sells tickets to the public. Using the tro-tro system is a frustrating experience for Ghanaians, but remains the only option for lower income individuals. Usually this meant that you would show up to a station buy a ticket and then wait an unknown amount of time until all the other tickets for the car were sold. In many cases this meant waiting around in the car and wasting a lot of time. For some folks traveling to remote location this would mean waiting for hours with no guarantee that the car would fill up. If it didn't the driver may stay in town and the passenger could be stranded.

Typically the system works in two ways. The “station model” is when passengers would show up to a station and buy tickets from a central ticketing station. This person usually is selling tickets for 2 or more cars. Passengers buy a ticket and wait, usually in the car. The car will leave once all the tickets are sold. The “line car model” is used along main roads where there is no station. For these tro-tro’s routes, a car will travel between two stations, picking up passengers along the roadside if they have room. This is another frustrating experience as passengers must stand on the road for an unknown amount of time asking each car where it is going until they find their desired car.

We are looking for a simple app that would facilitate real time communication between passengers and tro-tro operators.  This could be a simple app that the ticket salesman could update every time a ticket was sold and would make that information available to waiting passengers. This would give passengers the freedom to leave the station and take care of other things while they wait. It could be similar to how hostesses at some restaurants let you know when your table is available by sending you a text message. Or it could be the driver sends SMS to short code number with phone number of each passenger as they pay. When the driver has only one seat left to be sold, he sends a certain message (e.g. "Full") to the short code number, and it automatically sends an SMS to all paid passengers saying the taxi is about to leave. Or a short code that would allow them to advertise their want of a ride to “line car” tro-tro’s so that they can let them know when to expect a car to come by.

 

Categories: Transportation

Encouraging kids to save

Updated 11 months 2 weeks ago

Teaching financial literacy to kids is difficult, because they dont care. But there are things they do care about, liking going to a concert or buying a pair of shoes. So, we encourage them to maintain a wishlist of things they want to buy and help them with come up with a savings plan to achieve it through their smartphone app

Categories: Education

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