TADHack is partnering with Geeks Without Bounds (GWOB) an accelerator for humanitarian projects. Below is a nice video that introduces GWOB. We are fortunate to have leading the humanitarian development theme at TADHack Johnny “Diggz” Higgins an entrepreneur, musician, filmmaker and founder of Geeks Without Bounds. On Twitter: @johnnydiggz.
Humanitarian response is a long-standing community with a diverse ecosystem of organizations and methods. Recent focus on crowd sourcing and crisis mapping has brought an influx of technology volunteers and digital humanitarians to this already complex system. Contributing to response efforts without unnecessarily complicating this ecosystem is a difficult task. One way of guiding this surge of attention has been through hackathons, where developers come together with experts to address stated problems. However, this model lacks a key component: a way for people to continue development after the event. GWOB’s solution is an accelerator for humanitarian initiatives.
Communication technologies amplify intent; they do not solve human problems (for example, you can’t make someone be honest, but you can build a system which encourages honesty). Accelerators are about making intent match application by exposing a developer with good intentions to the field and/or to mentors who understand the field, which leads to more useful tools. Geeks Without Bounds is creating better tools and processes to integrate them more effectively into both global response awareness and affected populations.
A recent GWOB project is Bachchao. It’s a well-designed safety tool, intuitive and easy to use in case of emergency. The tool runs on almost all types of mobile phones available around the world, turning your mobile phone into a personal security system. In case of a distress situation, Bachchao will be your virtual guard/friend, who will send real time, accurate and rich information about the person in distress to her/his support group, thus making it possible for help to arrive in time to avoid unwanted situations. Bachchao goes beyond just being another SOS app, it actually records and saves the event as a live proof for law and judiciary to refer to and effectively punish the offenders.
We hope TADHack will generate applications of the sponsors’ communications technologies to humanitarian needs that can help improve people’s lives.