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[liberationtech] Crisis Response smartphone/tablet app

Yosem Companys companys at
Sat Aug 11 11:26:10 PDT 2012

From: Alan Babcock <slaghacker at>

SXSW ECo needs help to design this year’s element of the NGO Toolkit. While
we encourage you or your organization to attend in person, we are well
aware of budget and logistical challenges. Therefore we are inviting you to
sign up and participate through the Google Hangout we are setting up to
facilitate wide stakeholder input. For more details, please contact the
team below.

*SXSW Eco NGO Toolkit*

The SXSW Eco NGO Toolkit is a new project that brings together a diverse
working group of engineers, software programmers, M&E specialists, donors
and other stakeholders to design and build usable tools for NGO field
practitioners.  All tools built as a part of the SXSW Eco NGO Toolkit will
be opensourced to ensure universal access.

*Open Source** **Crisis Response App***


When crisis strikes, emergency responders are deployed to the affected
area.  During this time, the most difficult obstacle is to determine who is
affected, and where they are.  Without this information, the relief
workers, donors, governments, etc. do not have the capacity or the ability
to fully understand what people need, or how to get it to them.  This app
will help us to understand how and where to start when something terrible
happens.  The Crisis Response App will then remain useful after the
emergency response phase, and into the development phase. One of the most
important elements is to use the GPS function(s) in the phone/tablets to
upload to crowd source maps!

*Basic Format of The Crisis Response App:***

This app will be configured with the general data points required in all
emergency response situations, as well as an additional set of data points
that can be configured to address specific situations.  These may include:
Name, Age, Gender, Place of Origin, client/individual ID (ie photo,
thumbprint, etc), as well as for the client’s family members. There are
many additional data points that are to be determined by the SXSW Eco NGO
Toolkit working group (ie medical data, income level, education level) that
will be built into the app so as to ensure maximum configurability and
utility in a wide variety of situations.

The Crisis Response App will include the ability to link to the camera
(still/video), gps and time/date stamp of the phone/tablet, as well as
algorithms to compare signatures, photos, fingerprints and other
identifying data to ensure non-duplication of registrants and verifiability
during distributions.

The app will be initially released into the Official UN Languages which are
Arabic Chinese (Mandarin), English, French, Russian and Spanish, with
localizations to follow

One of the most important features will be the ability to export collected
data in multiple formats to ensure that data can be uploaded into any
applicable database

This app will be built with future capabilities in mind (i.e., a way to
export the data from an individual device to a safe database [ability to
connect to a satellite phone], multi-layer encryption,
fingerprint/signature reader/scanner [hardware]).

The Crisis Response App is to be released under the General Public License
(GPL) to ensure open-source integrity, which will avoid both ownership and
exclusion challenges, while promoting the potential for universal access to
this tool.

*Who is at the table?***

•   App writers/software developers

•   Monitoring and evaluation experts (likely academic)

•   NGO Field Practitioners (possibly via Skype or Google Hangout)

•   Donors (if possible - both new and traditional donor models)

•   Hardware developers (if deemed necessary)

•   Students from local universities (to challenge traditional thinking),
including the University of Texas, St Edwards University, Texas State
University, Huston-Tillotson and Austin Community College

•   NGO Board Members (if possible)

•   Coordinator/follow up(possibly R&D from Google, Apple, etc)

For more information, please visit us at

If you have any additional question, please contact:

Chris Sonnier (sonnier at

Leslie Uppinghouse (leslie at

Carolyn Harrold (carolyn at

intern at
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