Tech for Good Ten: a centralised hub for refugee projects in Europe, a direct-democracy platform in France and direct donations of essential goods to the homeless in Seattle

7th June 2016 Posted by: Sam Firman

Welcome to the Tech For Good Ten, where we share the best 10 links in the Tech For Good world from the past seven days.

We’re aiming to share a wide range of links, meeting the people behind the latest digital innovations, showcasing the greatest tech for good products, looking at the future of social change technology, and exploring the themes and social issues that technology is tackling locally and globally.

Most importantly, we’ll be meeting the people and institutions who are actually using this technology, showing the positive difference it makes in their lives, their communities and the world around them.

We’re also encouraging debate around “What exactly is Tech For Good?” Join the debate in the comments below. We’re here to discuss all things Tech For Good. Got a link to share with the Tech For Good Team? Tweet us at  @techfotgoodtv  or leave a comment on our Facebook page.

Tech For Good Ten | 07.06.2016

1//  Computerised democracy is helping India fight corruption

In 2011, Transparency International estimated that over half of Indians had paid a bribe within the last year. Increasingly, however, computerised government records and processes are allowing citizens to bypass corrupt officials. A simple tech intervention, for sure, but one with enormous potential in a country of 1.3 billion people. 

2//  Refugee Projects: an app centralising refugee-crisis initiatives to make it easier to help

The team at Prosper has created an open-source app that aims to organise and centralise the myriad refugee projects scattered around the internet. Refugee Projects should make it considerably easier to learn about and join efforts to help alleviate the crisis.

3// Polis: making political canvassing more efficient

Polis is a tablet app that allows political canvassers to send real-time analytics information to campaign HQ. HQ can then advise canvassers on how to alter their route or tactics to most effectively target potential voters. Polis is part of a wider civic-tech trend that sees technology streamlining, opening and generally improving democratic processes.

4//  FEMA: a US government app offering severe-weather warnings, advice and assisstance

With tornado season in full swing in the US, it's reassuring to see that the government have an app offering to help citizens handle the inevitable damage and heartbreak. Apps like this are only set to become more relevant as climate change gathers pace.

5//  LaPrimaire: the French platform seeking to select and run a presidential candidate through an open primary

Trust of national politicians in France is low. One of the civic-tech initiatives looking to turn this reality into more direct democracy is LaPrimaire, which hopes to select, and then run, a presidential candidate selected from an open primary.

6//  Limitless Travel: documenting accessible travel destinations around the globe

Angus Drummond created Limitless Travel to provide disabled people with accurate, up-to-date information on the accessibility of travel destinations around the world. His mission to allow disabled people to travel more and more freely is going well, and Limitless Travel recently joined Entrepreneurial Spark in Birmingham.

7//  WeCount: a platform facilitating direct donations of essential goods to the homeless

Homelessness is a major problem in Seattle. WeCount's approach to the problem is a community platform that allows people to join in order to request or provide items whilst retaining their anonymity if they so wish. They partner with organisations that can provide drop-off and pickup locations.

8//  Footage Foundation: using digital storytelling to combat gender-based violence

Footage Foundation uses personalised, digital storytelling techniques to allow young women to feel included, listened to and confident in telling their story. The team is currently campaigning to expand its Girl-talk-Girl project, currently active in the US and Russia, to include refugee women in Europe.

9//  Scope: using virtual reality to bring greater independence to disabled people

Scope uses digital technology to improve the lives of disabled people. Their newest focus is on the power of virtual reality, as Kim Lawther writes as part of the Huffington Post's tech-for-good fortnight.

10//  Fortified Bicycle: finally, an unstealable bike?

Since reaching its Kickstarter target in one day, the team have been producing bicycles with puncture-resistant tyres, a rust-stopping chain and, most impressively, custom-made parts that require custom tools to tamper with. They even offer 24-hour replacements for any parts that are stolen. A valuable reminder that effective tech interventions don't necessarily need to be digital or bleeding-edge.


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