Building software to deliver mission: How the American Red Cross built an open source disaster response application for and with volunteers
Nonprofits and public sector organizations worldwide are focused now more than ever before on building software to scale programs and their impact.
The Red Cross is no exception.
While technology may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the Red Cross, it’s an essential part of how we deliver our mission to help people in need.
With software, we can help more people, more quickly, and react with agility when situations change. Further, these are benefits that every mission-oriented organization can benefit from.
But getting started can feel daunting for those who have never built software. To assist in those first steps, I’d like to share a few of the things I learned along the way that have allowed us to succeed in developing software for our programs.
Why the Red Cross builds software
Our mission at the American Red Cross is to prevent …
From hot food to hotlines: How Community Heroes are using communications technology to serve people during the pandemic
From healthcare organizations sprinting to implement telehealth appointments, to food banks transforming physical wait lines into scheduled texts, there are countless Community Heroes innovating to serve more people during this time of crisis.
Behind many stories of recovery and triumph stands a group of nonprofits and social enterprises working to change lives for the better through technology. These Community Heroes are leading through digital change as they respond and adapt during COVID-19.
Here are some organizations that are continually innovating to help communities adapt to and thrive in the COVID-19 era.
With the ever-changing landscape and effects of COVID-19 in our communities, organizations are using communications to provide a line of support to help people recovering from a personal crisis.
Since COVID began, Trans Lifeline has received nearly 100,000 calls at their peer-support and crisis hotline. It is the only trans support service in the country with all …
Leveraging technology to empower refugees: How the International Rescue Committee helps populations in crisis during COVID-19
“How do you stay indoors if you don’t have a house?" asks Henry Tbilisi, a resettled refugee working to help others during COVID-19.
Henry works as a moderator for the International Rescue Committee (IRC)’s project Signpost, an online platform that delivers vital information to newly arrived refugees. With misinformation threatening people’s safety, Henry is motivated to connect displaced people with trusted information on the virus as well as support services for housing, health care, and racial discrimination.
Henry is just one of many refugees who have stepped up to help their communities during COVID-19. With many refugees in crisis around the globe, IRC as a whole is committed to using technology to scale the number of people the organization can help through the pandemic and beyond.
This year for World Refugee Day on June 20, IRC is highlighting the contributions of refugees on the front lines of COVID-19.
Refugees are …
Challenge yourself—and your assumptions—or your product is doomed: Insight from Trek Medics founder Jason Friesen
Unlike your typical tech founder, you’re less likely to find Jason Friesen talking through slides in a corporate board room than traveling between ambulance and fire stations, emergency call centers, and ministries of health in far-flung places.
That’s because he’s the founder and executive director (and former full-time paramedic) behind Trek Medics, a nonprofit that develops pre-hospital and emergency care systems in low- and middle-income regions including Tanzania, the Domincan Republic, and Haiti.
Their mission? Reduce preventable death and disability by improving access to emergency care for at-risk and vulnerable populations through mobile phone technologies.
Tune into any news channel and it’s clear: even the richest countries and populations in the world struggle to guarantee access to rapid medical response during emergencies, and often hit logistical and technological snags doing so. Just imagine the breadth and scope of challenges facing providers serving at-risk populations in lower-income regions.
To develop Trek …