OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign Up / Login or Learn more


Internally Displaced Persons are upskilled as first responders & deployed on demand using a mobile-app to respond to emergency cases

Photo of Sidra Dara
4 3

Written by

What problem does the idea help to solve and how does your solution work? (2,000 characters maximum)

In the past decade, over 5 million Pakistanis have been internally displaced either due to conflict or natural disasters such as the 2010 floods. According to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Center, 83,000 IDPs were resettled in Pakistan in 2018. The average number of IDPs displaced by sudden-onset hazards in Pakistan per year is 464,272. The Hazara ethnic group in Afghanistan and Pakistan has been the target of suicide bombings and violent persecution. Between 2001 to 2018, 2693 Shia Hazaras have been massacred in Pakistan. There are 2 major problems stemming from this ethnic persecution: (i) a large segment of the at-risk Hazara community in Quetta, Baluchistan are deprived of reliable emergency services and skilled paramedics, which has caused a number of preventable deaths (ii) a substantial portion of Hazara youth who have been internally displaced to other urban centers, need to be socioeconomically integrated into mainstream society. LifesavHERs consists of community based nurses, frontline healthworkers who are recruited from the target community, upskilled in Basic Life Support (BLS), Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) and Focused Assessment with Sonography for Trauma (the ‘FAST’ protocol using handheld ultrasound devices). They are ‘activated’ on demand using a mobile-app (that leverages geo-locatable, service-sharing technology like Uber/Careem). They are equipped with tablets, 4G connectivity and digital diagnostic devices to screen for life-threatening injuries. They can also consult in real-time with remotely located doctors who can guide the first-line responders on interventional procedures (e.g placing an emergency chest tube for pneumothorax). The LifesavHERs model also works in other dense urban centres e.g. Karachi, where ambulances are unable to reach in time due to traffic. LifesavHERs are also authorised to escort trauma survivors to emergency rooms and trauma centers and help coordinate care with the receiving trauma teams.

Geography of focus (500 characters)

The Hazara ethnic group in Afghanistan and Pakistan has been the target of multiple, suicide bombings and violent persecution with thousands of innocent Hazaras massacred over the past decade. LifesavHERs targets this community but the concept can be extrapolated and globalised to any internally/externally displaced community across the world.

Building Bridges: What bridge does your idea build between people on the move and neighbors towards a shared future of stability and promise? (500 characters)

LifesavHERs’ provides a source of dignified employment to internally displaced people (upskilled as frontline-responders) while creating tremendous value for host communities - providing beneficiaries with access to life-saving, tech-enabled, emergency trauma services. This mutual exchange of tangible value helps accelerate the process of IDP integration and assimilation into their host communities.

What human need is your idea solving for? (1,000 characters)

LifesavHERs’ solves for agency, audacity, hope, dignity and survival. It empowers the at-risk population (ethnic Hazaras) to be independent of state support (which may or may not be forthcoming depending on political agendas, etc.) and take their destiny into their own hands. LifesavHERs is also audacious – it is the first time a major tech-based innovation is being used to empower this persecuted community and it instils a sense of hope within the Hazara community that they have tools to persevere in the face of violence and adversity. Another fundamental human need that is being addressed is survival – by enabling Hazara first-line responders to save lives in real time at Point-of-Carnage (PoC), the survivability of trauma victims should be greatly enhanced (QED).

What will be different within the community of focus as a result of implementing your idea? (1,000 characters)

By upskilling and equipping frontline responders from within the community of focus, LifesavHERs will enable rapid, life-saving interventions, as well as better psychological, clinical and socioeconomic outcomes. By shifting life-saving critical care (CPR, BLS and ACLS including treating life-threatening emergencies) to the frontlines, LifesavHERs is not only saving significant financial resources for the public health system but also empowering the target community, while increasing incomes for first responders. Actionable impact includes increased resilience of the community to humanitarian disasters as measured by: •number of lives saved at Point-of-carnage (POC) by first-line responders •number of life-saving procedures conducted at POC •% increase in income of first-line responders From a health systems-level perspective, the relative cost effectiveness of this approach (measured in dollars spent per life saved) could be potentially transformational and become a new paradigm

What is the inspiration behind your idea? (1,000 characters)

There are 2 key sources of inspiration for our model: 1) Hamida Ali Hazara, (photo attached) a brave Hazara woman who launched the Hurmatty Niswa Foundation and a restaurant in the heart of Hazara Town "with the goal of generating skills and income for women affected by repeated attacks against their community. If a woman lost the breadwinner of her family to anti-Hazara attacks, or was victimized herself, she could come to the restaurant, work in a safe place, earn money, and support her family” (ii)Amal Umer – a young 8-year girl from Karachi whose death in 2018 could have been prevented had she received access to a lifesavHER. She was the innocent victim of a stray bullet in a shoot-out between the Police and a gang of thieves. In the 15 minutes or so it took for an authorised ambulance to arrive and transfer Amal to a level 1 trauma center, she had died. Reference attached in document

Describe the dynamics of the community in which the idea is to be implemented. (1,000 characters)

The target population resides in Hazara town, an ethnic enclave in South-Western Quetta (in the province of Baluchistan, Pakistan. Approximately 600,000 Hazaras live in a perpetual state of siege, unable to travel freely in non-Hazara areas of Quetta, Balochistan or even to Mariabad, the other major Hazara enclave in Quetta. The Hazara are people of Mongolian descent - A large portion of the Hazara community that reside in Pakistan are refugees from Afghanistan and were displaced from Afghanistan between 1979-1989. The Hazara community is considered to be lower to lower middle income with mean household income ranging between $4/day to $8/day. Commercial trade with Iran and Afghanistan is the primary source of income with a majority of Hazaras working as traders or merchants.

How does your idea leverage and empower community strengths and assets to help create an environment for success? (1,000 characters)

The Hazara community is highly resilient and highly unified, having been targeted by the Taliban over the previous decade. LifesavHERs leverages the tenacity and resilience of the Hazara community as they serve as strong motivators for Hazara youth to acquire skills that can literally be ‘life-saving’ for their community. Many of the potential frontline responders have personally faced the trauma of violence against their community or the loss of a loved one. Given the indifferent response of the state to their plight, the Hazaras understand the importance of building their community’s capacity to deal with life-threatening challenges.

What other partners or stakeholders will work alongside you in implementing the idea, if any? (1,000 characters)

• First line responders from within Hazara Community (youth ages 18-35) • Certified female doctors- for emergency video consultation, can be located nationwide • Emergency centers/hospitals:- To create Coordinated Care pathways for emergency care and post-trauma care (including mental health & wellbeing). • Bykea: - a national ride-share service that will provide the underlying technology of the mobile-app platform that first responders can be activated via. • Government- during the course of the pilot, we will continue to engage the Federal government in order to: (i) integrate any impact evaluation or government-recommended metrics that can influence public health policy and (ii) replicate the LifesavHER model in other metro areas and conflict zones where people have been internally displaced.

What part of the displacement journey is your solution addressing

  • Leaving a community of origin

Tell us how you'd describe the type of innovation you are proposing

  • Service: A new or enhanced service that creates value for end beneficiaries

Idea Proposal Stage

  • Blueprint: We are exploring the idea and gathering the inspiration and information we need to test it with real users.

Group or Organization Name


Tell us more about your group or organization [or lived experience as a displaced person?] (1000 characters)

doctHERs is an inclusive, for-impact business that matches the underutilized capacity of female doctors (who otherwise might be excluded from the workforce) to the unmet needs of health-seekers from underserved communities. We train, capacitate and equip frontline health workers who connect beneficiaries to our global network of remotely located female doctors via HD video-consultation and peripheral digital diagnostic devices (e.g. handheld ultrasound). The lifesavHERs’ project sits in our sweet spot because: (i) it promotes the inclusion of an excluded minority group, (ii) it leverages our scalable technology platform, (iii) it is customer-centered and co-created with customers and (iv) it enables the target population to empower themselves and enhance their incomes through dignified and (in many cases) life-saving, inclusive employment

Website URL:

Type of submitter

  • We are a For-Profit Startup or Startup Social Enterprise

Organization Headquarters: Country


Organization Headquarters: City / State


Attachments (1)


Join the conversation:


Hi Sidra,
This is another most important intervention for the conflict communities. For it is true that whenever someone has been forcefully displaced or moved away from home is severely suffering in a number of ways, being it psychologically or lacking material things and more, are equally vital and require for such an intervention to try to reduce discomforts as it would also provide for consolations.
Thank you for your endeavours and good luck.

Photo of Sidra Dara

Thank you! Yes, we agree; it is also suitable socio-economic conditions that IDPs are deprived of that puts them further at a disadvantage. All of the losses combined with not being able to begin life in a new place due to lack of opportunity or several other reasons, adds further psychological stress. We hope to generate income and inclusivity while also addressing our country's need for emergency care with the help of technology

View all comments