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Information App Center

This platform is to provide people on the move with information on necessary services available to them in a timely manner.

Photo of Brendah Bisikwa

Written by

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

The biggest challenge that people on the move face is lack of access to information on what services are available to them , questions of who,where,why,how are not easily answered as due to language barrier and limited resources the responsible agencies cannot fulfill all the needs. Migrants face challenges on what to do next in an unfamiliar space most are left feeling helpless with nobody to talk to, receive unreliable or misleading information which in turn endangers their lives. Information App Center is going to use technology or mobile phones as a tool considering currently very many people are using mobile phones as the quickest means of communication. They are on social media and can access the internet, hence this app will be available online providing expects and consultants in different fields of health, accommodation, education,security,economic empowerment these will be available online to answer any questions regarding services that people need. Right from departure, to arrival whether in the refugee settlement or urban area, technical people in those fields will be available to give those answers. This platform is going to be in partnership with the community leaders, OPM,UNHCR,Widdle Trust,Police, Medical personnel, entrepreneurs, Immigration expects,NGOs all people that will be available to offer that support to people on the move. Once someone arrives there will be an information desk in different locations where people can get information on the services available to them, using their mobile phones, they can download the app on google play store, register and start accessing any services immediately. The support team will be people speaking different languages and people can send their questions in their preferred languages in turn they will get answers in the same language they prefer this is to remove the challenge of language barrier. This platform will help save money,time,reduce language barrier and enable people become self reliant.

Geography of focus (500 characters)

This Information app center will be specifically in East Africa, Uganda, among refugee communities in the urban area and settlements. This idea can be replicated in any setting where there are people on the move with challenges of language barrier, information gap, long queues as it will save time that the refugee agencies would be spending talking to people on simple issues that can be answered without necessarily going to their offices. YARID has an innovation Hub that it uses to train people.

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)

This information app is aimed at creating social cohesion between people on the move and host communities, information is key in development as refugee movements are usually abrupt thus the community and people on the move are not prepared for it, with this app anybody who would like to know what is happening with migrants in Uganda will be able to get the information which will equip the community with knowledge thus reducing on discrimination and leading to sustainable development.

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

This information app center is a platform of knowledge sharing , empowering the community with knowledge on different issues surrounding them many people cannot tell the difference between a refugee, asylum seeker, economic migrant or tourist, they are all looked at as foreigners. This information from different experts will help build that gap which will help host communities understand better the migrant situation and thus enable sustainable development where people live peacefully in the community. If people on the move have support centers in their localities with people to help answer their queries they will feel welcome and wanted in the place they have settled. They will be able to get employment using the job opportunities available on the app, the researchers and employers looking for support teams or information will easily access it on the app as they get first hand information. There will be options for people to remain anonymous on the site if they want to for security

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

The community will get knowledge in using modern ways or technology to better access services as this information is important to all people not necessarily people on the move only. The community will understand people on the move better as they will be prepared for the situation through sharing of knowledge, many communities do not know about the migrant issue which makes it hard for them to accept and develop. This idea will help the government in planing for over 1.2 million refugees currently living in Uganda from different nationalities. The support centers in different locations will be beneficial to the community as it is a first of its kind which will support the local leaders in helping their people become self reliant.

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

Movement is a way of life thus anybody can be on the move at any time , people travel for various reasons hence with the current refugee situation in Uganda at 1.2million, YARID has been working with people on the move since 2007, empowering communities with employable skills to become self reliant and integrate with the host communities. The biggest challenge has been language barrier, access to information and the large number of clients hence the need for the app to be able to reach out to more people. This information app will create social cohesion within the communities as people interact and learn from each other.

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

The community has people who are arriving , seeking asylum,refugees and integrated people in the community. People on the move living in the urban area and the settlements including the host communities. We shall have support centers in Kampala and all the other refugee settlements around the country.

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

The refugee community are people who are yearning for information, this information app center is an idea that came from the beneficiaries themselves using the Human Center Design approach where the end user is involved in the creation and implementation of the project. The lack of information creates mistrust between the host communities and people on the move thus with knowledge sharing this app will help bridge that gap and create a peaceful coexistence within the community.

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

The beneficiaries themselves are our first partners as we cannot do anything without their contribution as they are the end users. The government of Uganda, the office of the prime minister, UNHCR, Widdle Trust, Inter aid, Police, Health institutions, churches and all other NGOs that work towards offering services to people. Researchers and the community members are also going to partner with us to make this project a success.

What part of the displacement journey is your solution addressing

  • Arriving and settling at a destination community

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

  • Channel: A new way to deliver existing products or services to customers or end users

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

Young African Refugees for Integral Development (YARID)

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

YARID (Young African refugees for integral development) is a refugee-led organization. It was established in response to the influx of refugees into Uganda following the ongoing conflict in the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan and Burundi. YARID was founded in 2007 by 3 Congolese refugees and one female Ugandan national to support urban refugees predominantly in the Katwe slum, Kampala district, Uganda currently extended to settlements. Initially, YARID’s vision was to use sports to empower displaced people, whilst encouraging social cohesion between the refugee and host communities. This vision has grown to incorporate education, women’s empowerment and ICT to help integrate refugees into the Ugandan host community. Our goal, to promote self-sufficiency in the refugee community, is achieved through our wide range of programmes that boost self-esteem by economically empowering young people and providing education opportunities to children and adults in Uganda.

Website URL:

www.yarid.org

Type of submitter

  • We are a registered Non-Profit Organization

Organization Headquarters: Country

Uganda

Organization Headquarters: City / State

Kampala

26 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Photo of Uchenna Okafor
Team

Dear Brendah Bisikwa! Indeed a one-stop resource center for human needs, especially refugees and others on the move. Well, let's not neglect the plight of disabled persons among them whose conditions in normal situation are often worse than displacement in many territories. So, is there any provision in your design to accommodate their special needs? Put differently, how compatible is this App with IOS and android speech Apps, plus sign language App?

Photo of Brendah Bisikwa
Team

Hello Uchenna, it is great that you like the idea, as YARID we do not discriminate anybody in terms of race, gender,physical being, sexual orientation,religion or status in the society. Our services are for all people in vulnerable situations as we aim at supporting them to become self reliant. That said, people with disabilities I agree have special needs in terms of hearing, movement,seeing depending on the different situations. with the information centers, we shall have people on ground in partnership with the community leaders to help support people with disabilities.
The app compatibility with IOS, android and sign language app is something we hope to look at with the development of the app as we want to be able to reach as many people in vulnerable situations. The information app center is going to have a team of consultants from different fields to help build an inclusive app to serve all the people on the move.

Photo of Elvis Wanume
Team

The information desk in the community will be really good because I am in Kyaka II refugee settlement and my observation i, it is difficult for one to move from one zone to another if you don't have money. Some of the zone/areas don't have electricity and have a terrible next work. So i feel these information desks will serve that end user down there who has a challenge of moving to distant places to get information and network.

Photo of Brendah Bisikwa
Team

Hello Elvis,
I am glad you are on ground in the settlement and see first hand the need for this information center.We believe it will help very many people access information.

Photo of Mitchell McSweeney
Team

Hello, I am a PhD candidate from Toronto, Canada who had the opportunity to recently conduct research with refugees in Kampala, Uganda from June-July 2019. To me, this is a fantastic idea, especially given that one of the prominent themes of the research with refugees in Uganda was the need to have quick and accessible services. As mentioned in the description above, due to the continuing influx of refugees into Uganda, both rural and urban refugees find it difficult to access services in a timely and efficient manner. This app will be one way to provide needed support to individuals experiencing displacement in Uganda who may also not have the financial resources to travel to specific locations for services. Hence this app will be able to communicate with refugees seeking direction, especially during challenging times of relocation. Thanks for sharing this idea!

Photo of Brendah Bisikwa
Team

Hello Mitch,
We are glad that you realize the need and importance of this app, we look forward to supporting researchers and people on the move to access information quickly.
Thank you and all the best with your research.

Photo of Zulfiqar  Deo
Team

Thanks for posting the project, Techfugees have organised support for similar project in the EU and MENA region. Thought knowledge sharing with them would be useful https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/2019-bridgebuilder-challenge/ideas/basefugees-a-community-platform-for-people-on-the-move-tech4refugees-projects

Photo of Brendah Bisikwa
Team

Hello Deo, thank you for this information as it is really helpful and we are looking at it to see how it can help in implementing our idea.

Photo of Josué Musoda
Team

This is a great idea for our generation. Many people in our communities don't read news papers and some don't watch news on tvs but working with this App. will easy their task. A lot of people in the refugees have access to Internet through their mobile and with their mobile they can easily access all information

Photo of Brendah Bisikwa
Team

Hello Josue, thanks a lot for believing it is something that is going to make a difference.

Photo of Akakikunda gloria
Team

This is a great idea,I am working with refugees on a daily basis as an administration assistant ,this app will help me deliver better the information that these people need. Helping us reach more beneficiaries and reducing on the time spent waiting for information.
I can't wait for it to become active

Photo of Brendah Bisikwa
Team

Hi Gloria, we really believe this app will reduce on your work and most importantly simplify it as the information will be available for the refugees to also access on their own.
Thank you

Photo of Claude Hakiza
Team

Hello ,am Claude Hakiza I think communication is one of the criteria hinderence in most refugees communities and it's an innovative idea to fight language and communication problems ..thanks..

Photo of Brendah Bisikwa
Team

Thank you Claude, we are definitely aiming at improving communication and bridging that information gap.

Photo of Daniel Eyudu
Team

Thank Brenda for sharing this idea.
With this app many refugees living in Uganda will be able to receive authentic information about where the can access services. Especially like places where they can get English language training to bridge the language barrier gap and easy communication.

Photo of Brendah Bisikwa
Team

Thank you Daniel, I am glad you think this app will be able to help people get information on where to learn English to reduce on the language barrier.

Photo of Brendah Bisikwa
Team

Thank you Daniel, I am glad you think this app will be able to help people get information on where to learn English to reduce on the language barrier.

Photo of Brendah Bisikwa
Team

Thank you Daniel, I am glad you think this app will be able to help people get information on where to learn English to reduce on the language barrier.

Photo of Brendah Bisikwa
Team

Thank you Daniel, I am glad you think this app will be able to help people get information on where to learn English to reduce on the language barrier.

Photo of Brendah Bisikwa
Team

Thank you Daniel, I am glad you think this app will be able to help people get information on where to learn English to reduce on the language barrier.

Photo of Nick  Songa
Team

Hello all, I am a computer instructor at an refugee organization.
This is Very bright idea, has now computers/technology is part of our life this idea may help organizations to know well refugees and what they need .for refugees it very stressful to stand the all day seeking help and after sending back home or given another appointment and imagine if someone had a serious health problem !!!
This app may save a lot of lives cause it will be immediately connect to all different organizations which will help not only refugees but also organizations to know refuge challenges and how they can help .
Good luck to this development idea

Photo of Brendah Bisikwa
Team

Wow Nick, I am glad that as a computer trainer, teaching refugees how to be innovative you think this is a great idea. These are the beneficiaries we are targeting if this app can help you reach more of you students then we believe we shall create a bigger change in service delivery for our communities.
Thank you

Photo of Eric Wirth
Team

A great idea! Well put together, and something that could be of immediate use to new migrants, allowing hem to connect to services and important information to regain self-determination and find support.

Photo of Brendah Bisikwa
Team

Hello Eric,
Yes indeed, there is a great need to cover that information gap for the people on the move, this idea will help all people not only people on the move.
Thank you for the support.

Photo of Mahmoud Rihawi
Team

Hello, I am an OpenIDEO mentor. This is a good starting point especially for people seeking immediate help and consultation. Not only the NGOs but also refugees are losing meaningful time standing around in queues or being sent away without sufficient information provided to them. Is there a way for the administrator to control whether or not the questions in the app were answered correctly or are trustworthy?
I wish you good luck in the further development of the idea.

Photo of Brendah Bisikwa
Team

Hello Mahmoud, thank you for your question, the people/ consultants/ experts that are going to be selected will be key people from different departments that provide services to people on the move, for example UNHCR,OPM,government institutions of health, police,education,accommodation,economic empowerment and local leaders. The information given will be from the right people in charge of those departments to help reduce on time spent in offices to respond to queries. YARID will have staff available always to monitor and make sure people are getting answers this set up will be designed on the app ensuring privacy and security for the end users.
Please let me know if you have any more queries.
Thank you