Use mobile mesh network to faciliate communication and emergency alerts in urban slums.
EXPLAIN YOUR IDEA
Research shows high penetration of mobile phones in slum areas (34% have no access to toilets but 63% owns a mobile phone). This trend will likely continue as techology improves and become more and more affordable.
The high concentration of mobile phones is perfect for creating a mesh network (OpenGarden Firechat, thethingsnetwork.org or the like). As this system works without a data plan and where there is no Internet connection or cellular phone coverage, you can create local communication networks at near zero cost. This will benefit the community by providing free communication. In times of emergency, this network can be used as alert system.
For emergency alerts, perhaps one (or two) full time admin staff is required per slum, who is responsible for boardcasting "official" alerts to the network. To be self-sustaining, the cost of permanent staff can be supported via advertising if a dedicated app is created (a dedicated mesh network app with admin user supported by in app advertising). Alternative can be community volunteer based or donation supported. By helping create a stronger social network, this will also aid recovery from natural disasters.
The targeted beneficiaries are communities in low income, high density urban areas.
The idea can be implemented in any slum areas where there is a high penetration of mobile phones.
HOW DOES YOUR IDEA TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THE CONTEXT OF URBAN SLUMS AND CLIMATE CHANGE?
By its nature, a mesh network is ideal method of communication for slum areas. Low cost, robust and works better the more people are using it.
Picture credit: Godwin D (CC BY 2.0)
I do not have experience working in a sector related to my idea
This idea is meant to inspire - I hope someone else takes it on!
TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF
Sustainability engineer from Sydney, Australia