Who are the protagonists of social innovation around the world?
In this video gallery we have collected the pitch decks from many of the innovators who have successfully passed the first stage of the selection process of the “ICT for Social Good” Grant, created by Ong2.0 and realised within the Innovazione per lo Sviluppo Program, thanks to the support of Fondazione Cariplo, Compagnia di San Paolo and the collaboration of Fondazione Mission Bambini Onlus.
by Viviana Brun
To present their project, their idea, their reason for working passionately every day, in a span of thirty seconds is a challenging task. Many innovators of the “ICT for Social Good” Grant, however, accepted this challenge with great enthusiasm and tried their best to briefly introduce themselves and their projects.
This video gallery was created to offer an overview of the variety evident in the social innovation sector. It is a world populated by people of different origins, aspirations, ages … a sign of how ICTs are versatile tools that can be adapted to contexts and needs in the service of a more inclusive kind of development.
Let’s have a look at the video playlist.
One problem means one new idea
Every deficiency has at least one solution, and it’s just a matter of identifying the one that suits best. This seems to be the idea that inspired the work of the participants in this first edition of the “ICT for Social Good” Grant.
So, if citizens in Bosnia-Herzegovina don’t feel safe enough, they can join forces with and help the police/public safety institutions to make their environment more secure by using Civil Patrols, a software that helps end users report illegal activities to the appropriate institutions via secure online communication channels.
To help the hearing-impaired in Colombia overcome communication barriers they encounter every day, a virtual interpreter is available on PCs and smartphones.
In Nigeria, in order to counter the black market for blood transfusions, and encourage the meeting and the exchange of information among donors, patients and health centers, Bukola Bolarinwa founded Haima Health Initiative, an application accessible on PCs and mobile devices.
In India, the Nyaaya platform supports citizens’ access to state laws with the use of guides and tutorials. Availability in various local languages ensures that everyone is able to truly understand his or her rights.
If traditional African identity and knowledge are likely to be lost, the app developed by Elizabeth Kperrun helps children rediscover fables in their local language, and have fun while learning in English, Hausa, Swahili, Igbo, and Yoruba, providing everyone with access to quality educational content.
According to the World Health Organisation, in Cameroon deaths caused by road accidents exceed those due to malaria by 40%. As a result Achiri Arnold Nji decided to develop Traveler, a platform that uses big data, GPS systems, and sensors to monitor the performance of bus drivers, improve passenger safety, and respond in case of accidents.
Social innovation is not just in the technology
Not everyone develops new or highly technological solutions. In Benin, where people with albinism still face prejudice and discrimination, Franck Hounsa educated a group of 20 albinos on blogging and digital writing so they can raise awareness on what this congenital disorder really is, to help prevent the spread of prejudice and discrimination and get other albinos out of isolation.
In Ivory Coast, Daniel Oulai combined offline and online methods through the creation of “Grainothèque” -the first Ivorian community library dedicated to seeds- created to preserve African biodiversity, and to ensure young farmers’ access to good quality native seeds. The project is accompanied by the creation of a web platform dedicated to agro-topics such as seed reproduction, how to adapt agricultural production to climate change, and how to improve the marketing of local products.
Agriculture and health among the most common themes
There are many solutions dedicated to agriculture, as well as products and services targeting women’s health and empowerment.
In Burundi, where access to the Internet is limited, social organisations have registered strong demand for good information on sexual and reproductive health issues. To cope with this need, Grâce Françoise Nibizi and SaCoDé association put in place an SMS information system.
While in Nigeria, Emmanuel Owobu created MobiCure, an app that allows mothers to monitor their children’s health and growth by receiving targeted information for various stages of their children’s development.
In Mozambique, Suzana Moreira is working to improve women’s access to entrepreneurship through a training program and a direct support system realised via SMS and social media.
Among the videos received, there are also some Italian examples. Organizations such as IPSIA, CINI Italia e Global Health Telemedicine Onlus presented innovative projects realized in different countries in the fields of education, women’s protection and struggle against early marriage, and telemedicine.
The basic rule for everyone is to focus on effectiveness, not on the use of technology in itself, but on the use of ICTs as tools to create a concrete and positive impact at a local level.