In my earlier post, I spoke about the power and role of technology in dealing with social exclusion, and how we are using basic digital literacy programs and digital life skills training courses to help under-served communities bridge the digital divide. In this post, I will focus on how new technologies can and should be applied to make a significant, positive social impact.
Even though we live in a digital age where a new technological solution is developed almost every day to make our daily chores ever simpler, we still struggle with long-standing social challenges such as world hunger, access to affordable healthcare, quality education, and law and order issues, among others. Technological intervention can offer innovative and scalable solutions to most of these pressing problems, but since technology is a mere tool, I believe that it falls upon us to drive the digital revolution in a direction where society as a whole can benefit.
To give a few examples of how technology can be used for social good, I would like to highlight some projects we have realized in sectors spanning from education to environment, where we used technology to address societal issue.
Tracking missing children – India
Trafficking of children is a serious issue in India with thousands of children going missing every year. According to figures made public by the country’s National Crime Records Bureau, an average of 174 children went missing every day in 2016, and of those who went missing until then, 50% have yet to be traced. To address this issue, we worked with Indian Nobel Peace Laureate Kailash Satyarthi, his NGO, local government, and law enforcement agencies with the vision to create ReUnite, an app platform that can be used by anyone to find and report missing children. The app was launched in 2018, and it is available in both Android and iOS.
Creating Pathways for Homeless – US
The project came about through various conversations and volunteer projects with non-profit organization Family Promise. The NGO provides shelter, meals, case management, homelessness prevention and stabilization services to more than 950,000 people in the United States.
The families in a state of homelessness are often struggling to get by and have trouble gaining employment. We are using our expertise and resources to help homeless people get back on their feet by maximizing their opportunities. We have already created a workforce development video series to prepare beneficiaries for digital job market. We are working on developing their financial capabilities through a digitized literacy curriculum designed for low-income families. We are also creating a modular volunteer training program to help the NGO.
Helping people with HIV – Zimbabwe
One of the biggest challenges faced by social health workers these days is to track down HIV patients who need help. In 2018, Capgemini and Netherlands-based charitable organization Aidsfonds developed a mobile application to help collect date on people with the HIV virus. The pilot was launched in Zimbabwe to improve data collection in rural areas. The Mukoko app makes it easier to find those in need for immediate healthcare. With this app, field workers can easily collect real-time data and provide life-saving medical assistance.
Through various pro bono and low bono projects, we are using the latest in science and technology to address complex societal problems — artificial intelligence to predict school dropouts, data science to help small-scale farmers in third-world countries, etc.
Our ambition is to be the bridge between technology and society. To achieve this goal, we are committed to digital inclusion, which is a key pillar of our Corporate Social Responsibility program – Architects of Positive Futures.
This post was the second part of a two-part series. Read the first part here
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