Perspectives

Maarifa: creating real-time monitoring data for displaced persons

May 07 / 2019

At PeaceWorx, we value collaboration from diverse partners. So, when we took part in the Humanitarian Hackathon this past January, we jumped on the opportunity to form a team with individuals from the Humanitarian sector, IT, startup world and entrepreneurs. Together, we formed Team Maarifa meaning “knowledge” in Swahii.

In the humanitarian sector, there is a lack of real-time data to service monitoring and needs assessment. Real-time data is expensive and difficult to collect.  Without this data however, there are few options to understand where resources are and are going in real-time, remaining one of the biggest impediments to good policy and action. At the same time, displaced people want to communicate with loved ones, as well as obtain vital information, and access basic services. These fundamental aspects link these individuals to the local, and global communities around them. Collecting data, therefore, plays a critical role in enabling humanitarian agencies to address gaps in and improve the quality of services provided.

That´s where Maarifa comes in. By focusing on the individual first, we provide an adaptive social network for data-driven decision making around response and market opportunities. We listen to what people want to drive humanitarian response & open markets. We create an ecosystem that connects users, NGOS/humanitarian organizations and private enterprises. We know that displaced persons are tired of giving information countless numbers of times to UN/NGO agencies. Furthermore, none of this data is real-time or collected on the spot. We fill this gap by creating a mobile service that collects important monitoring data for NGOS/UN agencies and supports displaced communities by paying them for their knowledge. By creating a network of users, we connect users with their needs (connecting with their family, phone credit, services) This enhances their own data ownership, putting them in charge. We aim partner with corporate or private enterprises, giving them access to our network of users to fulfill surveys and data marketing. The humanitarian response becomes data-driven, functioning in real time. Companies promote social/corporate responsibility while having access to new markets. Most importantly, individuals oversee their information and valued for their knowledge.

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