Kricket: Refugee Crowdsourcing
Kricket: Refugee Crowdsourcing
Kricket is a map-based, crowdsourcing network helping refugees find safety and resources through geotagged information.
Kricket is a map-based, crowdsourcing network helping refugees find safety and resources through geotagged information. Read more
About this project
This is the single largest humanitarian crisis in human history. Between IDP (Internally Displaced People), Refugees, and Asylum Seekers, there are more than 60 million people worldwide who were forcibly displaced as a result of persecution, conflict, generalized violence, or human rights violations.
Right now, refugees are basing travel decisions off of word of mouth or text messages. There is no resource showing an individual how to travel safely from camp to camp. Refugees need updated, transparent, detailed information from verified sources in realtime. Otherwise, they could make a decision to walk for hours, only to arrive at a location that is no longer helpful. The technology is ready and being utilized right now, together we can build a better way to help each other.
How It Works
Kricket is a map-based network for crowdsourcing information. The goal is to help refugees find safety, resources, and better travel routes. This platform is designed for NGOs, volunteers, refugees, and you, to contribute information to a single map that everyone can see & access, in realtime.
- Everyone is looking at the same map of the world
- Everyone can "tag" their current location with an icon/photo and a comment
- The tags on the map are "live" for 24 hours, then they are removed from the map
- Everyone is anonymous
- An Admin Panel can be accessed by Kricket & verified NGOs
- Admins have the ability to update/ add / edit tags they create
- This app is available on iOS, Android, and Web right now
It's Free, Forever.
In January of 2015, Kricket had no intended use, it was just a personal project to learn how to program. By September, it had grown to have most of the same functionality it has now, but you could only tag emojis onto the map.
In Mid-October, Tom connected with a Lebanese developer. She casually mentioned a number of problems related to refugees. She also brought up the difficulties that some of her friends were experiencing while volunteering at refugee camps. Most notably was the lack of reliable information, and lack of communication between organizations.
That weekend, new icons were made for the refugees.
Despite refugees speaking different languages, the icons developed are generally understood. We made a strong connection with a number of refugees and conducted interviews via Skype and Whatsapp. These interviews put Kricket's capabilities into perspective, and helped assure us that we were moving in the right direction.
In October, we also added "Admin" abilities - which allows an (NGO/UN ) to place icons on the map, showing where their resources are being allocated. This works like a verified Twitter account (an icon tagged by an NGO is "verified"). Ideally, groups like the International Rescue Committee, UNHCR, and the Women's Refugee Commission, would be able to show where their resources are being deployed. Coupled with the the crowdsourced information from refugees and volunteers, NGOs would be able to deploy their resources more efficiently and transparently to the needs of the people.
"We want to help people, organizations, and you, communicate more efficiently and transparently with the world around you."
Kricket is programmed in Meteor.js - Below is a video of Kricket being demo-ed at a Meteor Meetup in NYC on October 22nd, 2015.
We are aggregating multiple streams of information to put everyone on the same page.
Kricket was asked to attend the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates and spoke with Youth Laureates, among other attendees.
Since the summit, we have been trying to assemble a Refugee Advisory Board, that can help us understand the specific needs of refugees... Here are a few things we learned at the summit.
- Language & Translations - It is very difficult to communicate across language barriers. However, we are working on ways to make this step less troublesome. We are working on an emoji translation system as well as building a library of common phrases.
- Education is Lost - Millions of children are missing out on years of education. Finding a way to link educators, content, and children together is a growing need as the refugee crisis continues to worsen. We've partnered with the New York Distance Learning Association (NYDLA) to help us address this more directly.
- We are not alone - There are hundreds of groups trying to address this crisis. Groups like PeacePlayers International, Shelterbox, PeaceJam, The Humanitarian Open Streetmap Team, Techfugees, and Devs Without Borders are all amazing organizations working to help people all around the world.
Frequently Asked Questions
Could I have more info on the refugees?
When & where can I get updated on Kricket's progress?
- Tom will be using Periscope daily at 5pm EST to take all of your questions and give updates! Follow @tomnassr & @kricketco on Twitter/Periscope
- Join the email list on www.kricket.co & we will be sending out weekly updates
Risks and challenges
There are two main challenges.
1. Getting in contact with refugees, volunteers, & NGOs. Since Kricket is a crowdsourcing network, there needs to be people using it in order for it to be useful for everyone. Just because it has the ability to be updated live & can have all of the information aggregated, we still need people to contribute and be involved.
2. People & Project Management - This is the first piece of software we have ever open sourced. We have strong mentors in this area to help, but it will still be a challenge. We have laid out a list of features that we plan to add in 2016 (if we have the developers & time). One of the biggest challenges will be managing this community, helping them navigate through Kricket code with questions and concerns. We want to make sure that developers that are working on the same feature, are working together rather than separate. We also need to connect our community to each other. // We've created a Slack group & Trello boards to help with this process.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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