Nuru – Kiswahili for “Light “a tool that is designed to empower citizen community monitoring to crowdsource observations about how they are coping in the exceptionally difficult circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is available as a mobile app available on Google Play and IOS App store and the reports that citizens make through it are readily available on their website.
Nuru is a tool in the citizen’s hands to provide governments and other stakeholders with the information they need to develop and offer solutions to the unique challenges faced by their citizens.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about a great socio-economic crisis, affecting citizens’ economic activities and access to key services. Various measures and restrictions undertaken by governments to control the spread of the disease have also affected citizens, bringing up security concerns, issues of increased domestic violence, food, and water scarcity among other issues.
- What is the solution to the problem? Your services/Product?
The Nuru platform is a channel through which citizens can share in real-time the challenges they are encountering within their communities. Through written reports, tagging, capturing live images, and sharing their location, this report can easily be visualised on a map, further inspiring the access to assistance, services, and other actions. By targeting the information using tags, the relevant “agent of change” is able to access the relevant information and help the communities and individuals. (extracted from openinstitute)
Reports could share information on these kind issues and more:
- The availability of water & sanitation
- The high cost of food and necessities
- Poverty and the in-availability of a basic income
- Random acts of kindness in communities
- Interesting local solutions that exist in communities
- Lack of adequate contextually actionable information
The platform uses a crowdsourcing approach, providing real-time information that can be analyzed and utilized to influence policy. The information from a wide range of communities will highlight what their specific needs and challenges are, especially with regard to critical and basic needs. (extracted from nuru.live)
- What played out and why? (story, enablers / obstacles, successes / challenges, assessment…)
In consultation with other players in the Civil Society and Government circles, the Nuru team was able to figure out the major issues that would be facing communities especially in low-income areas. This is the reason the platform uses a crowdsourcing approach, providing real-time information that can be analysed and utilized to influence policy. The information from various communities, highlights what their specific needs and challenges are, especially with regard to critical and basic needs. (extracted from devpost)
This crowdsourcing approach provides a way to bridge the information gap between citizens and governments, civil society organisations and other stakeholders. By providing real-time information, timely interventions can be provided to aid the affected communities, leading to better outcomes for the countries and communities affected by this, and other future crises. (extracted from openinstitute)
“The main challenge that we have faced has been how to rapidly develop an iOS version of the Nuru.live Mobile App. We are also facing challenges getting a good UI/UX developer for a clean and functioning template for both the Mobile App and the Website”. (extracted from devpost)
Future plans and goals
- We aim to improve our reporting module with interactive and engaging infographics. We will also be adding social media sharing options to enable users to share their reports directly to social media, or to share these directly from the app, the moment they are posted.
- We aim to improve our notification service with more localized information for the users especially in relation to tags they might have shown interest in.
- We aim to add translation options to the app and to the web portal.
- We will engage in more user engagements and interviews to further refine our reporting reach and to better provide avenues through which the citizens can get any required assistance, and better help people possibly affected by COVID-19.
(extracted from devpost)
Vulnerable communities lead to vulnerable countries in times of nationwide crises, bringing truth to the saying “you are only as strong as your weakest link.” Nuru helps communities exercise their voice so that no one is left behind in finding solutions and everyone is involved in fighting the spread of COVID-19. (extracted from devpost)