SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities

Inspiration

In most cases, during disasters or emergencies be it a fire, a robbery, a mother in labor, blood deficiency, floods, etc, it's a matter of life or death and the people affected count on others for their own survival and getting assistance to them is always a race against time. We believe that even with the preparedness of other organizations such as the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) and the Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) when a crisis hits, response time is dependent on how fast and to whom the news reach and that's why we created the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT).

What it does

Once a member of cert you can either request for assistance, respond to an emergency call or donate as a partner. When you make a CERT call a message, containing information about your location(optional but recommended), the number of people injured(if any), a short description of the situation, is broadcasted to other CERT members, health facilities nearby and the police(when necessary). The people who chose to respond provides a list of the resources they can bring with and we try as much as possible to optimize the resources deployed in response to a particular call. If the resources available are not enough more people are contacted, but if they are in excess we redirect them to other calls.

About

CERT is a community-based network of people who volunteer to respond to any emergencies around them within the shortest time possible based on their proximity and easily accessible resources such as medical expertise, food, clean water, shelter, blood, medicine, fire extinguishers, vehicles, etc.

How we built it

With much gratitude to Facebook for the many resources that they have provided such as PyTorch (an open source deep learning framework) which we used for the optimization of personnel deployment and recommendation, react-native (an open-source mobile application framework) for our mobile app prototyping and development, and Facebook-graph-API & Instagram-graph-API which help us to automate online campaigns by scheduling and publishing of initiatives such as blood donation, and thanks to the diversity in roles of our team members we were able to come up with the solution named CERT.

Challenges we ran into

Having to integrate new and numerous technologies into a single product in such a limited time.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Creating a platform with the potential of scaling globally as a solution to a challenge facing our world. Having the first version of our mobile app grow from a prototype to a functional minimum viable product(MVP) is an achievement.

What we learned

There is always something we all can do relative to any situation with an example of coming up with solutions to major global problems such as the UN SDGs. Building on these solutions has proven to be very possible with the many resources provided by companies such as Facebook and data from the United Nations Organisation.

What's next for CERT [Community Emergency Response Team ]

Collaborate with organizations such as the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) and the Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) to increase the level of significance our services We also want to go mainstream as soon as possible with the entry point being Mombasa, Kenya; campaign for more people to join the movement, integrate our services with WhatsApp and USSD services for easy access.

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