What it does
Uses Messenger to connect Caminantes who arrive in a destination to unknown critical services Provides NGO with critical socio-economic data to develop effective policy and fund services
How we built it
Developed a chatbot on Facebook Messenger that collects geo-location data and information about user needs. The chatbot connects to the Heroku app that extracts service providers' information from a Google Sheet and shows the Caminante services near them.
Challenges we ran into
The potential for this idea is very broad and it was challenging to narrow to a simplified use case. There were challenges integrating the data sources and the Geo API. The first challenge was the different versioning of Python, the second was language differences between English and Spanish Rapid prototyping with Google Sheets was slow because it's difficult to work on analytics and schema generation at the same time. We introduced continuous integration but had to turn it off in order to do rapid prototyping Sorting with the dictionary objects in Python for calculating distance was challenging but another team helped us out.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Our project is not theoretical - it is real. We worked closely with organizations currently providing services to migrants.
What we learned
We learned how to develop solutions around real needs by working backwards from the user needs back to the technical solution.
What's next for Diaspora Network for Venezuelans
Move to other geographies Scale into other messaging platforms