The problem:

This is not the first nor last public health emergency we will face. Despite this very real risk, information connecting individuals, communities, or organizations working on pandemic-related issues or projects is highly fragmented— especially at the local level.

While one can find information and trackers geared at the national level or higher, it is difficult to get the information you need to make vital connections in your community. If you want to offer help, you don't know how or where to offer it. If you need to find help, it tends to be time-consuming, exhausting, and inefficient to find it as the initiatives are focused on a specific need. For example, you may find an app or community to help with groceries but would have to seek support somewhere else if you require help with mental health, or another if you need someone to walk your dogs as well. Moreover, the fragmentation makes it equally challenging for governments, communities, researchers, companies, mutual-aid groups, volunteers and local leaders to coordinate effective responses and exchange knowledge that could be applied elsewhere in the world. Altogether, this puts communities and, ultimately, humanity at risk.

The solution we bring to the table (including technical details, architecture, tools used)

We are creating an altruistic meta-platform that brings people and organizations together so that they can finally find the resources and services they need as soon as they need it. FightPandemics links those who need help with those who can provide it.

In order to connect the two sides of the platform, we utilize a feed. Organizations or individuals will be able to post localized offers and request help with an expiration time to have relevant content at all times. Moreover, users will be able to filter the feed by location (city, state, country, world), by "poster" (individual, traditional company, etc.) and by type of help (groceries/food, medical supplies, education, legal, wellbeing/mental, entertainment, information, funding, R&D, tech and others).

Our platform will go LIVE containing +2,000 organizations, projects, and initiatives that are tackling the COVID-19 pandemic. We have initially crowdsourced these initiatives and manually tagged them for the short-term bootstrapping period. However, to create a sustainable solution we want to cooperate with all the creators, initiatives, communities, and governments.

Stack/Tools used:

  • Management of the project
    • Notion: for documenting everything related to the project and have it available for the whole team.
    • Slack: for our internal discussions. Used for quick feedback, updates or just collaboration within or across teams.
    • Typeform: For getting applications from candidates.
  • Design
    • Typeform: for doing user research.
    • Mural: for brainstorming
    • Figma: for designing our screens and prototyping.
  • Marketing
    • Notion: for managing tasks and writing content.
    • Google Adwords: for finding the traffic of keywords for SEO.
    • Unsplash: for finding royalty free images.
    • Airtable: for sourcing data.
  • Product Management
    • Notion: for managing tasks
    • Github: for creating tasks for engineers
  • Engineering
    • Github: for managing the software development.
    • Frontend: React Hooks (javascript library), Ant Design (React UI library), styled-components.
    • Backend: Fastify (framework for nodejs), MongoDB (database), Auth0 (user authentication), Google Maps API (for location)
    • DevOps: Docker

What you have done during the weekend

  • Created a structure for the whole organization, with leaders stepping up across all teams, defining the necessary volunteer roles, and setting the project up to accelerate progress exponentially.
  • Created an onboarding process for new participants of the development of FightPandemics (currently +250 members in our internal slack group) + 300 more applications to review.
  • Identified over +2000 different initiatives that are trying to fight this pandemic and tagged them accordingly based on how they are helping society (medical supplies, groceries/food, wellbeing/mental, entertainment, information, education, funding, business, legal, tech, R&D).
  • Prioritized the features for the MVP (minimum viable product) launch.
  • Worked on the software development of the MVP.
  • Ran a quality assurance test to identify the bugs before we go live.
  • Started to prepare all the marketing materials for launching, including press release, content for our social media and blog posts.
  • Started sketching the V2 after running user testing with our prototypes.
  • Signed on our first celebrity endorsement to help boost awareness and credibility in advance of our launch.

The solution’s impact on the crisis

FightPandemics was born to make communities more resilient to pandemics and other crises by facilitating access to vital information, fostering crucial networks and relationships, and bringing all relevant stakeholders together in one place for better-coordinated responses.

Our immediate impact will be felt in the current pandemic by allowing vulnerable individuals to request help from fellow community members offering to help. Also, entrepreneurs, researchers, communities, governments, funders and other organizations will be able to connect and exchange knowledge, resources, and solutions to fight COVID-19 and future public health emergencies.

The necessities in order to continue the project

  • We need a strong infrastructure that can support a large influx of users as we are going to have our product in 8 languages from the very beginning.
  • We need the best tools that can support high growth.
  • We need the best collaboration tools available for a distributed global team.
  • We need support from more artists, influencers, governments, and community leaders to create a real network effect.
  • We need a strong ambassador program with local partners.
  • We need to support all our marketing initiatives with advertising.
  • We need to be able to continue developing this idea as it will go beyond pandemics.
  • We need to hire the best security engineers in order to protect and maintain the privacy of our users to the highest standards.
  • We need to be able to incentivize the community managers and other external contributors with bounties.

The value of your solution(s) after the crisis

This doesn't stop here. There will be many more humanitarian crises.

The COVID-19 pandemic is a unique global incident that will feed into our understanding of how we can be better prepared for future crises. The scalable nature of the product, the refinement and focus that user feedback will bring, coupled with the wealth of data being accumulated and organized, makes FightPandemics an indispensable resource to be utilized by the masses in the years to come.

We do not see FightPandemic's use ending with the current crisis. Rather, we envision the project growing to uniquely span all four phases of the disaster lifecycle.

  • Mitigation: Making a community less vulnerable to future emergencies is a large undertaking that involves multiple stakeholders across various sectors. We connect and support these stakeholders so that they can carry out vital functions. In doing so, we help build up communities and make them more likely to withstand a major crisis.
  • Preparedness: We help put critically needed resources in strategic locations and, ultimately, improve the ability of local communities to respond to a disaster.
  • Response: There can be a lot of wasted resources and efforts in the disaster response phase. By sharing accurate, real-time information, we are enabling a better sense of what is truly needed by local communities in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes getting resources, like food or PPEs, where they need to be when they need to be there. Furthermore, our platform helps ensure that isolated and at-risk groups have a voice.
  • Recovery: The affects of the COVID-19 pandemic will be felt by the world for years to come. Our information-sharing capabilities help assess the long-term needs of local communities, while the important networks and relationships we foster help address them. Say for example you lost your job in the crisis as you were part of a heavily impacted industry/sector. Just head to FightPandemics and you can get connected to legal help, the local food bank, someone to review your resume, and even apply to other opportunities—all in one go. These efforts are crucial if we want to create a stronger, more cohesive post-disaster society.

Extra Info

Video showing the product FightPandemics Internal Notion Page FightPandemics Volunteer/Advisor Board

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