A one-stop platform for COVID19 mutual aid initiatives
- Website: link (KitaJagaKita means "we take care of each other" in Malay)
- We are essentially a two-sided marketplace.
- We connect people who need help with NGOs who can help them.
- We also connect people who want to help (the general public) with NGOs who need their resources / donations.
- If we "scale up" these individual choices to the level of a country, we help civil society better channel resources to fill in the gaps of the government's COVID response.
- Fighting COVID19 requires a "whole of society" mobilization - not just government.
- Many citizens are called to action during crises - "doing" something is essentially a display of human agency and meaning-making.
- This is seen in the many community / civic / mutual aid initiatives that have sprung up.
- There may be too much info / projects to process, so there's the risk that the deluge of info confuses the average well-meaning citizen / discourages them from acting.
- Search costs are high. Filtering / navigating all initiatives is costly in terms of time and effort.
- Compile, list, categorize all such initiatives on ONE central platform
- Make it easy for people to search based on objectives (Do you want to help? By donating money / volunteer / etc? Or do you need help?). A central platform / repository empowers the average citizen to take action and exercise his / her agency.
- We essentially match people who want to help with people who need help via civil society intiatives.
- 1 month since launch, we've had 40K users, ~200K reach on social media, substantial media traction link, 150+ initiatives (NGOs are coming to us to be listed), and we are the default hashtag for civil society anti-COVID efforts.
- This has given us leverage: e.g. corporates have come to us: "we don't know how to help but we want to help. Can kitajagakita direct us to the biggest NGO gap?"
- Our Prime Minister used our hashtag prominently in a recent televised speech.
- We are very proud to have inspired the launch of a similar platform in Germany link, HilfeRegister.org, which is also a sister project in this hackathon(https://devpost.com/software/helpregistry)! :) (We hope you choose us both!).
- Groups in NYC, India, Austria, and Nepal have spoken to us and are scoping to see if their landscape needs a similar platform. link
- We think we've "hit on" the right decisions (strategy, design) for mutual aid platforms.
- We have not seen one in reality that's as effective, as intuitive, and with as many users - through our research internationally (there are many sites which are just lists on Wordpress with no traction, which is a different user experience).
- We think the importance of mutual aid is going to be increasingly important, especially in developing countries, where civil society has to rise up to fill the gaps in the government's COVID19 response. And to be honest, the gap is NOT that there are no networks to reach the most vulnerable. There are - these are the hardworking NGOs / community organizations on the ground. We aim to empower and strengthen NGO efforts by helping the general public channel resources to existing NGOs who are doing amazing work.
- We'd like to help other countries / communities "do" this - by offering (1) a playbook (2) "plug-and-play" web templates / solutions and (3) ideation / advice, so that groups that want to replicate our concept can hit the ground running (all these are under development - this is what we did over this weekend).
What we did over this weekend:
- Develop (1) a playbook (2) "plug-and-play" web templates / solutions and (3) ideation / advice, so that groups that want to replicate our concept can hit the ground running (all these are under development - this is what we did over this weekend).
What we need from you:
- Objective: Help similar communities / countries with similar needs (i.e. a "noisy" initiative marketplace) - this is perhaps going to be most important in countries where the government response is the weakest
- "Ask" : Publicity
- Publicity will allow us to reach interested groups in countries we otherwise cannot on our own. Some may be searching for a solution - having our model out in on global media may trigger action from them to start one in their countries.
- In fact, that's how we triggered Germany, NYC, Nepal, and India - the founders heard us talking about our website - and everything just clicked. They immediately saw the value add of an aggregator / clearinghouse - and jumped into action.
- We think the EU is uniquely placed via its role as a development partner for this, and has an idea of which communities may need such platforms the most.
Value of product post-COVID19
- We think there is great value - the positive response to our platform is proof of concept that there was a gap in the landscape.
- We think that in the long-run we will become more of a one-stop aggregator for mutual aid initiatives / civic projects in general and not just for COVID19. We've developed a strong brand and media presence that can be leveraged for future impact