Inspiration for Nuru.Live

What is happening in your community? Do you have water? Are there shortages? How are people being kind to each other? Are there cases of COVID-19 in your area? How are you surviving? Do people know what to do?

Nuru - Kiswahili for “Light “ (link) - is a platform that allows citizen community monitors around the world to make observations about the social and human rights impact of crises as the Covid-19 pandemic.

What does

Using the App, a user is able to report in real-time, using their own words by attaching and sharing photos, voice recording, text, tags and geo coordinates of their current reporting location. These are then uploaded from the app to the portal, so that the public can be able to access the reports. Reports can be viewed from [].

In consultation with other players in the Civil Society and Government circles, we were able to figure out the major issues that would be facing communities especially in low-income areas. With that in mind, 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.

How we built it

The client-side application is built in Android for the Mobile App and PHP for the web platform, using Leaflet.js to map user posts.

Challenges we ran into

The main challenge that we have faced has been how to rapidly develop an iOS version of the 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.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

The Nuru App as a tool has creating an avenue allowing citizen monitors to share observations and reports from their communities to inspire other communities, to call for help, to alert the government and other stakeholders on things that need to be addressed in the community as we all fight COVID-19. Reports could share information on these 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
  • Plus much more

What we learned

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.

What's next for

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 since we are only at the inception stages.

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.

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