Design Challenge

#2: How might we encourage our community to support one another and look out for those who are socially isolated?

Project Description

As a nation, we’ve always been willing to help out each other and we’ve already seen numerous examples of support in this pandemic that reaffirm our kinder intentions. But such actions depend on the individual knowing about a less fortunate situation before he can help out, and it’s a big ask for anyone to keep track of cases across Singapore.

But what if we can narrow down the challenge to a more manageable scale? Drawing inspiration from our kampung roots, we want to create a NEEDS MAP of Singapore, where Singaporean can visit to see a listing of less-fortunate cases who are in NEED in their proximity which they can help out with. Cases can be updated by volunteer organisations and individuals, with the type of NEED/HELP needed segmented simply into food, status check, medical supply.

Criteria #1: Value

Our target audience in this project are the community support organisations that are challenged and stretched by the pandemic and the policies that have been implemented to address the pandemic, making them unable to fully support the less-fortunate cases that depend on them.

Our target are also the less-fortunate cases themselves where they are now unable to depend on these organisations for timely support. In allowing individual submission, we are able to also uncover cases that are not already known, helping to draw attention to them.

Criteria #2: Inspiration

Using location-based information, we want to create an easy-to-understand visualisation of less-fortunate cases in the form of a map. Through that we will crowd-source support for the less fortunates by activating Singaporeans to help out.

By focusing on their location and their immediate neighbourhood, we lower the barrier for ordinary Singaporean who are looking to help, and provide support that is even more timely because of its proximity. The type of build also allows us to easily extend the access to touch points like browser plugins or broadcast notification to relevant platforms like Grab Food etc to reach a wider audience.

Criteria #3: Impact

Through the NEEDS MAP, we are able to tap into the good sentiments of the population and utilise it to alleviate the challenge of community support organisations and provide specific help to the less fortunate through the NEEDS MAP listing in this difficult times.

The NEEDS MAP also has the potential to create a groundswell in our population towards doing social good in the future. With refinement in the cases verification process and mapping of support needed, this could help to become center point for community support works forward.

Criteria #4: Timeliness

The project will be done up as a persistent web app that is built on top of Google Map using its api minimising the development needed. A web app would also allow for the maximum number of reach across platforms and this is also made possible due to the nature of our build.

Effort would thus be focused on the development of the input and listing, along with the liaising with the various organisations. A verification process can also be designed into the user flow to make the system even more accurate and authentic.

Criteria #5: Systems Thinking

Currently there are already a number of official and unofficial support organisations, that are disrupted by the pandemic in how they helped the less-fortunate. This map provides an avenue to draw in support for their cases and help them to carry on with their original task.

The platform also leverages the familiarity of Singaporeans with distributed systems (think Grab, WeBuy) to create a new way for them to help the less fortunate. The map also allows the many grass-root efforts during this time to be consolidated into a single touchpoint, making it much more accessible to the general public.