Tech is neither evil nor good. What it turns out to be is how people use it. And this upcoming mobile app is a perfect example of how tech can be used for something really good, something that addresses a real and pressing need.
You know how the phrase “There’s an app for that!” became overused very quickly? I don’t want to add to the use of the cliché but when it comes to addressing the hunger problem in The Horn of Africa, we can really say that there’s an app for that!
The app is the brain child of Scott Dyer, who is the founder of ScanMyList, which is basically a tool which adds efficiency to the retail business inventory tracking process. Dyer was inspired to develop the app to be used for a different – yet all too similar – situation: tracking the feeding program of non-profit organization World Concern.
The charitable organization has been involved in distributing food packages to the residents of The Horn of Africa since 2011. People of this part of the world suffered (and are suffering) from hunger – the real kind, which many of us probably have no idea what it’s like – due to famine. International groups have not been slow to respond to give aid.
However, there is the issue of making sure that the food go to the people who actually need it. There is also the problem of hard-to-reach places. In order to ensure the efficient and effective distribution of food in The Horn of Africa, World Concern field staff distributes food vouchers, which are taken by merchants in exchange for the goods that the residents need. So far, the system has worked well.
Dyer heard about these vouchers and immediately thought about applying the concept of ScanMyList, and thus the World Concern app was born. Staff members and merchants do not need any devices to use the app except for what they already have: a mobile phone.
Sure, the World Concern app does not directly put food into the mouths of the hungry people, but by ensuring that field staff members (who distribute the vouchers and monitor their use) can work faster and more accurately, the app can become a critical part of the solution. The World Concern app is going to be implemented this month, with the hopes of reaching out to more hungry people.
It may seem like a small thing, but for Dyer, there is real-world satisfaction in what he has done. How many app developers can say the same thing?
Learn more about World Concern and how you can maybe help by visiting their web site.
[Image via World Concern]