Tracking and the distribution of aid during a crisis can be very challenging and sometimes there is no guarantee that the items truly get to the planned areas or people. Last Mile is a mobile app developed by a Canadian based company called World Vision. This app allows organisations to clearly track items, monitor stock levels and holds individuals to account for receieving aid.
Eric Pires from innovatedevelopment.org comments on WVs process, "LMMS operates by creating a household profile for each receipt and printing out an ID card. Beneficiaries are then required to present their ID card, which will indicate how much aid they will receive based upon their need. The information is then aggregated within a database, which is monitored to evaluate the relationship between the beneficiaries and World Vision."
"This innovation offers users the ability to carefully track how their beneficiaries are being impacted by their services. This allows users to calibrate their services to address gaps and errors in provision. It also helps them report back to stakeholders on their activities in specific terms. Incorporating this system with handheld devices and laptops means that users can deploy almost anywhere and maintain a high level of accountability over their activities. Having an ability to immediately pull up information on a particular beneficiary on a handheld device also means that people can’t exploit aid systems by providing false statements of need. "
This system is excellent when tracking expensive items such as laptops or other equipment. I also like that this system would work well for families or individuals who are perhaps refugees for an extended period of time. The organisation could collectively monitor exactly what each family has received. Im not sure how easy the system would be to implement at the height of a crisis, cataloging individuals and providing scannable cards would take precious to time to setup. But I feel this system if used appropriately could be a very power tool. I love that system attempts to create transparency to delivering aid.
I am considering creating an app of some kind which encourages communication in a crisis. Learnings from this app feeds directly into my research. I like it!