Taarifa reporting for International Medical Corps UK at hack4good London

On the weekend of 4-6th October I was part of #hack4good in London working with Chris Adams, Corinne Pritchard and Nick Stanton tackling multi-agency reporting at refugee camps for International Medical Corps UK with the Taarifa platform.

We approached the problem from two angles: One was developing a workflow for a paper-based reporting system, where report forms are automatically generated for a specific area like a refugee camp. Refugees would be able make a report by filling in the form themselves with the help of a simple iconography to overcome the language barrier, mark the location on a map and drop it into a collection box. The forms are machine readable and can be digitized in an automated process.

The other was the technical challenge of providing a platform that could process a variety of different reports that various agencies working at a refugee camp need to deal with from santiation over general feedback to sexual exploitation. These can be aggregated in one place by the Taarifa API which I’ve extended to be able to handle any report schema. Creating a new report type is a simple as sending a POST request describing the schema to the API in JSON format. Reports can then be submitted immediately via the JSON API or via an automatically generated web form. All of that is live and operational at http://api.taarifa.org.

There was quite a bit of media coverage around #hack4good: Channel 4, SkyNews and a video of the London event by Big Bang Lab.

About the author:

Site Reliability Engineer at Google in London, UK. Former Computational Scientist at ECMWF in Reading, UK. PhD from Imperial College. Public speaker. Feminist. Pythonista. Cyclist. Open source / open data enthusiast. Hobbyist photographer. PyData London co-founder.