Use geospatial technologies to improve NGO & VWO operations

GeoHackathon was a competition organised by the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) in partnership with UP Singapore to explore new and innovative ways to use mapping and geospatial technology.

About 26 teams of 140 people from diverse communities and backgrounds came together from 6 to 8 June to address problems in society. This includes special challenges highlighted by Non-Government Organizations and Voluntary Welfare Organisations, such as Food from the Heart, who are seeking app that helps the hotline operator alert volunteers to manage their volunteers assignment based on their availability and locations.

The Brief

Food from the Heart (FFTH) is a non-profit charity who collect unsold bread from over 100 bakeries daily and deliver it to over 150 welfare homes and 28 self-collection centres. As part of the challenge, they would like to have an application that helps their operations to deal with last-minute replacements of volunteers and enable available volunteers to pick up jobs based on their locations.

Context Discovery

The “Food from the Heart” Program was initiated in February 2003 by Singapore-based Austrian couple Henry and Christine Laimer upon a report that large quantities of unsold bread are dumped by bakeries daily. The news inspired them to channel surplus food from bakeries to those in need. Their sound management of the program helps bring assurance that the leftover bread will not be resold or manipulated.

Besides daily deliveries, FFTH also run self-collection program, where bread is distributed to needy families that are not housed in welfare homes through collection points in housing estates. These beneficiaries include the elderly staying in 1 room flats, the unemployed and poor families finding difficulty in affording a proper meal.

Given their scale, FFTH relies on a custom logistics system to provide operational visibility, accountability and coordination for their delivery operations while keeping time-consuming paperwork to a minimum. Nevertheless, the FFTH staff still have to quickly and manually find a volunteer replacement and provide cover for the route when scheduled volunteers suddenly are not able to fulfill their delivery responsibility.

Idea: FoodTrek 2.0

Resource Management and Map Visualisation System.

Our inspiration comes from understanding the need to address FFTH operational supply and demand fluctuation as well as the need to improve their operational scale and outreach. To achieve this objective, we proposed both web and mobile based application that provide operational visibility and automation for FFTH partners, beneficiaries and volunteers.

Besides highlighting location of key resources, our geospatial visualisation is also able to estimate outer edge of all possible travel routes from a start point to a given distance or time.