Just Launched: A One Stop Platform to Find Mobile Apps Being Used for Social Good in India


This article on using mobile technology for social good is part of the #Connecting4Good series & is made possible by Vodafone India.

There are many apps currently available on mobile phones to address common social problems faced by people – related to safety, governance, disability, education, agriculture, health and much more. Here’s a platform that will help you find them all.

Preparing for UPSC exams? There is an app that helps aspirants remain updated with information on current affairs and news in a format that is tailor-made for them.

Want to register a police complaint without revealing your identity? There is an app to help you do that too.

Need to find out if your name is there on your constituency’s electoral roll? Just a few taps on the phone and you will get the required information.

There are numerous such apps in India, which are meant to solve everyday problems by reducing hurdles that come in the way of communication with authorities, accessibility to facilities like health care or education, and connection with information centres. But, often, people are not aware of these apps and continue to struggle with problems that have easy mobile solutions.

It is to counter such situations that Vodafone Foundation has come up with the Vodafone Social App Hub – a one stop platform where users can get information about all available apps that address issues related to education, agriculture, health, and more.

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Talking about the Vodafone Social Apps Hub, Mr. P Balaji, Director, Regulatory, External Affairs and CSR says, “The potential of mobile technology to address several of our country’s socio economic challenges is unparalleled. In addition to reducing the barriers in inclusion and communication, mobile technology has proved to be an effective means of development. Several mobile apps, across sectors, have already created substantial impact with their insightful approach and innovative solutions resulting in better education, health, livelihoods and safety. However, the awareness of such apps amongst beneficiaries, app developers, the development sector and general citizens is quite low. The Vodafone Foundation, guided by its philosophy of ‘Connected for Good’ has curated the Vodafone Social Apps Hub to solve this problem.”

From Mandi Trades that enables farmers to sell produce directly to consumers, to Accessible Places, which helps finds disabled-friendly places in Maharashtra – Vodafone Social App Hub has many such apps. The main objective behind the Hub is to identify, review and feature social apps that are meant for use in different sectors across India.

It is the meeting point for all stakeholders, including developers, NGOs and mobile phone users, to utilise technology for social good.

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Source: Flickr

Users can find different categories – including safety, governance, disability, education, agriculture, and health – on the Hub. Each category has a selection of apps with detailed information about them. Currently, Vodafone Social App Hub has around 100 mobile apps and every app has a download button that directs users to a relevant store page from where they can download it.

The different sections on the Hub, in accordance with the objectives behind them, are as follows:

1. Categories:

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This is the section meant to identify, validate and promote some of the best social apps, bringing developers and users together on one platform and making it easy for them to search for relevant apps just by tapping a few buttons.

2. Case Studies:

This section features many case studies from around the country on how mobile technology has created huge impact at the grassroots level in different fields. For example, the Arogya Sakhi app helps women in rural India earn a living by turning them into health entrepreneurs. The women deliver preventive health care solutions to rural households using mobile health diagnostic devices and modern technology. They are trained on how to use diagnostic health devices going from door to door, and they upload medical test reports to the Cloud via a mobile tablet. Nineteen rural women have been trained as health workers in 53 villages across Osmanabad, Ahmednagar and Pune districts in Maharashtra. They have reached 730 beneficiaries to conduct preventive tests and over 15,000 community members in their health care, hygiene and sanitation awareness efforts.

In this way, technology driven social organisations can come to one place and showcase their interventions to a larger audience, inspiring others to take similar steps. Each case study takes the users to a page containing details and the impact story. Moreover, it also gives many organizations a platform to gather ideas on how exactly mobile technology can drive change.

3. Call for App:

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This is one of the most interesting sections on the Hub where citizens can post problems on issues they feel should be addressed with the help of mobile technology. Users have to write about the objective of the proposed application, describe the idea and the features that the app should have. This further creates a bank of ideas for those organizations and individuals who might be interested in developing apps that can help create an impact in society. Additionally, NGOs and social organizations have a space to talk about the problems they might be facing and seek technological support.

4. D’Corner:

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Source: Flickr

In this section, developers can discuss technology trends and issues in the social sector through the ‘Developer Forums’. Users can also find information about the latest developments in the sector of mobile technology being used for social good, through the ‘Tech Insights’ section. Here, related content from different sources is curated for easy access.

Vodafone Social App Hub is the place to be for everyone – those looking for apps, those looking for solutions, those who know of problems, and those who want to solve the problems. From farmers and students, to health workers and government officials, users from diverse backgrounds can use this Hub to make their lives easier and foster change and development for everyone else at the same time.

Visit the Vodafone Social App Hub here.

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