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Technology for Social Good

By Ridwan Sifat

· Technology,Social Entrep

The use of technology in the field of development in the grassroots has taken a great leap. Today, organizations and social enterprises have turned to technology in helping address problems in the communities. Innovations are geared up towards the improvement of lives in the easiest way possible. Below are three organizations that have utilized technology for social good:

10 Minute School

10 Minute school is the only website in Bangladesh through which students learn from online lectures and live classes. With this website, children are able to practice from the given quizzes and model tests and monitor their progress. They have access to all kinds of information which are otherwise not accessible within the internet for free. The target of the 10 Minute School is to resolve the problem of access to quality lecturers and resources for students who are presently enrolled in Bangladesh’s education system.

The organization has won various awards including the Youth Award'16, DYDF Youth Icon Award'16, BRAC Manthan Digital Innovation Award'16, and Swiss Embassy Award for Social Impact, and Champion's for Future Leaders' League (London). They also received an honorable mention in GIST Tech-i Global Competition in Silicon Valley, USA. The organization was also a Country Rep and the Asian & Europe Meet'15.

Peek

Peek is a social enterprise that works to bring better vision and health to everyone. They develop technology and partnerships to create sustainable access to eye care.

Peek Solutions is specifically designed for remote and low resource settings. They include apps and hardware enabling eye checks to be conducted in homes, communities, and schools by non-specialists. They include a smartphone-based vision screening, real time data reporting, and eye health service analytics. The technology generates information that ensures patients are linked to appropriate treatment and resources are allocated efficiently.

All profits generated by the company’s activities ultimately belong to the Peek Vision Foundation. The foundation then uses its funds to build eye care capacity in low- and middle-income countries by supporting people, knowledge and tools.

The organization has also won various awards including the Max Perutz Science Writing Award in 2012, the Icon Awards-Socially Responsible Design Award, the Digital Top 50 Awards - Best Tech for Social Impact, the Clearly Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016, the European Product Design Awards Designs for Society and Industrial and Life Science Design Awards in 2017 and the UBS Global Visionaries Award in 2018.

Digital Green

India-based nonprofit Digital Green is a global development organization that empowers smallholder farmers to lift themselves out of poverty by harnessing the collective power of technology and grassroots-level partnerships. The organization believes that when farmers have the tools they need to connect with one another, they’re far more likely to apply what they’ve learned on their farms to help improve their own livelihoods and those of others in their community.

Digital Green enables rural communities across South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa to share regionally successful projects via videos to encourage wider adoption. They train people in how to record and display 8-10 minute videos, which are shared on Digital Green’s social network Farmer Book.

Some of Digital Green’s awards include the USAID Digital Development Award in 2017, the Google Impact Challenge in 2013, the Nominet Trust 100, and the eNGO Challenge South Asia both in 2015.

These are just example of the many emerging tech innovations for social good out there. The next time you have kick-ass tech innovation in mind, try to consider on making it for the social good. Trust me, its worth it for the world.

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