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CityApp Blueprint Challenge Documents

Project name: Synergy

Sunil Manandhar(St. Xavier's College)


Background:

We’ve been facing different sort of problems in our society. These include drinking water problems, traffic congestion problems, pollution etc. But the biggest problem of them all is those problems not being addressed and people- who don’t want live with such problems, ignoring to a level where our small problem grows to be known as nation's problem There is no-one bearing the responsibilities attached to solving a problem even when every impact is directly affecting us. We expect government to solve them. We blame others instead of correcting ourselves. We try to avoid involvement in our problems and until we don’t change our perception about our responsibility towards the society, advancement is not possible.

Concept

The app is based on the idea that if every responsible citizen take part in the development process, and commit few hours out of their daily life or few hours in a week, solely for the sake of people around them i.e. their society, there can be drastic improvements in the living standards of people. A craze to do good to the society and a whim can be created via this app such that people can act before complaining, they can commit before refraining, and instead of blaming a third person for those unsolved problems, they can work it out because everything is made transparent.


The app can be used as a tool to aware people about existing problems, discuss and brainstorm on possible solutions to the problem, establish link with experienced people, build a network, and above all work together to actually show the power of teamwork so that the initiation and hard work can inspire even more people to collaborate and come up with more ideas and solutions. This will be a bridge to development because people will really feel the responsibility and that will lead to development as a whole.

The project will be based on 2 basic ideas. First, any user signed in to the app can specify an existing problem. Different opinions regarding how that problem can be solved in an effective manner can be obtained. After majority of the users agree on a valid solution to a problem, the working members are determined based on their availability. Practically, there are three ways that users can participate:

1. As a volunteer: Helping and involving in activities related to the problem. Main team responsible for getting work done. One can participate as a leader or as a follower.

2. As a sponsor: Helping with finance or any kind of sponsorship.

3. As a worker: In many cases it might be essential to hire people in the given field to carry out certain task. This feature where workers can be recruited or they can themselves bid to take part in a project can be developed. So that more opportunities can be created online.

The participation is possible in various ways, and there will always be guidance, recommendations, suggestions regarding the on-going projects or upcoming projects which can help a lot to manage time, finance etc because a team will have people who can guide, who can inspire and who can criticize.

The important feature of the app will be marking system based on their roles. For that the volunteers will take a photos or share some kind of document that sufficiently explains the “Before” phase of the evidence. There will be “On the Process” photos to show some of the best clips with responsible team at work and finally, “After” state of the event or the place .So, each successful projects can be explained by these sequence of photos.

Based on it, people can rate them and based on how people find it interesting or worthy, certain points are obtained. And this will finally be adding data to their “Social CV”. This is the driving factor such that people will work not only as a responsible citizen but also to have a CV that they can showcase and share about their establishment and seriousness in the development process.

                                                          Figure 1Activity Relation diagram

The basic functionality of the app can be summarized as follows:

1.      A problem specification is posted
2.      Discussion proceeds
3.      A solution from the discussion is chosen.
4.      Participants are chosen as (First-Come-First-Serve).
5.      They work together to make it happen.
         - The “Before”/On-The-Process/ After stage photos are made available, showing the progress of   the project.
6.      Based on the role of the participant, users earn badges/points. Extra points for best ideas etc. Users can also generate Social CV.

                                                  Figure 2:Context Free Diagram

The other features might include:

1.     Group Texting for message relay

2.     GPS enabled location tracking system.

3.     Upvoting/Downvoting system for the idea

As in other social networking sites like Reddit or stackoverflow, there will be monitoring head with certain rights and permissions. They can delete unnecessary posts and request users to obey the basic rules without offending anyone.


Target Audience


Youths are pillars of the nation. They’re youths who exploit the use of technology. They can participate physically in the process or virtually by sharing ideas.

For a problem to be solved, the directions on how it can be addressed does not suffice. Along with guidance, inspiration and solution specification, actual fieldwork is necessary. The target audience of the app includes people from all ages willing to contribute for a better environment and a better city.

The app expects someone with a smart phone and their skill to surf the internet will suffice. The app will have an easy interface. The users can view the activity related to various regions and equally contribute to any of the problems. There are 7,664,000 internet users in Nepal. Among them 7,622,000 use internet via GSM mobile. These users will be our target audience.[AnnaPurna Post-February 8,2014]


Early Feedback

I got a chance to pitch my idea to members of “Swadeshi Ma” group who are actively involved in engaging themselves in developmental activities. They really liked the concept about youth involvement. Similarly the concept of Social CV and it’s implementation is something to look forward to expressed Mr. Pratik Shrestha.

Similarly, I also tried pitching my idea in front of my classmates where I got an even more positive response. Many had not heard about app that worked like this and this is indeed something new that definitely is worth a try. We should persistently work together to make things better until every citizens of a city becomes responsible enough to solve a problem on their own and stops expecting someone else to do their house works.

Competition

The app will not be specifically challenging or competing with any products or companies but intends to work together with the ones that are driven for a good cause. The services it can provide can be of a direct advantage to making developmental process more organized and interesting.


There are social networking sites which focuses on friendship/ family value, or a career profile, business profile etc. But this app is all about solving the existing problems in the society or bringing about changes that the time demands and providing a platform for healthy social discussions. The proficiency in ones' skill on how well and far he can take his career isn't quite enough. To become a responsible citizen, one must be a responsible family member, and a community member. The contribution is expected and the app focuses on the same.

 

Persona

Prerana is a social activist. She thinks her participation can really bring about changes in the society. She along with his friends has formed a group but there are few members. When they plan a program to do a community work like cleaning campaigns, they're not assured about participation to meet their expectations. Many times she, along with 5 of her friends had to do the work without other's help and it took them 3 times more effort as well as time.

With this app participants can be drawn to do the social work be it cleaning campaign, blood donation campaign or awareness campaign or any similar campaigns.

Pramesh is a cycle activist. He works at an office in Lalitpur and he lives at Gongabu. On his way to office and while returning there are always roads where there is a traffic jam and there are most of the time cases where traffic police are not available to manage it. In these cases, Pramesh parks his cycle in a safe place, wears his yellow volunteer jacket and tries his best to manage the jam. The people on the bike prefer waiting on their bike and expect the jam to be over soon without knowing what was causing the obstruction. Pramesh wishes there were other helpers who think giving 15 minutes to solve the problem would actually save time of many other travelers stuck in the jam.

Pramesh can now upload the photo and location of the hectic jam and knowing that there are like minded people, number of volunteers can then participate to make the management easier.

 

Top User Stories

Networking:
As a social-worker I want to work together/communicate with other social workers so that I can improve my social skills and do good for the society.

Participation:

As a citizen, I want to be aware about the ongoing problems around my locality so that I can also actively participate in developmental works.

Discussion:
As an app user, I want to be able to discuss about problem solutions so that I can earn point and can also involve in something that will make everyone happy.

Responsibility:

As a responsible citizen, I want to be able to donate/sponsor for the development work so that even if I cannot commit time to actually work on the field, I can still help accomplish the goals and participate.

Updates:
As an app user, I want to see the events happening around places to get inspired and follow the trend.

Business Model

The main idea of project is public participation. Since it is a web-app the main source of revenue generation can be advertisement. The more the app is used and if the craze for the Social-CV rises, the business will actually have a ground.

Similarly, data can be obtained about how participation of people can change the life-style, what kind of social activities are people interested in etc. Apart from that, the app can also be used to handle other developmental projects to recruit active members who take developmental work seriously. There is chance for right opportunity for right group of like-minded people working together on a project funded by government or any organization.

 

Core Technologies

The app will be written in C# and HTML5. It will use Visual Studio 2013 as an IDE, SQL server for database management and the OS for development is Windows 8.1. The web framework that is going to be used is ASP.NET.

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