Objectives of the service
In the “Hand for U” project, the central concept is the Help Request. So far, in application Together! (upon which Hand for U is built), Help Requests was sent by Person in Need and then chosen by Volunteer verified by the Organisation (the functionalities showed with green arrows). This process appears in "Hand for U", too, with certain crucial additions. This time not only does the Volunteer have to undergo the verification process, the Person in Need will be verified as well. This way the interaction between Person in Need and Volunteer takes place in a safer environment. After this interaction, Person in Need and Volunteer will have a possibility to rate and comment on their experience, which will allow Organisation to collect feedback as well as knowledge of how to improve their activities. Furthermore, in order to prevent service misuse, the Volunteering Organisation has a possibility to check rates and comments connected to requests, review reported ones and validate new Volunteers. In such a process Volunteering Organisations are involved in supervision and prevention of service misuse. The Project Team plans to create a safe space that will allow helping each other communities to grow.
Users and their needs
The solution is dedicated to three groups:
Volunteering Organisations which can expand their activities and supervise the interactions between People in Need and Volunteers. Moreover, Organisation can benefit from the data collected in the application, i.e. most frequent categories of requests, areas of People in Need and Volunteers’ activity etc.,
People in Need who can seek help from people nearby, utilising functionalities of translating help offers (which expands the pool of potential Volunteers) and assess the help they received,
Volunteers who can offer their help to those who need it most and act on behalf of the Volunteering Organisation.
In “Hand for U” the Project Team wishes to create a space for self-organisation between Volunteers and People in Need and allow Organisations to provide supervision over their interactions. The targeted users will be located in Poland, however the Project Team plans to broaden the scope of targeted users.
Service/ system concept
The main functionality in “Hand for U” is Creation of a Request, dedicated to a Person in Need. Through this process the user can specify what kind of help they need and provide necessary details that will be visible to the Volunteers. Besides that, Person in Need will see the Help Offers provided by Volunteers and Organisations. Volunteers with validated accounts, will have access to the functionalities like list of active requests and the possibility to accept the request. There will be an option to translate help requests in foreign languages and to report the request to the organisation if it seems to be suspicious.
Besides the mobile application, a web-based management panel is added as well. From the perspective of the organisation, there are two roles. The first one, Organisation, provides the description of the organisation profile visible to all application users, defines Area(s) in which the organisation operates and creates Coordination accounts. Coordinators, on the other hand, are responsible for validation of volunteer accounts that are created in the Area(s) maintained by them. Besides that, they review reported requests and comments/rates in order to mitigate service misuse.
In the image below all of the main functionalities of the app and web panel are presented with their respective recipients.
Space Added Value
The main “space” solution to be used in “Hand for U” stands behind the feature of an exact localisation determination of a person in need as well as of a volunteer of an organisation. The feature utilises GNSS services provided by mobile devices and supporting satellite navigation Galileo, so it can be exploited both on a local scale (community, district, city) as well as on a global scale (country). The exact localisation is crucial to provide a person in need (refugee) assistance by volunteers and organisations that are close and could react fast.
The following work has been completed so far:
Further user requirements were gathered and discussed with the main partner Senco as well as other potential clients.
System Design and preliminary test scenarios were introduced based on the Proposal and per discussions with the main partner.
Several meetings with interested parties took place, in which different functionalities were discussed in the context of organisations’ way of operating. The campaign of acquiring more potential partners continues.
Back-end system design and data model were proposed.
Preliminary application screen designs were proposed along with user flow of Volunteer and Person in Need.
User flows of Volunteer and Person in Need were refined accompanied by screens showing the process in the application.