D4D’s Term-Time Projects connects students who are interested in social impact and technology to innovative projects in the ICT4D space. These projects give students the chance to develop solutions to challenges from non-profit and other international development organizations. This connection benefits both sides: it gives students the initiative to get involved in international development and gain teamwork, coding, and problem solving experience; at the same time, it moves forward proposed solutions to global issues and helps non-profit organizations in human resource, infrastructure improvement, and presence building at Harvard. TTPs have partnered with organizations such as Kartis, Sana Health, and the Harvard Humanitarian Institute to contribute to the effort of solving international challenges. By providing a bridge for students and impact projects, Term-Time Projects addresses the lack of non-profit opportunities for CS students on campus, raises awareness for international development challenges, and encourages students to contribute to the effort of solving these challenges.
Some examples of past TTPs are below.
For most services delivered widely to the general population (like vaccinations or bednets), population-based household surveys are used. The most efficient and unbiased surveys are simple random samples. One method for achieving such samples is satellite-imagery based sampling. In this approach, a commercial satellite photo would be used to identify households in a rural area of Africa. A list of households by GPS location is made from which a random sample is chosen. The GPS coordinates are then sent to the field worker’s smartphone who then follows the list and asks the survey questions. When the survey team returns the survey forms, the GPS track of the smartphone confirms whether they actually visited the household. We are working on improving the household-recognition system for this application, and an image of processed satellite images used is to the left.
The Kartis project is creating a social network for nonprofits, fostering awareness and collaboration in the aid space. Kartis had its inception at ID Hack 2013, and D4D has worked on term time projects with Kartis for two semesters, Fall 2013 and Spring 2014. D4D has worked to improve Kartis’ mapping functionality in Fall 2013. In Spring 2014, D4D worked with Kartis to enhance social media integration, allowing users to update and view Kartis posts through the social media they are currently using, such as Facebook. A screenshot of the Kartis map is to the left.