Fitzgerald-Research Task 2

Todays’ group research workshop was very helpful in giving me more direction for my app. I have ultimately come to the conclusion the app I would like to create is far more complicated than what can actually be accomplished within a two month period. Rather than simplifying it and leaving out crucial pieces to actually produce the app, I have resolved to make an app proposal instead with a creative poster to show my work. I presented the different elements of my app proposal to my group and they helped me dissect what sections to further address. I have divided my app into three categories of main functions: location, safety, and communication.  This app is to be used by NGO’s as an informational tool and a way of communication during protest situations for better safety and organization. As I stated in my earlier blog post I have gained a lot of inspiration from the Israeli apps Yo! And their government run missile warnings, so I will be incorporating similar features into this app. Kristine helped me to recognize that this app needs to have features that only use internet rather than a wireless carrier because in times of protests or missile strikes local communication lines and towers could be destroyed, in addition to routers for wifi. Therefore a new thing I’ve determined for my project is this app must solely function on external connections, satellites of 3g or 4g.

I will not type out the same proposal that I gave orally to Kristine or Caroline because most of this will be found in my first draft. However, the largest new thing I need to clarify by Caroline’s suggestion was my violence warning section. In this section I chose to use a color system of red, yellow, green to indicate the urgency of danger that will alert app users in the form of a push notification. This notification will be based on location services (what is happening within that region) to better direct citizens to places of refuge (combination of google map directions and shelter addresses listed in a different section of the app). This draws inspiration from the government-app used in Israel to notify citizens when and where missile attacks were going to be launched. However, the app in Israel for these types of warning was run by the government, making it public service announcements. Caroline asked several questions the first of which: how the NGO’s will find this information? Will it be given to them by intelligence agencies/government, will it be through leaks in the media? Also at what point does sharing this information with citizens for their safety cross over exposing a military strategy the government would like to keep secret? These are huge questions to tackle on their own, which has inspired me to research the best method for NGO’s to seek this information and where.

I also recognize that I should probably include more tools and citations of culturally appropriate development methods as we have discovered this semester with Escobar. I didn’t think of my project originally in terms of  being relevant to development, but I certainly see the need to mention some key points. Overall , I am very excited about where my project is heading and fleshing out my methods section within the next two weeks will certainly put my closer to the ultimate product I am looking to produce. I will certainly be including Kristine’s point on the satellite connection in addition to addressing Caroline’s concern about information gathering.

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