@theIRC Makes its Commodity Tracking System #opensource

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The International Rescue Committee, a humanitarian relief and refugee resettlement organization, has released the source code for its Commodity Tracking System, which allows the organization to keep track of aid shipments to help ensure that they reach their intended destination. In its press release, the IRC explains:
The IRC like other INGOs cannot deliver medical aid and other supplies such as shelter materials or heating supplies inside Syria for security concerns, so it works with local civil society groups inside Syria that pick up IRC’s shipments at border points from Turkey, Iraq and Jordan and they deliver them to intended locations inside Syria.
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Every IRC package going into Syria is tagged with a QR code. Using GPS-enabled smart phones with dedicated software the civil society groups that IRC works with scan these shipments as they are crossing the borders to various distribution points.
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Intended recipients confirm receipt of the shipments via email or Skype providing additional levels of assurance to the tracking system.
The concept itself is nothing new, and other aid groups use similar tracking systems to monitor their shipments, but this is the first time that the source code for such a program has been made freely available. You can access it on GitHub here. H/T to Tom Murphy at Humanosphere for this one.

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