A Little Background
Likely, a few have read the title and are thinking, “What is a P.A.C.T. platform and what is this tech challenge?” Both of these are fair questions; so let us start with the Tech Challenge.
The Tech Challenge competition was created by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Humanity United in support of the White House's strategy for preventing mass atrocities. It encouraged participants to identify and create technology-based tools to help prevent atrocities like genocide and ethnic cleansing. A prestigious panel of judges, comprised of human rights and technology experts and U.S. government leaders, selected the winners.
The Portable, Anonymous Communication Technology (P.A.C.T.) Platform,a winner of the Tech Challenge, utilizes low cost, portable communication technologies to enable safe sharing of information through voice, text, pictures, videos, and other media with each other and the world. Further, through creating access to information, P.A.C.T. enables economic advancements in communities around the globe. In effect, P.A.C.T. creates ad hoc communication networks when existing infrastructure fails for one reason or another or does not exist at all. The P.A.C.T. video, shown here, quickly demonstrates the platform.
USAID & Humanity United, in partnership with the PR firm Porter Novelli, designed a PR campaign to generate national attention for the Atrocity Prevention efforts and to introduce the Tech Challenge winners. The initial Press Release announces P.A.C.T. and the other winners.
Since then, Yahoo Finance, The Wall Street Journal, and others have picked up the story. Dowser.org, a media organization that reports on social innovation, featured the Tech Challenge Winners on August 1st, and the Huffington Post published an article that tells the story of P.A.C.T.'s Inception.
So you read the fancy PR; now what?
Well, the purpose of the campaign is: Before we can create the pilot, we need to develop the backend support software. So, we need to raise the funds to get the software created.
Okay, you're right, that's still vague. The backend software is used to collect and analyze the data so that we can:
a) verify the veracity of the information
b) help USAID and Humanity United design new development programs for the communities and to notify the international communities of atrocities in real time
In other words, it's the integral piece to get P.A.C.T. up and running and start benefitting communities around the globe through atrocity prevention and access to information that would improve their economic prosperity.
We have evaluated a few different existing software packages on the market, and presently, none fit what the platform needs. Although, there are a few that show promise for being tailored to the program.
What This All Means
Basically, this means that by contributing to the P.A.C.T. campaign, you become a partner with P.A.C.T., USAID, and Humanity United in the fight against mass atrocity, and in creating global transparency by empowering people.
Your contribution will also work to create a communication infrastructure that communities can use to support their economic growth.
But first things first, prior to the software designing, funds will be used to obtain non-profit status, allowing us to offer tax free donations for future contributors. Once obtained, we will update the campaign to reflect this.
What's In It For You
Okay, we could always make the argument that you will get the warm fuzzy feeling for helping others out, and while we like that idea, we're realistic. Just like wine or cognac does it for some, it doesn't do it for everyone.
For every contributor, we will list their name on our site thanking them for making it happen. Also, at a point in the future, after a successful pilot, we will host a launch party and all of our donors will be invited.
The Giving Levels
We provided some giving levels to highlight how the funds will be used. Basically, one hour of a software developer's time is $100. So, If a specific giving level doesn't suit you, feel free to improvise. Remember, unless you select anonymous donations, all contributors will receive their or their organization's name on our website and will receive a shout out on our soon to be created, very own P.A.C.T. Facebook page. We may do Twitter, if someone wants to volunteer to teach us how to get the hang of that one...
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