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Manchester - 22nd Feb 2011 | London 24th Feb 2011
In crisis situations, whether natural (e.g. earthquakes, floods, tsunamis) or political (e.g. violent conflict, forced movement of populations), children are especially at risk. Children who become separated from their families are the most vulnerable.
Family Tracing and Reunification (FTR) is the vital process of returning lost children to the safety and protection of their families. Despite advances in information technology the current process remains desperately manual.
In 2010, in response to the challenges of the Haiti earthquake, UNICEF Innovation , New York University's ITP , and ThoughtWorks developed RapidFTR, a system that combines smart-phone and netbook clients with a network hosted modern NoSQL backend database allowing field workers to capture children's details even where network connectivity was unavailable.
RapidFTR has been developed as a distributed open-source project following agile development methodologies. The vast majority of development effort has been through volunteer efforts of ThoughtWorkers in the UK, US, India, China, Brazil and Australia.
In the fall of 2010, RapidFTR was deployed for field trails in Uganda. In January 2011, UNICEF deployed RapidFTR in anticipation of large scale population movement following the South Sudan Independence referendum vote.
Jorge Just (Program Manager, UNICEF), Jeff Wishnie (Director of Social Impact, ThoughtWorks), Zubair Khan (Senior Developer, ThoughtWorks) will discuss the design, development and deployment of RapidFTR and the challenges of establishing a distributed open source project that follows agile methodologies.