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 remained 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. Today the program is entirely open-source and driven by volunteers, including more than 100 Thoughtworkers since 2010.
RapidFTR was trialled in a refugee camp in Uganda and, most recently, in the Philippines.
Caption: Deploying RapidFTR in the Philippines.
View the recent media coverage in the NY Timesand The Guardian to learn how the app has been used to help reunite children with their families.
Read about Sri Prasanna, a senior developer at Thoughtworks, and his unforgettable experience being on the ground deploying RapidFTR and helping children reunite with their families in the Phillippines. He also provides ways to get involved.
Thoughtworks acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land where we work and live, and their continued connection to Country. We pay our respects to Elders past and present. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples were the world's first scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians. We celebrate the stories, culture and traditions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders of all communities who also work and live on this land.
As a company, we invite Thoughtworkers to be actively engaged in advancing reconciliation and strengthen their solidarity with the First Peoples of Australia. Since 2019, we have been working with Reconciliation Australia to formalize our commitment and take meaningful action to advance reconciliation. We invite you to review our Reconciliation Action Plan.