DC Apps4ChangeDemo — Presenting concepts for social benefit technology apps

#Apps4ChangeDemo DC — 01/29/16

Our team was in Washington, DC on January 29 for an #Apps4Changedemo event that took place at the Microsoft Innovation and Policy Center. Developers from the nonprofit and government sphere were on hand to demo apps that focused on serving the nonprofit, journalism, civic, and environmental sectors. Attendees ranged across many sectors — staff from a variety of government agencies, nonprofit professionals, civic technologists, policy makers, and interested community members.

The events was one of a series of #Apps4Change events that we host around the country.

Here are the public good apps we learned about that day:


Avi Kaplan from See3 demoed the Propelit App, a platform for nonprofits to create quality, inexpensive short videos for giving campaigns, social outreach, and advocacy. The app guides users in a step-by-step way on how to effectively shoot and share videos with helpful tips like how to best hold your device, frame the shot, and light your scene. Once your video is complete, you can use Propelit to push your new video as a call to action via social sharing.

Maya App

Will Chapman of Maya Health Network outlined the problem points of large patient loads, vast geographic distances, and lack of population health data in developing countries. The Maya App allows providers to bring their own device (whatever it might be) and offers up a secure, cloud-based experience that allows healthcare workers to create and share patient records.

Open Health Network

Open Health Network initially started out as a private network for cancer patients, helping with support and side effects management. When other health-focused organizations showed interest in the app, Maksim Tsvetovat and Open Health Network developed the Configurator app to allow others to quickly create and submit to any app store their own personalized and multilingual healthcare patient engagement app or other similar applications for clinical trials, surveys, or compliance.


The Salama application is project developed by the International Center for Journalists with the technical support of the Peace Tech Lab. Jorge Luis Sierra developed Salama to “measure risk of journalists and bloggers working in dangerous areas around the world.” Through the app, journalists answer twenty questions related to the region and project, and receive an automated risk score based on local vulnerabilities. Salama is also looking at use cases for international aid workers and activists who also face similar risks when traveling to potentially hostile environments.


Elisa Munoz demoed the Reporta app created by the International Women’s Media Foundation and developed by reporters and leading security experts. Reporta is the next step for journalists to act on any risk situations they might encounter in potentially dangerous conditions worldwide by creating security protocols, and through setting up in-app check-ins, designate what steps to take if a check-in is missed including locking mobile access to the app, send sensitive audio, photo, or video data to designated contacts, and create alerts of who to notify if assistance is needed.

Here’s a video tutorial of how to use Reporta:

Water Tracker

Water Tracker is an app developed by the three-person team of Fidan Karimova, Dmytro Malakhov, and Vitalii Starush, that tracks how much water you use every day. Showering, driving, eating, and drinking your morning coffee all use water, and using the app you can track, find ways to reduce your water consumption, and even compare your use of water with your Facebook friends. The app is currently being piloted with Colorado State University and UNAM in Mexico City to compare the water usage by students at each university. The team is looking for further funding to continue to improve and implement the Water Tracker app.


Kendall Tucker shared Polis, which is a mobile app that helps harness the power of door-to-door offline advocacy. You can use Polis to generate canvassing routes, load scripts and questions for volunteers to follow, and track the locations and conversations of those you have visited. It displays data analytics for each campaign, and helps to target who you should visit the next round. The app has been used successfully in many civic issue campaigns such as school district polls, and they are looking towards expanding it further for social issue cause-building uses.

Clean Swell

Clean Swell is a mobile data collection app created by Beaconfire RedEngine for Ocean Conservancy to reduce the amount of trash in oceans. You can use the app to document the trash you clean up at beaches, waterways, and oceans. During the cleanup, you can add photos of the trash you find and share those photos via social media for others to see. It tracks the path of users during cleanup efforts, tallies miles cleaned up, and keeps a record of the total amount of trash you’ve collected. The app is currently in beta, and the next steps of Clean Swell’s development are to include deeper social integration, messaging, and leaderboards of top collectors, along with being able to create teams and have a group coordinator dashboard.

And you may want to see a Storify of the tweets from the day’s event.

You can also watch for other #Apps4Change events on our Eventbrite page

This post is by Joyce Bettencourt, a contractor with Caravan Studios. You can learn more about Joyce by following her on Twitter.

You can learn more about Caravan Studios on our website. And follow us on Twitter

We make technology to make the world better and are a division of TechSoup, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

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