IBM, Global Citizen Seek Blockchain Solutions for Humanitarian Aid

IBM and Global Citizen are issuing a challenge to the world’s developers: use blockchain to revolutionize how donations are made to humanitarian causes.

The tech giant and the anti-poverty campaign movement are partnering on “Challenge Accepted,” inspired by the United Nations’ Envision 2030 initiative, which aims to improve the lives of impoverished and at-risk people.

Developers taking part in Challenge Accepted will use IBM’s Blockchain Platform Starter Plan to build a network that encompasses all aspects of the donation process.

There’s a gamification aspect as well – along the way, developers who perform certain actions can earn “points” that they can then redeem for access to IBM experts, for example.

Stepping back, the UN and other assistance groups have previously explored using blockchain to track aid to impoverished areas. Cryptocurrencies, too, have served as a platform for facilitating donations to a range of causes, from clean water access to the provision of electricity for a school in South Africa.

And in what is perhaps the most notable trial of its kind to date, the World Food Programme (WFP), the food assistance arm of the United Nations, tapped the ethereum blockchain to authenticate and record disbursement transactions.

More than money

Simon Moss, a co-founder of Global Citizen, argued in a blog post published Friday that the technology has the potential to change the face of humanitarian aid.

And it’s not just the money that would be better accounted for, he said – organizations can use a blockchain to improve transparency in the flow of goods being delivered as well.

“Blockchain can provide clarity on not only who is donating, but how money and supplies flow through organizations that provide aid – such as tracking a gallon of water purchased by an organization to the location where it was delivered,” he wrote…

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