Agastya, Digital Green and Janaagraha Centre for Citizenship & Democracy have been chosen as the winners of the Google Impact Challenge which supports technology based social projects. Social Awareness, Newer Alternatives was chosen as the winner chosen by the public. The winners would receive Rs 3 crores to execute their social project submitted for the Challenge. Apart from the sum of Rs 3 crore, the winners will also be given 10 Nexus tablets and technical support from the Google team.
Google has decided to also make a seed investment of Rs 1.5 crore (approximately $250,000) into the projects of the remaining six finalists to help them refine and scale their impact project. The 10 finalists also included Breakthrough, Prayas Energy Group, Going to School Fund, Chintan Environmental Research and Action Group, Pratham Books and Shelter Associates. The primary requisite for participation was that social organisations use technology to enable social impact. Among the winners, Digital Green and Janaagraha are organisations working on building digital platforms to enable social impact:
– Digital Green is being funded to scale a digital knowledge sharing platform for farmers which uses videos to educate them. The company says that its product COCO (Connect Online Connect Offline) is designed to support 100,000 users located anywhere in the world and can be operated offline in low and limited bandwidth locations. The application requires Internet connectivity only for data synchronization with the global repository and requires no additional software installation. It is being used to capture information from the users right from video production to adoption of practices. Digital Green’s partners include SERP, Jeevika, Varrat, Path, Pradan, among others who use this platform among communities.
– Janaagraha Centre for Citizenship & Democracy is using the funds to build online and mobile apps to connect citizens to their government representatives in urban areas. Founded in 2001 by Ramesh Ramanathan and Swati Ramanathan, Janaagraha primarily focuses on the quality of urban infrastructure and ichangemycity.com was started by the organisation as one of the means to connect urban citizens with the government to solve infrastructural problems.
More on what the other digital finalists and their plans here.