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With just one week to go until the Meffys final, supported by Mozilla & BiP (tickets available here!) we are taking a brief look at the finalists in the nine different categories.

Innovation in Social Impact is an important category looking at the companies making a real difference to people’s lives through innovative use of mobile technology. They may deal with a range of social issues, economic or environmental matters, they could be standalone, short-term initiatives, or ongoing projects. The key aspect is that these are products and services that harness the awesome power of mobile to improve vulnerable and under-served individuals’ and groups’ situations. Here are the finalists…

Conceptu Protótipos & Sistemas for PLP 2.0 – A Tool to Fight Domestic Violence

The PLP 2.0 app is a system created to assist the fight against the domestic violence in Brazil, and provides a connection for victims of domestic abuse to two government agencies and local NGOs.

Once setup, using simple phone key-presses victims of abuse in emergency situations are able to notify emergency services with all their personal information including their details, geo-location, possible aggressor’s name and so on, allowing quick responses from the correct services to potentially life-threatening situations. After the emergency is resolved by the police, the app can connect the victim to specially trained support contacts who can help with ongoing support.

This important app is significantly changing the situation for vulnerable women, in many instances saving their lives. The technology empowers the victims by giving them access to crucial information while creating an essential support network and community.

Visit PLP 2.0

Human Network International for 321 Service

It’s easy to take the internet, and the easy availability of critical information for granted – but what can you do in life threatening situations where there’s is no internet, or indeed, access to information services of any kind?

321 Service is an innovative mobile phone information service designed for isolated people in the least developed countries. Callers are able to use the most basic feature phones to get essential advice on a range of topics such as public health, gender equality, agriculture, finances, sanitation, family planning and emergency preparedness. Using their phone they can choose from over 500 separate sound file that have been developed in partnership with international and national experts, and get the answers they need.

It’s a free on-demand information service which makes reliable information and advice accessible on mobile phones anytime, anywhere.

Visit HNI

Indus OS for Indus OS

We’ve already talked about Indus OS thanks to their nomination in the Mobile First Markets Category as well, but it is no surprise to see the world’s first region-specific OS featured in the Social Impact category.

In brief, the OS is has everything you would expect of a traditional operating system, but is tailored to the needs of regional users who might otherwise be excluded from the mobile revolution due to language barriers, with patented keyboards, word prediction, and sophisticated translation and text to speech technology.

Indus OS is helping 1.12 billion non-English speaking people in India alone to engage with smartphones, with simplified system applications embedded into the operation of the phone, like the dialler, messaging, contacts, settings etc which can be easily taken for granted but can be prohibitively unfamiliar to users moving from feature phones. The OS intends to increase digital awareness, language sensibility and the availability of local content, fields often overlooked by the global phone giants.

Visit Indus

Turkcell for My Dream Companion

My Dream Companion is an amazing app designed to help visually impaired people achieve an active and independent social life.

Subscribers to the service in Turkey get access to daily news, columns, books and lectures, as well as location and information services, all presented in audio format. The app can help visually impaired people move around independently in shopping centres through clever use of ibeacon technology to help navigation, all while delivering information about the stores as they pass through them.

The app also provides Mobile Audio Description without any additional equipment other than the phone, providing a detailed visual description of scenes in films with no dialogue. So far this use of mobile tech has enriched the lives of 200,000 disabled individuals in Turkey.

Visit My Dream Companion

WeFarm for WeFarm

Winner of the 2015 Meffy for Innovation in Technology, WeFarm has had a busy year!

The initiative aims to connect small scale farmers with each other to facilitate the crowd sourcing of farming knowledge using mobile technology in areas where there is no internet.

At present over 93,000 farmers in Kenya, Uganda and Peru can access tailored, crowdsourced information by SMS that can help them improve their farms and livelihoods. Meanwhile, the millions of interactions create game-changing data and insights for businesses, governments and NGOs.

Farmers are able to improve their livelihoods by sharing essential knowledge around key problems such as saving sick livestock, diversification, starting micro-businesses, preventing crop diseases and so on. The service also allows marginalised groups such as young people and women to be empowered and gain confidence in their farming ability and expertise.

Visit WeFarm

Join us at the Meffys finals – London Dec 1st

Meffys 2016 supported by Mozilla & BiP is part of MEF London Week (29th November – 1st December) which includes Messaging & SMS World and MEF’s European Consumer Trust Summit.

The winners will be announced at a networking reception and features an innovation showcase – your chance to meet the finalists as well as live on-stage interviews with the winners hosted by Shivvy Jervis.

Book your place now