How Greece set an example using online volunteering to battle COVID-19
Assistant Volunteer, a project of Nable Solutions, was born during the HackCoronaGreece online hackathon to better coordinate the efforts of volunteers. Today, Assistant Volunteer’s platform is part of the Greek Ministry of Health’s official response to eradicating the pandemic.
This year, online hackathons have proven to be a great source of ideation for easily scalable solutions during crises. From a shortage of medical equipment to caring for patients remotely, solutions to better manage the COVID-19 outbreak flourished globally. However, it was still to be discovered whether these solutions could be developed into mature products able to be integrated into the official’s response programs.
On April 7th-13th, in Berlin and Athens, the global tech community tackled the most pressing problems Greece faced due to COVID-19 outbreak during the HackCoronaGreece online hackathon organized by Data Natives, eHealth Forum and GFOSS with the support of GreeceVsVirus (an initiative by the Greek Ministry of Digital Governance, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Research & Innovation). Just two months later, Assistant Volunteer, matured its solution to the final stages of development and was selected by the Greek Ministry of Health to officially contribute to managing the COVID-19 pandemic in Greece.
The era of volunteering
COVID-19 paved the way to a new era of volunteerism in response to the crisis. Even though isolated from each other, volunteer movements across the globe found ways to dedicate their time and efforts to help the ones in need and introduce innovative and effective ways of helping humanity.
According to the United Nations, in Europe and Central Asia, the volunteer movement has been officially recognized by some governments for their services provided by volunteers during the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s exactly the case with HackCoronaGreece and the solutions that have been created by diverse communities.
One such solution, Assistant Volunteer, recognizes the problem of coordination – when thousands of people are gathering for a good cause, their efforts deserve outstanding management to maximize positive effects.
What is Assistant Volunteer?
Assistant Volunteer was developed as part of the HackCoronaGreece hackathon by Nable Solutions, an award-winning startup providing software solutions with a social cause. Assistant Volunteer is an easy-to-use volunteer management software platform for organizations and government agencies. It can be configured to support organizations of all types and sizes to achieve modernization and upgrade of the operations, seamlessly with their workflow. Through the modular architecture design, organisations can coordinate volunteers through the web app and mobile app.
Any organization can register, create a profile, come up with actions needed, engage with the database of volunteers, track performance & measure impact.
Assistant Volunteer competed with 14 other teams to be selected in the finale of the HackCoronaGreece hackathon and continue the development of their idea. The solution was recognized by the Greek Ministry of Health and selected for assistance in further development.
Multinational pharma giant MSD Ssupports the project
Another influential supporter of the project is MSD, a pharmaceutical multinational company that contributed with an award for Assistant Volunteer wich is a monetary prize of 7.000 EUR.
Previously, MSD Greece donated 100,000 euros to the Ministry of Health “to strengthen the national greek health system and to protect its citizens”.
MSD also donated 800,000 masks to New York and New Jersey. Working with Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and other healthcare companies, MSD contributes to pushing the development of the vaccine forward, diagnostic tools, and treatments to treat COVID-19 as soon as possible.
The Greek Ministry of Health included Assistant Volunteer in their official efforts to fight the pandemic and facilitated the population of the platform with 10000 volunteer profiles. Now, organizations can take the next steps in coordinating the volunteer movement in Greece and, potentially, beyond.
Author: Evgeniya Panova