SMU students showcase apps for volunteer organisations and hawkers

Team "The Chosen Six", (from left) Chang Hua Peng, Chiang Ling Yi, Clara Ang, project manager Shangeri Sivalingam, Yong Lee Jia and Jonathan Low, developed a social crowdsourcing app, CareGuide. The app lets volunteers know about and sign up for activities posted by staff, facilitating senior citizens' visits to clinics or hospitals. PHOTO: SINGAPORE MANAGEMENT UNIVERSITY
Team "NanBoWang" developed an app that links unused food distributor Food from the Heart to beneficiaries like Teen Challenget and The Helping Hand. Food from the Heart CEO Anson Quek (left) is seen here with team members (from left) Zhong Weixiang, Samantha Lee, Valerie Lee, Lim Wei Fa and Andrew Lim. PHOTO: SINGAPORE MANAGEMENT UNIVERSITY

SINGAPORE - Singapore Management University (SMU) Information Systems Application Programme students showcased 32 of their capstone projects on Friday (April 22).

A capstone project is the equivalent of a final-year project for all School of Information Systems students.

The 162 students, divided into teams of 4-6, developed an app or computer program over six months for clients, selected by the school, ranging from voluntary welfare organisations (VWOs) and multinational companies (MNCs)to hawkers.

These teams had to write the programs, learn how to manage stakeholders, do user testing and improve based on feedback, and present their projects.

One five-member team , called NanBoWang, developed an online and mobile application that allows VWOs with food shortages to select and reserve supplies from Food from the Heart, a non-profit organisation that channels unused food to those in need, online.

The program also publishes jobs for volunteers, especially those living nearby, to deliver the food, saving the VWO workers' time.

Wheels4Food, the name of the application, is now being used by 12 partner VWOs, including the Helping Hand and The Turning Point, and has facilitated 7 deliveries so far.

As beneficiaries do not have to send teams down to check the availability of and bring back the food, executive director of Food from the Heart Anson Quek estimates that about 480 man hours a month per VWO can be saved.

Mr Quek said: "We have received very positive feedback from the VWOs." Some of them used to go to Food from the Heart not knowing what food was available.

Now, it is easier for them to plan their meals for the week as they can reserve the food items they want.

Another six-member team, The Chosen Six, developed a social crowdsourcing app lication called CareGuide that connects volunteers to their pilot platform, senior citizen centre Henderson Home.

Members of the public can sign up, receive training and then facilitate activities such as taking an elderly person for their regular clinical visit. It has had 25 registrations and helped with five volunteer activities so far.

Other projects include a bookkeeping app for hawkers, to help them manage expenses, and an app allowing Singapore residents to freelance as tour guides, for visitors and expatriates hoping to get an authentic Singaporean experience.

The public can learn more about these applications by visiting SMU's School of Information Systems page.

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