Pakistan has been ranked amongst the top 5 countries to be effected most by the COVID-19 pandemic and every day, the number of victims rises as the task force diminishes. Be it the influx of patients, the rise of panic or the reluctance of health workers and personnel to endanger their lives, it has brought about the need for a response team that will be better equipped in aiding the government fight this battle. On 21st – 22nd April, 2020, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) held the “Master the Disaster” Digital Hackathon for Disaster Risk Reduction – the first hackathon conducted entirely online in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, with CECOS University as a partner, aiming to tackle disaster management and climate change predicaments that are making the country vulnerable. management and climate change predicaments that are making the country vulnerable.
Out of the 12 teams that participated, Team JAANBAZ took away the title of the winning team by presenting a ground-breaking digital platform that connects student-scientists from across the country in a single touch. The 4-member team led by Muhammad Ismail, BS. Biotechnology student at Institute of Integrative Biosciences, CECOS University, aspires to create the JAANBAZ Youth Crisis Response Platform that sets the basis for students, graduates or anyone with the expertise that is willing to help, to connect via this app, stay updated with the latest reports and form a nationwide crisis response force that can be deployed at any moment of need. The team also includes Aamir Sharif, MS. Mechanical Engineering student at CECOS University, as well as students from FAST and the University of Peshawar.
Young professionals – health and safety experts, engineers, software developers, educators and designers – are the target market for this project. The JAANBAZ aim to put together a response team that will manage proper awareness of the public, combat misinformation and fake news, train local communities in the face of disaster and assist national crisis management effort. The objective here is not only limited to the pandemic, but any and all future crisis and emergencies. The project is not only far more reliable and robust, but creates numerous employment opportunities for youth in Pakistan. JAANBAZ is looking for authorities that will rightly use this initiative to provide jobs and eventually, generating revenue to further carry the project.