Two Aussie companies tapped to develop data platform to improve humanitarian aid in Somalia

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Two Aussie companies tapped to develop data platform to improve humanitarian aid in Somalia
Lambros Photios (Station Five) and George Pappas (G Squared)

Two Australian companies, software development and digital services provider Station Five and digital marketing agency G Squared, have been tapped by the Swiss Government to develop a platform for monitoring humanitarian and development programs in Somalia.

Somalia consistently ranks very low on indices for corruption, peace and public safety.

According to a statement from the companies, development assistance and humanitarian aid are often impacted by systemic corruption and collusion, compounded by a lack of involvement of the country’s residents in the implementation and development of such programs.

The dashboard will display real-time analytics such as identification of risks, reporting on the impact of positive and negative activities and mapping stakeholder effectiveness to enable timely and effective decision-making for the SDC, other donors as well as implementing partners and authorities, the statement said.

Station Five and G Squared were selected after a global tender put out by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), a humanitarian and development arm of Switzerland's Federal Department of Foreign Affairs with an office in the Horn of Africa. 

The companies were awarded a four-year contract to design and build the data visualisation platform, with a four-year extension option.

“The G Squared/Station Five tender response demonstrated a strong understanding of human-centred design and an agile approach, with a commitment to best practice and a highly tailored, custom-built cloud-based platform, that is adaptable for the environment in Somalia,” said SDC’s Horn of Africa regional director of international cooperation Thomas Oertle.

“This platform will receive, verify, store and display data in dashboards to present performance assessments to multiple stakeholders. We look forward to working with the team for this important data platform which will assist in further developing our humanitarian and development planning in Somalia and hopefully increase the impact and sustainability of our support, in line with the objectives of Switzerland's Cooperation Programme in the Horn of Africa.” 

G Squared will design the user interface for the platform, while Station Five will manage the engineering and data science.

G Squared director George Pappas said, “The appointment of two Australian businesses, by the Swiss Government's SDC, to develop a first of its kind data visualisation platform to assist in the planning and delivery of effective humanitarian and development programmes in Somalia, is certainly one of the more unique projects we have been involved with. We’re honoured to have been chosen for this project, which aims to make a tangible difference to the lives of Somalis for many years to come.”

Station Five chief executive Lambros Photios added: “Winning this tender against significant international competition, including global consultancies, is a testament to the technical expertise and strong design thinking capabilities that exist in Australia. Despite being far from both Switzerland and Somalia, we’re already working with SDC’s teams on the ground to ensure we build a data platform that provides its users with real-time analytics that will help them to make fully informed and timely decisions.”

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