It’s inspiring to see all the ways that technology can make a difference in disaster response situations. As covered in this Diginomica article, we teamed up with Team Rubicon UK to continue the tradition of conducting a 2-day hackathon (that we call the Hack-For-Good) – this time at the DocuSign MOMENTUM`16 conference in London. While all Team Rubicon countries share the same overall goals, there are regional differences in the needs each require and the priorities of those needs. That’s why the Hack-For-Good in London presented a new set of challenges over those at the San Francisco event.
All Team Rubicon global operations are very paper-intensive, at least until now. Team Rubicon UK’s operational workflow includes a number of paper forms including field disclaimers and membership/field operations processes. Each of these major processes requires signatures for consent and authorisation, such as those required by volunteers to acknowledge dangerous duty, homeowners for work to be undertaken in their damaged home, and countless other situations and scenarios that take place in mobile and rugged environments. That’s where DocuSign comes in. With eSignatures and paperless workflow capabilities, DocuSign partnered with Team Rubicon to help find ways to eliminate the need for all that paper – after all, it’s not ideally suited to a disaster zone given it can get lost, destroyed, dirty or rendered unreadable.
Additionally, when you are in a rugged environment, you can’t easily determine who has signed agreements and who has not, or even if all required signatures have been obtained. And of course, in disaster response situations, time is of the essence. It’s clear that a software solution is needed, but it must be available on mobile devices in both online and offline scenarios. Enter DocuSign.
At our Hack-for-Good, we helped individuals, and teams looking for teammates, find new friends to code with. Each team was able to determine the Team Rubicon UK challenges they were trying to solve and the app design and technologies they would use to solve it. Then the clock started ticking. In fact, the judging process began only 30 hours after the Hack-For-Good kickoff meeting.
DocuSign engineers were available at all times during the event to help coders with specific questions about their development methodology and the DocuSign eSignature API. Team Rubicon UK also provided an operations expert to better understand their needs. These available resources, once again, proved invaluable to the success of the final solutions.
Teams worked hard during the short allocated timeframe to think about what challenge they were going to address, determine the skill set of each developer on the team, develop the UI and back-end services, do basic testing, consult with DocuSign engineers and Team Rubicon UK, and devise a game plan for presenting to the judges.
At 12pm on day two, coding stopped and the judging process began. Two teams were selected as finalists because of their outstanding creativity and their ability to understand and design a DocuSign API-based solution to meet the challenges of Team Rubicon: Team RAJ and Team Mango.
Team RAJ decided to tackle the challenge of an Availability Tracker for Team Rubicon UK. The goal of the Availability Tracker is to know at any point in time which resources in the database are available to help with a disaster. Team RAJ, consisting of three team members, developed a solution that tracked the availability of Team Rubicon UK volunteers and provided reporting in a spreadsheet.
With two members, Team Mango tackled a challenge Team Rubicon outlined with homeowner disclaimers in the field. They produced a mobile mapping solution that showed field volunteers the status of all homeowner requests by using coloured pins. A pin colour of red means the home is awaiting a damage assessment. Yellow indicates the assessment is in progress, while blue indicates the assessment is complete. They used the DocuSign eSignature API as part of the workflow to request an eSignature from the homeowner.
And the Winner Is…
During the closing keynote, John Leach, CEO of Team Rubicon UK, and Marie Huwe, VP of Developer Marketing at DocuSign announced the £1000 grand-prize winner of the Hack-for-Good. It was… Team Mango for their innovative solution for mapping homeowner disclaimers from the field.
Both finalists of the London event developed great solutions in less than two days, as did the finalists from the San Francisco event. DocuSign will be working with Team Rubicon to further the outstanding efforts by the Hack-for-Good finalists. Look for future updates in this compelling story of the intersection of deep partnership, social media outreach, expert coders, and, of course, the tireless humanitarian work from Team Rubicon to help after disaster strikes.
All of the code is also open source, and available to the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) as part of DocuSign’s agreement to support more than 40 disaster relief organisations in partnership with the CGI.
If you are new to the DocuSign eSignature API, you can try it for yourself with a free sandbox by visiting www.docusign.com/developer-center.