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IBM CIO Brazil team creates a mobile app that provides transparency for donors

alt Charitable giving is in a shaky state, a recent survey found.

Almost 20 percent of people don’t donate because they lack trust in the institution, and another 5 percent don’t give simply because they aren’t sure how to donate, according to a 2017 study by the Charities Aid Foundation.

To address these issues, a team of developers from IBM CIO Brazil — Eduardo Luiz Lopes, Leonardo Gomes Maciel, Leoni Murilo de Lima, Vinicius D. L. Teixeira, and Paulo E. Gonçalves Jr. — rallied together to create a blockchain-based solution as part of the 2018 Call for Code challenge.

Sign up for 2019 Call for Code challenge

The “Helpchain” app is an easy-to-use mobile application providing transparency for donors as they try to help victims of natural disasters. It uses variety of IBM Cloud services, including the IBM Blockchain platform, enabling the tracking of transactions, fundraising, and NGO expenditures for all parties involved.

“People don’t donate because they don’t trust their money will be used correctly, don’t believe their donation can make a difference or don’t even know how to donate,” Maciel said. “We created the app to solve those three main areas.”

Helpchain was named a finalist in IBM’s internal Call for Code Challenge. The external winners will be announced at the Call for Code Global Prize Celebration on Oct. 29 at the Regency Ballroom in San Francisco.

The application has 2 feeds. One has real-time disaster alerts, showing the location and number of people potentially affected, and the other feed tracks the locations already receiving donations. In the donation field, the user can select the disaster and NGO involved that he or she would like to support. Once the donation is placed, the user can track where and how the money is being used.

“NGOs do an amazing job helping those in need and if we can increase the trust in their work, they can help even more people,” Lopes said. “Call for Code gave us the opportunity to take the IBM CIO environment and make a difference by being essential to the world.”