The Harmony Application

A solution by Derby Quad submitted to Integration and economic independence of immigrants

An open source platform that helps migrants settle into their community more quickly by providing the vital information they need on tehir mobile phones.

(Pitched: 21/12/2017)

One Page Summary

We plan to create a communication platform for migrants which connects them to the place and community of Friesland.

We know from direct experience of working with migrants in the UK that the use of smart phones is extensive. This is not a luxury item but a key necessity that contains memories and connections to their homes.

Given the prevalence of smartphones within this community this represents a significant opportunity to create a digital application which makes their integration into the Friesland community quicker, faster and deeper.
There are very few apps that are directly support migrants because they have so little economic power. Apps such as Instant Intel give help during the migratory journey, others give practical help on legal rights and self-medication and so on. No platform exists which can be used to help a migrant understand the community they live in and how to interact with it.

Our platform will be created in a partnership between migrant communities and local services and infrastructure to help promote a better understanding of Friesland, its systems, culture and history. It will provide clear guidance on how to live with Frisians and practical help in dealing with the practicalities of everyday life.

Clearly we are not from Friesland but we see here a universal problem that can be resolved first in this community. In Derby we experience also the problems of migration and are involved in a number of public bodies which are responsible for dealing with the impacts of migration. At the root of many of the problems is communication. Very simply migrants are completely unaware of what local people’s expectations of them are and how to access public services properly. They may not know that only certain types of waste can be collected from the streets or that people like to go to bed at a certain time, simple things which can contribute to significant problems locally.

This proposal outlines an option for addressing this communication issue by the creation of an open source mobile phone application. In its simplest terms ‘Harmony’ (working title) will be a multi-lingual adaptive platform that serves three key purposes:

1. Dissemination of useful relevant information or services in the primary language of the user
2. Positive community reporting on local stories from the key wards/environs, celebrating diversity and the people living in the area
3. Signposting and way finding to FREE online learning resources and soft English/Dutch language development skills