Prize-winning app crowdsources labor violation reports

agncy app crowdsources labor violation reports
Image credit: Telenor Youth Forum / Agncy

After six months of intense work, the team Agncy was announced the winner of the fifth annual Telenor Youth Forum for their platform that crowdsources labor violation reporting.

Tackling UN Sustainable Development Goal #10, their service addresses the need to serve as a ‘digital message in a bottle’ for laborers with the aim of reducing unfair labor practices globally by reducing inequalities.

Agncy is a whistleblowing platform where workers can use a phone app to file reports to local and international labor organisations. The platform enables secure, anonymous and verifiable reports in a world where smartphones with internet access are increasingly available and used by workers.

The platform makes use of technologies like blockchain to encrypt data, machine learning to detect patterns in reports that are verified or rejected, image matching to verify submitted photographic evidence, and location triangulation.

Although fieldwork in Myanmar indicates that many workers are willing to disclose their identity, workers in the most urgent cases are not. Therefore, the platform lets workers report anonymously to protect their safety, even though this poses a challenge in ensuring the validity of reports. Agncy says it is putting measures in place to balance the safety of workers and the verification of reports. This is also to prevent malicious attacks on the platform.

The app can also be hidden on the phone to protect workers in case their employers check their phones.

Agncy will receive a prize of $15,000 in funding, as well as advice from their Telenor mentor, Grameenphone CEO Michael Foley, with the aim to further develop the service.

The Telenor Youth Forum’s 2017-2018 program culminated last week at Dtac headquarters in Bangkok, where a delegation of 24 young leaders from 12 nations pitched four new services to Nobel Peace Center executive director Liv Tørres and Telenor Group chief corporate affairs officer Wenche Agerup, among others.

The other three services pitched to the TYF jury include a Big Data project to prevent malaria outbreaks; an online birth registry for disenfranchised children; and a chatbot that counsels teens on internet safety. Details on their ideas can be found here.

Telenor Youth Forum kicked off during the Nobel Peace Prize week in Oslo in December 2017, where 24 delegates were split into four teams, each with a unique social challenge to solve. From that point onwards, the delegates worked to develop their ideas, conduct user research and prototype their services, leading them to last week’s Bangkok finale.

Image credit: Telenor

Agncy’s members are Tammarin Dejsupa (Thailand); Nang Kant Kaw Ywat Hseng (Myanmar); Myat Moe Khaing (Bangladesh); Iva Tsolova (Bulgaria); Lasse Schriver Nielsen (Denmark); and Veljko Ristić (Serbia).

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