Swiss Government Appoints Aussie Agencies For Somalia Digital Platform

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The Swiss Government have appointed Australian digital marketing agency G Squared and software company Station Five, to develop a first-of-its-kind data platform to monitor humanitarian and development programs in Somalia.

One of the most fragile and volatile countries in the world, Somalia has been placed at the bottom of rankings for state fragility, corruption perception, bribery risks and global peace indices over the past three decades. Systemic corruption and collusion is one of the leading causes of instability, which can impact the effective delivery of development assistance and humanitarian aid. At the same time, the impacted population is not systematically being involved in the design and implementation of development and humanitarian programs, which can negatively affect the relevance and impact of interventions.

The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), part of Switzerland’s Federal Department of Foreign Affairs with responsibilities for coordinating international development and delivering humanitarian aid, has an office in the Horn of Africa which aims to improve the performance of its programmes and enhance stability, reduce poverty and improve wellbeing.

Following a global tender process, Sydney independents G Squared in partnership with Station Five, have been awarded an initial four-year contract to design and build the data visualisation platform, with an option for the contract to be extended for an additional four years.

Thomas Oertle, regional director of international cooperation for the Horn of Africa, from SDC said: “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.

“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.”

The first of its kind 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.

G Squared will create the user experience and interface design for the platform, which will receive, verify, store and display data that will be collected by a remote monitoring provider, with Station Five managing the engineering and data science of the platform.

George Pappas, director at G Squared (pictured right), 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.”

Lambros Photios, CEO at Station Five (pictured left), 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.”