Dominican, Kemuel Lodrick, is the winner of the 2020 United Nations Development Programme’s Eastern Caribbean #IslandHack prototype challenge.
Lodrick won 1st prize with a prototype app he calls TradeBook, a submission under the economic transformation category of the challenge. The TradeBook app allows individuals to create profiles advertising their skills, which enables persons seeking those particular skillsets to find and hire qualified workers. TradeBook also offers a market place option where visitors and users can browse and list of goods for sale in a virtual store model. TradeBook was born with the goal of allowing members to easily identify activities that help supplement income.
Lodrick told DNO that he is grateful to have emerged as the winner of UNDP Island Hack and is satisfied that UNDP saw his idea as beneficial for the region especially during this pandemic.
“I came up with the idea because I recognized that there are a lot of individuals who are skilled in various areas, whether mechanical repairs, landscaping services and so on. There are also people who constantly search for individuals who can perform these tasks. The idea for the app came from the need to bridge this gap between the clients and the customers,” he stated.
He said while technology and remote working is being championed and the world is filled with digital citizens, TradeBook allows the user to build a profile and apply to jobs or find jobs.
“For example someone in need of refrigeration repairs or AirCon repairs can post a job in the app and gain access to a pool of individuals. Another example is that someone in another regional country can post that they need help with viruses on their computer. Someone in Dominica can get that job and earn some income from the comfort of their home,” he explained.
The UNDP #IslandHack Covid-19 prototype challenge was made to find innovation needed in order to identify disruptive responses to the complex problems the Eastern Caribbean faces due to COVID-19. Providing innovators, entrepreneurs, thinkers, dreamers, visionaries, creatives and more with a chance to find solutions to Covid-19.
The challenge ran from May 12th to May 28th with categories such as: digitization of fisheries, economic transformation, tourism of tomorrow, access to essential services, virtual health care, protecting the vulnerable and mobile tracking. Cash prizes were awarded to the top 3 submissions, 1st place winner received $10 000, 2nd place winner received $5 000 and 3rd place winner received $3 000. Jugen Montoute of Saint Lucia placed 2nd and Sheldon Lewis, Constanze Herrmann and Kimanii Daniel of Greneda placed 3rd.
The UNDP works in about 170 countries and territories, helping to achieve the eradication of poverty, and the reduction of inequalities and exclusion.
According to the UNDP web page: “We help countries to develop policies, leadership skills, partnering abilities, institutional capabilities and build resilience in order to sustain development results.”