An international development organization that works in nearly 40 countries around the world, Pact works to improve the lives of those who are challenged by poverty and marginalization. We strive for a world where everyone owns their future. Throughout the course of history, the world has experienced a wide array of disasters that have affected millions around the world. However, the rate at which the COVID-19 pandemic has the ability to affect people who are already challenged by poverty and marginalization around the world is devastating. Many citizens of less developed countries do not have access to or the ability to implement some basic prevention techniques such as self isolation and hand-washing. Additionally, people who live on a small daily income often lack access to real-time information necessary to address the pandemic nor do they have the financial ability to weather the economic impacts of COVID-19.
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Pact spent a month unpacking the most profound COVID-related challenges for the communities where we work. The three resulting challenge statements reflect the top challenges as voted on by nearly 200 Pact staff. This challenge runs until August 6, 2020, and consists of three tracks that participants can choose from. There will be four solutions chosen at the end of the period: One from each track selected by Pact evaluators and one overall selected by the public for a "People's Choice" winner. To express our gratitude to participants, Pact will showcase the winners in an interview with our President and CEO. The interview will be live for Pact’s global staff and will also be available via Facebook Live, podcast and as a blog on our website. Additionally, winners will receive recognition on our social media channels and in our quarterly external newsletter.
Challenge timeline here.
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In countries where the internet and personal digital devices are not widespread, the delivery of essential and nonessential services remotely is challenging. Infrastructure gaps in the digital ecosystem prevent widespread digital solutions from scaling. In addition to this, citizen engagement via virtual platforms and access to critical COVID-19 information can be controlled or monitored by governments.
Now more than ever, in the midst of COVID-19, we have been exposed to a different kind of threat that we are forced to deal with. We have been shown that our past way of conducting business can be crippled instantly, forcing us to adapt new technology and new communication protocols into the foundations of our business. Through the lens of a company or community with high speed internet and high bandwidth capabilities, this may not seem like too daunting of a task. However, many of the communities and areas we serve, simply do not have this luxury. We're reaching out to the world to discover new ways to connect these communities to digital resources to allow them to access and benefit from various digital resources.