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UNDP FPLAC App Development
United Nations Development Programme
The United Nations Development Programme is a United Nations organization aiming to eliminate poverty and achieve sustainable economic growth and human development nationwide. As part of the Family Protection Legal Aid Centre (FPLAC), they launched an initiative to get legal aid for survivors of domestic violence and gender-based violence in Tonga, where such cases are alarmingly high.
With the help of the app, the victim can seek legal protection from the Ministry of Justice of Tonga. They can access the client apps who are victims to create complaint diaries under the victims’ names and consult with a certified consultant on the issues they are facing. Then the consultant can file a case for the victims from their consultant app. Moreover, the consultation is made more accessible with the help of live chatting and calling features that are free of charge, ensuring that utmost confidentiality is maintained for the victims.
Being one of the leading software and app development companies, Dcastalia partnered with UNDP to develop an app that would serve humanity and justice. It was our great pleasure to be a part of this initiative.
Apart from designing and developing the client app and the consultant app, we also provided technical support and maintenance to UNDP. Our skilled workforce with innovative techniques ensured the project was adequately planned and developed to help the people of Tonga get benefits from justice and live a better life.
Ensuring the privacy and security of highly sensitive information with fast communication modules required us to use the latest technologies. Therefore, we implemented various object-oriented programming techniques, including Socket IO for low latency and bidirectional communication.
Being a non-profit organization, UNDP required the app and its feature to be implemented and used free of cost from both client and users’ ends. One of the core features of the app is in-app calling using data connectivity between the victim and the consultants. The call supports both audio and video calling, with the option to make group calls. Latest features like “Raise Hand”, call recording, and call log are also available in the system.
To provide an absolutely free call service for the user and the client, we used Jitsi Meet Library, which provides an abundance of modern features. Furthermore, we ensured low latency calling, which can also operate with limited internet bandwidth.
The primary purpose of this project is to help victims of abuse and harassment by filing cases for them and getting protection from the Ministry of Justice. To do so, the victims start by creating a diary filing the details of the incidents. A consultant gets in touch with the victim and helps them file a case by filling out a detailed multilayered form containing the user details and the incident details.
The victim verifies the case from their end and can track the case’s status and updates. Meanwhile, the consultant can also search among the list of cases, track the status, update the information, and share cases.
Privacy & Safety
Given the nature of the service provided by the app, it is mandatory to provide vital safety and privacy to the victims. In many cases, users subject to assault in their homes would like to use this app secretively, which means the app has high-end features for privacy and security options. Moreover, the app requires the users to access with a PIN, especially to access features like case tracking and live chatting.
Alongside, users have access to other security features, like emergency calling, stealth mode for the app, and gesture control to hide the app instantly. The user is also prompted with multilevel security verifications. Besides, data privacy is ensured to avoid any sort of data breach as the information provided and stored is highly sensitive.
A prominent and utmost feature of the application is the live chatting and messaging option, which is implemented for the users to consult with the consultants. The system can store the chat history for further assessment by the consultant or the user.
The users can choose their desired consultant from the list of the active ones and start a session with low latency, thus enduring a good user experience of instant messaging. The user's diary and case data are also fetched on the consultant's end to update the current situation. Moreover, messages are sent with proper time stamps to keep track.
Among the abundant security and privacy features integrated into the app, one of the challenging features to implement was to lock the app as soon as the screen display gets dimmed
Though locking the app when the users' screen gets locked was an easy task, we had to think one step ahead and initiate a lock for the app, monitoring the screen dimming time. We faced a challenge with implementation due to overriding the default setting of the user’s phone. We modified the android lifecycle stages carefully to ensure the optimum privacy for the users.
The app must be active to send the consultant and the user emergency notifications. Due to the default settings of the OS, it kills the application after a specific interval of inactivity for battery optimization, which needed to be overridden.
An automatic checker checks whether the battery optimization setting is in place, which would affect the overall notification module of the application. If so, the user is then given an instruction prompt to manually deactivate the battery optimization settings, as overriding the OS settings is relatively tricky and inefficient.
UNDP, a non-profit organization, needed the chatting and messaging module to be free. Also, providing a real-time chatting experience without the possibility of loading the page was challenging.
Most of the chatting API and SDKs for apps come with a charge either on a monthly or yearly basis. To provide a free chatting and messaging service to our clients we developed a chatting module with Socket.IO, providing bidirectional communication between the user, server, and the consultant without any latency and keeping track of the timestamp.
The goal of the project was to aid as many people as possible from Tonga, who experience violence and abuse in their own homes. We also had to ensure that the app is supported on almost all kinds of android devices as a wide range of users would be using the application.