After cyclone Hudhud hit the eastern coast of India on October 12, 2014, CRS helped families and communities recover with emergency shelter kits, WASH kits and other interventions. Low income households in the mountains of Orissa lived in vulnerable mud and thatch shelters before the storm. The homes sustained damage from 2013's cyclone Phailin, but when Hudhud tracked closer in 2014, many mud homes collapsed. Here, CRS India staff distribute WASH and emergency shelter kits to rural villagers in Orissa state. It's the first aid these families have received since the cyclone.
This distribution used a new type of ICT4D / ICT4E system where beneficiaries received a durable card (similar to a credit card or hotel keycard) with a QR code. The QR code holds much more data than a barcode, allowing all information about the beneficiary and the specific aid each person or family will receive to be encoded in one place. This is beneficial in numerous ways: the cards are reusable and can be given at the time of registration, eliminating the need for a visit between registration and distribution to give out vouchers. Often paper vouchers were damaged or destroyed due to difficult living conditions after an emergency. The cards allow for smoother distributions as each person can be verified by scanning the code with a tablet app and checked against photo id. And finally, it allows for faster, more accurate reconciliation of inventory and people served.
Photo by Jennifer Hardy/Catholic Relief Services