How Mobile Scanning Empowers COVID-19 Relief in South Africa


Like most countries, South Africa enacted a series of national lockdowns to limit the spread of the virus. But as businesses often hire their employees on a ‘no work, no pay’ basis, this resulted in many being unable to earn any salaries. As a consequence, millions were left at risk, not knowing where their next meal will come from.

To address this humanitarian crisis, a solution was urgently needed that would combine grassroots mobilization and technological innovation to deliver food and supplies to those in urgent need.

Providing Aid, While Removing Corruption

In the densely populated townships of Olievenhoutbosch and Cosmo City, the challenge of developing such a solution was led by Inspired Change Solutions, working closely with the  Mahlasedi Foundation, and with the support of private and public donations.

The organizations faced the daunting task of coordinating and supplying food deliveries to all households in the affected areas while ensuring that everyone received their fair share and that no families were left out.

To achieve this, they issued a geotagged QR code to each household and recorded the ID information of each code recipient. Later, a delivery team would arrive with a wheelbarrow containing 75kg of nutritionally balanced food – enough to feed the average household for a month. At this point, the ID would be checked again to ensure the right person was receiving the aid, and the QR code would again be scanned.

By combining the QR code and ID verification, the organizations were able to ensure that food could not be misappropriated, removing the opportunity for theft or corruption.

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Fast & Accurate ID Verification from Anyline

In spite of initial success, the process of checking each ID document was tedious and time-consuming. Jan Pretorius, who led the coordination of food deliveries, found that although they were able to feed over 240,000 in the first 2 months of the project, checking the documents of each individual would take days.

To address this issue, Inspired Change Solutions contacted Anyline. They found that by integrating Anyline’s wide variety of mobile data capture solutions into their browser-based management system, it would be possible to verify aid recipients’ IDs in a fraction of the time.

“Our teams have to collect 8 different fields of information, including the individual’s full name, date of birth, address, ID number, and more. While it’s imperative to thoroughly check each document to make sure everyone got their food, this led to significant delays in our distribution efforts.” 

“Using Anyline data capture, we can now instantly scan multiple forms of ID document with a standard cellphone. This is important because our aid recipients often have different documents, such as their ID, driver’s license or for foreign nationals, their passport. Anyline ID scanning makes our work much easier!”

What’s more, given the risk of virus transmission during deliveries, the ability to scan IDs with a phone also makes it possible for the distribution teams to complete their work, while maintaining social distancing.

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Our Commitment to Fighting COVID-19

Following the outbreak of Covid-19, Anyline committed to offering its data capture technology for free to frontline organisations who could make use of it in the fight against the virus. This offer, combined with the company’s reputation and integration support, convinced Inspired Change Solutions to partner with Anyline.

“Given the pressing circumstances, we needed a company who could provide us with accurate scanning solutions we could deploy quickly. As Anyline already had experience supporting the humanitarian work of the United Nations World Food Programme, we knew they would be a trusted partner. 

Our solution is now being used in both townships, making deliveries significantly more efficient, and ensuring we have the best data at hand in the field. We hope to roll this successful project out in more locations across the country in the near future!”

“It is at times of crisis that we see the true colours of people, organisations and institutions. The speed with which Inspired Change Solutions and their partners have been able to coordinate and deliver aid to those who may otherwise have fallen through the cracks is truly inspirational. 

In the tech community, it’s our duty to put our tools at the disposal of such projects. This is why we have offered our tech for free to any company which can put it to use in tackling the coronavirus. We are truly honoured to play our small part of this project.”

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