Design Sprint: Which teams are going to pitch?

Larissa Zappe May 26, 2021

The design sprint started after a second round of collecting digital solutions that human rights defenders can use to support their work in a more efficient and secure way. During the design sprint the ten selected teams work together with trained coaches to develop, refine and redesign their thrilling idea/solution.

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Now, we are glad to present the ten teams to you that got into the design sprint and worked on their solutions together with a trained coach.

The events will be pitched on June 5th!


The Neuro-Lens team seeks to improve access to mental health and raise awareness with the help of a web and mobile based app. The app helps finding a mental health specialist to get initial consultation or a follow up in the needed timeline irrespective of geographical location. To not only cure current pressing cases but also prevent individuals from a fall-back or developing mental health issues in the first place, the app offers training on preventive mental health strategies for members.

Refugee Virtual Desk by Alliance4Rights

The Refugee Virtual Desk is a mobile application developed to increase awareness about the rights of women and children among refugee and host communities. Refugees have a limited access to justice, hence sexual assault and GBV are less reported within these communities. To support women and children refugees, the Alliance4Rights team offers those affected a Virtual Protection Desk for reporting sexual and GBV as well as child abuse. The documentation of cases and reporting takes place online, apart from easy access this also helps to reduce the fear of stigma.

Telefrend broadband

Uganda is among the 45 countries worldwide using targeted spyware softwares to monitor the profiles of journalists and human rights defenders. Though those are aware of the cybersecurity risks and threats, lack of expertise and resources to defend themselves to address the identified risks is common. The Telefrend is a portable Mi-Fi with an inbuilt VPN (virtual private network) and anti-malware features that connects users to a more secure internet. It comes with a full set of cybersecurity tools in one device and allows multiple devices and users to connect to a single secure hotspot.


Fake news, myths, misconceptions and conspiracy theories about minorities and vulnerable groups are going viral regularly, leaving thousands of people threatened and dehumanized. The misleading information online can cause real life harm and also limits the enjoyment of human rights. The DeBunk platform identifies the top trending myths and rumors related to human rights issues on social media and provides critically fact-checked stories in a video and audio bulletin. The critically fact-checked stories contain expert interviews while highlighting the truth and impact of false rumors. Besides the platform, a DeBunk Bot will automate first fact-checking processes in Whatsapp groups, claim identification and transfer it to the DeBunk Fact Checking team to verify.

ADOVIC - Anti-Domestic Violence Centre

Over 70% of rural women and girls are being evicted from their land and martial homes. This is possible as many of them are either unaware of their rights or have limited access to information about them. Due to low internet penetration in rural areas, apps and websites are not of great help to inform the affected. To support these women and children in finding justice, ADOVIC offers a dial-in code/ USSD-code for quick information and contacts to pro-bono lawyers and organisations that offer legal support.

My Pal App by Awesome Mind Speaks

Especially young people between the ages of 12 and 24, information about mental health and access to services are inadequately distributed and there is no national coverage of community healthcare or residential care. Thence, Awesome Mind Speaks aims to develop a low data digital app called My Pal App that is designed to help linking peers to service providers. The app also combines self-navigation study with help (if sought) through a pool of psychiatrists, therapists, psychologists and lived experience peers. The app is accessible anonymously both on- and offline.

Iraka by Minority Africa

While the vast majority of Ugandans living in rural areas have little knowledge on the existence of various land tenure systems in Uganda, land grabbing can happen without the victims ever finding justice. With a phone penetration of over 70% percent, USSD codes can be used to spread the message. The Iraka USSD code will offer short courses on land rights, ownership and transfer that will be drip fed to people primarily in rural communities in their local languages via SMS, pre-recorded voice calls and voice messages. By dialing the USSD prompt, women in rural areas would be able to register for our courses for free and without needing an internet connection, making us a pioneer offering courses using mobile phones and without the


Digital Refugee Rights Platform by Youth Empowerment Foundation

The YEF team intends to create platforms and media material such as podcasts, journals and web based information systems to avail easy access to information on refugees’ rights. Due to lack of deliberate effort to avail this much-needed information on protection, social and economic rights as per the UN conventions on refugee protection, refugees are more vulnerable to intimidation and manipulation by authorities. Insufficient access to information also leads to the loss of opportunities that could improve refugees’ livelihood.

Digital Deaf SRHR Access Innovation by Team Sign Language

Young people with hearing impairment officially enjoy the same sexual and reproductive health rights (SRHR) as everyone else. Yet, access to information and services are reduced due to the language barrier, making them more vulnerable to assault and violence. The Team Sign Language takes this challenge on and seeks to provide services to young persons with hearing impairment aged between 12 to 35 years in Uganda: They develop SRHR digital learning content in sign language and video format for Health workers and deaf persons, train health workers in sign language with help of the USIGN app and conduct videocall-based guidance and counseling sessions.

Centres4Her by Naguru Youth Health Network

Refugee rights are often ignored, both in settlements and in the urban areas. Paired with lack of confidence in the current reporting channels and limited access to justice and legal aid leads to a lower rate of documentation of human rights violations. Hence, Naguru Youth Health Networked developed a mobile application called Centres4Her. This app helps increasing awareness about Refugee Rights, women's and children's rights in particular. To enhance access to documentation, Virtual Protection Desks and an E-Documentation section are built in for reporting human rights violations.