“In 2014, (the nonprofit arm of the global design firm Ideo) and the U.K. Department for International Development embarked on a five-year partnership to develop a new model for aid projects. Called Amplify, the program is structured around 8 challenges, 6 of which have been announced: women’s safety, early childhood development, refugee education, agricultural innovation, youth education, and, critically, urban resiliency.

In Indonesia, where one challenge winner, AtmaConnect, developed a mobile app to help neighborhoods better respond to floods. Originally launched in January 2015, the app has 90,000 users in Jakarta, Malang, and Lamongan. (Smartphones are widely used in lower-income areas of Indonesia since data is cheap.) Users can post information about shortages of food or water and share information about impending weather events or how to protect belongings in advance. They can also report things that officials might overlook. For example, garbage accumulation makes flooding worse, and AtmaConnect reported that when users logged instances of waste piling up in their neighborhoods, the government took action to clean it up.”