Mobile App used to digitalise the nationwide reusable mask distribution exercise
In early April Steven Koh, director of Government Digital Services at GovTech, received a call from the Singapore Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) and the People’s Association (PA).
Both organisations wanted to know if GovTech could develop an app that would digitalise the nationwide reusable mask distribution exercise.
In the span of four days, GovTech engineers repurposed and refined an existing application into SupplyAlly (Sally). Koh’s team had to develop an app that was designed with a low barrier to entry for users, as we did not know how many people were involved in distributing masks. The team also developed a form of authorisation and authentication that was scalable with the size of the volunteer efforts.
Technology, the driving force behind Sally
By utilising cloud technologies on our Government Commercial Cloud framework, Sally is able to run different distribution campaigns simultaneously with the use of unique QR codes at an effective cost model. In addition, by staying true to our DNA, the team was able to significantly lower the lead time required to roll out new campaigns by leveraging on reusable components.
Once Sally was set up, it enabled MTI and the PA to distribute reusable masks across Singapore through the various Community Centres. To date, 4.2 million masks have been issued through this campaign.
During the Circuit Breaker period, home-based learning was implemented but some children could not participate as they lacked access to internet laptops. That’s when we decided to partner Engineering Good to distribute refurbished laptops to underprivileged students for home-based learning.
Since June, the GovTech has also worked with the Community Development Council (CDC) and PA to distribute voucher booklets to families in need – Sally is utilised to distribute vouchers to more than 250,000 households out of 400,000 eligible households.
Sally also directly contributes to the national contact tracing effort against COVID-19. Together with our parent organisation, the Smart Nation and Digital Government Group (SNDGG) and the Agency for Integrated Care’s (AIC) Silver Generation Office, more than 10,000 TraceTogether (TT) tokens were issued to the elderly who do not own smartphones and other digitally-excluded members of the population. Subsequently, in September, we started the distribution of TT tokens at the Community Clubs in Jalan Besar and Tanjong Pagar areas.
More recently, GovTech engaged Food from the Heart, a charitable organisation and gave out hot meals to the elderly and other service users around the Mountbatten area. Sally vastly simplified the process of tracking and recording items distributed, ensuring equitable distribution of essentials for individuals and households.