Charitable mapping

Team Name: 
Sleepless in Sydney

In December 2012, the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission, (ACNC), was established as the first ever national charity regulator to support public trust and confidence in the sector.

Launched on the 11th July 2013, the ACNC Register is the official searchable database of Australian charities where 57,600 registered charities can list information about themselves and their services.

The application we've prototyped is currently a proof of concept and aims to provide users with an app to identify the nearest charity that meets their requirements. It uses ACNC data along with ABS data to highlight the impact of charities within the community, through the services they offer by identifying geographic areas of need. The ACNC data is geo-referenced and indicated on a geographical Statistical Area Level 2 (SA2) map of NSW along with ABS populations of indigenous, homeless and persons aged over 65.

We choose NSW data because the majority of charities are based in NSW, with NSW having the highest number of newly registered charities. This pilot demo choose to focus on indigenous needs to identify and address the social economic gap between the indigenous community and Australia's overall population. Relief of poverty is one of the most commonly nominated purpose of new charities and it is for this reason that we also choose to look at homelessness data.  Finally, the aging population and aged care needs will be an increasingly important issue in Australian social policy. For this reason, the demo presented also choose to provide a snapshot of the demography and services around this isssue.  

We used shapefiles from the ABS to define our polygons. We then mashed ABS census data with data from the ACNC. The ABS census data was processed with R, while Python was used to cleanse and georeference approximately 12,000 NSW charities. The web app was developed using Cartodb.js, Bootstrap and jQuery. We are storing and sourcing the resultant data on cartodb. We developed two versions of the app code, one using sublayers that simply sourced the data via api calls to cartodb and the other sourcing cartodb json which included  improved interactivity. To assist with meeting our time constraints, we put the second version into production but have included the code that just sources the data via the api in our github repository.

The Australian Government is exploring new ways to increase private investment in the NFP sector. In July 2012, the Australian government published the “Strength, Innovation and Growth: The future of Australia’s Not-for-Profit sector” report which identified the need for government to better equip the NFP sector to cater to the communities specialized needs. Our concept also has the potential to influence social policy in Australia in a significant way, by allowing policy developers and analysts to identify areas of need within the community and support Not-for-profit (NFP) organisations to meet complex social challenges in the short and long term.  

This app may also be extended to include government provided services by effectively targeting citizen needs based on geographic location. It is envisioned that voluntary work population data by SA2 may also be used to indentify strategies for supporting and encouraging more Australians to participate in their communities.  There are numerous other possibilities for this app, some of which include catering to the unemployed, new migrants and mental health needs. 

The user applications for citizens in the community and potential for policy development is as yet an untapped resource!

Datasets Used: 
ACNC 2013 Annual Information Statement data Australian Bureau of Statistics, Census of Population and Housing: Estimating homelessness, 2011 Statistical Area Level 2 Australian Bureau of Statistics, Social Statistics, Statistics about people, including the 2011 Census, Basic Community Profiles - B01 Selected Person Characteristics by Sex (SA2) - B07 Indigenous status by Age by Sex (SA2) Shapefiles 1270.0.55.001 - Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS): Volume 1 - Main Structure and Greater Capital City Statistical Areas, July 2011 Additional datasets were explored, but were unable to be exported due to WBOSErrors handling on the source website: - B19 Voluntary work for an Organisation or Group by Age by Sex (SA2) (Site not working due to technical issues) Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA) -SEIFA by Statistical Area 2 (SA2) (Site not working due to technical issues)

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