Mobile phone application for reporting and tracking missing persons in Kenya
Mutisya, Wayua Elizabeth
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In Kenya, the first step to finding a missing person involves making a report to the Kenya Police who are significantly understaffed and irregularly spread. Most of the police officers are not invested in finding missing persons and will brush off such cases. The use of traditional media such as newspapers to share detail of a missing person is limited to few persons who have the resources to contact the media. On the other hand, the use of social media which is free, often results in confusion and mixed reports because of lack of control in how the reports are disseminated. This negatively affects the success rate of finding a missing person. It is important to find a centralised solution of managing reports of missing persons to increase the success rate of reuniting these persons with their families. This study analysed the current models of reporting missing persons in Kenya and internationally as a way of identifying the challenges facing these models. A comparison was thereafter drawn between the currently centralised National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) database and the fragmented reporting systems available in Kenya.Following on the findings of the literature review, a mobile application was designed, developed and tested to solve the lack of a centralised, widely accepted model for reporting missing persons in Kenya. This mobile application borrowed key features of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Child ID mobile application. The mobile application was developed using Agile methodology. The mobile application was designed to be interactive and implement GPS functionality to ensure that any reports made on the application could be tracked. Thorough testing was done to ensure correctness, completeness, reliability, and usability of both applications.