Finding solutions to the core problems in Puerto Rico requires making visible the socioeconomic and health needs — also known as social determinants — of vulnerable and lagging populations.
With this in mind, a dozen community organizations from Vieques joined
in late 2018 and determined to use technology to provide help with greater
precision and urgency.
To achieve their objective, the organizations entered into collaborative
agreements called “Sociants,” a digital platform that provides a social welfare
census, which will allow them to use technology to close the gap among need,
resources and attention faster and more effectively, organizers said.
Through Sociants.com, Puerto Ricans from the island municipality can
report their needs so that community organizations can match their assistance
The initiative that began Jan. 28, 2019, will last until the beginning
of April 2019. Upon completion, it is expected that the needs of each household
in the island are matched with timely community support, organizers added.
The tool provides for organizations to also refer needs they cannot
address to other community groups or institutions to complement their efforts.
The entrepreneurial community organizations are inviting the general
public to visit Sociants.com and report their needs as individuals or the
support that they could remotely supply the island.
Some of the organizations in Vieques that are already collaborating with
the project are ViequesLove, COREFI, Vieques En Rescate, the Agricultural
Extension Service of the University of Puerto Rico, the Episcopal Church and
the Immaculate Conception Parish, El Panal,
La Ceiba de Vieques Park, the
Municipality of Vieques and the Emergency Management Center.
“Sociants is the first platform to take a roster of populations and
organizations further, facilitating collaboration among entities from all the sectors
that must be involved in solving the problems that affect the quality of life
of our populations,” said Diego Loinaz, President of Rema LLC., which is
participating in the project.
Sociants provides intelligence to identify social determinants of health
that impact the well-being of citizens. Based on the model of Responsible
Health Communities of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the
platform captures information in a standardized manner and in real time,
allowing for the preventive implementation of measures that develop resilient
“The best way to be better prepared for a next catastrophe is to
work now, one individual at a time. This is the only way that will we have
reliable and comprehensive information about the challenges that afflict our
society,” Loinaz said.