Ministry of Labour And Social Affairs Launches Mobile App To Help Ukrainians and Other Foreigners

The Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (MPSV) is launching a mobile phone app named “Smart Migration”, as part of efforts to help refugees from Ukraine. The app allows foreign residents to easily find answers in Ukrainian, English and Russian to common situations they need to deal with after arriving in the Czech Republic, including employment, healthcare, and education. Photo credit: MENDELU

Brno, April 12 (BD) – The app was created by a team of researchers from Brno’s Mendel University (MENDELU). It was originally developed for foreigners coming to the Czech Republic to work. Computer scientists from the Faculty of Business and Economics at MENDELU have now adapted it to the needs of Ukrainians fleeing the Russian invasion.

The aim is to inform the refugees about the registration system and the conditions of their stay within the framework of the newly adopted law (the so-called Lex Ukraine). The information will be continuously updated and supplemented. A key feature of the application is a set of interactive tutorials that make it easier to find the necessary information. The user can also ask questions to a virtual assistant who will guide them through the solution of the problem.

From the beginning, the project took into account that laws and regulations are constantly changing, and those providing assistance to foreigners are usually very busy. “So we wanted to create a solution where the content can be easily updated and it doesn’t cause a big administrative burden,” said David Procházka, a member of the Department of Informatics (PEF) at Mendel University. “That’s why we created a solution that can train a digital assistant from common texts entered into the app. We don’t want the app to be a burden for the staff, but to get the key information out to strangers with minimal work, thus saving them from explaining the same trivial problems over and over again. This will give them more time to deal with specific, more complex situations.” 

The application was created by a team from the university’s Faculty of Business Administration and Economics as part of the “Smart Migration in the Czech Republic” project, in which the Prague Metropolitan University also participates. The project was financially supported by the Czech Technology Agency.

The Ukrainian Initiative (UIČR), an umbrella diaspora organisation in the Czech Republic, is also involved in the Smart Migration project. In cooperation with the UICR, experts from the MIOK educational institute at Lviv Polytechnic University provided feedback on the content of the mobile application. “It is great that such an app was created in our country. It can help many Ukrainians, to whom we will promote it through our channels,” said Bohdan Rajcinets, President of UICR.

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