Social and Economic Inclusion using Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs)
My contribution is to come up with the idea, write the proposal and manage the project (if it is approved).
The picture was taken at a home in Sigana village in Suba North constituency, Homabay County. Animal husbandry is an important economic activity in many parts of the county. Cattle are used as source of milk for domestic use and for ploughing since mechanized farming is still not popular in the county. Many households also often sell their cattle to pay school fees for their children. They are also used commodities of trade. In fact, trading in cattle is a popular economic activity here.
The picture was taken at a peasant farm in Ng'ura village in Suba South constituency, Homabay County. As can be seen, there are green grams with maize sparsely scattered throughout the farm. Peasant farming is one of the economic activities in the county.
This picture shows farmers constructing canals in their farm in Kabondo, Homabay County. This is in preparation for the planting season. The farmers will plant maize in this farm. Due its fertile soils and reliable rainfall, farming is a major economic activity in this part of Homabay County.
The photo was taken at Sindo market at the shores of Lake Victoria in Homabay County. Sindo has a thriving small traders community, a girls public boarding secondary school, a number of public and private primary schools and a government hospital among other amenities. Fishing is one of the major economic activities in this market.
This is a picture of Migingo Island in Lake Victoria, Homabay county. The island is basically made up a fishing community.
The photo shows fishermen returning to the shore in the morning in Mbita Town, Homabay County . Though no fish mongers, most of whom are women were captured in the photo, they would normally be waiting for the fishermen at shore to buy their catch which they in turn go and sell to subsistence consumers or to other traders. This fishing community is one of the most affected by the HIV/AIDS pandemic.
The photo was taken at Makongeni Estate in Homabay Town, the designated venue of the proposed project. The hill seen behind the estate is known as Homa Hills and is a few kilometres away from the Town. Homabay Town is the administrative headquarters of Homabay county and is situated at the shores of Lake Victoria in Western Kenya. The town is home to two public universities, a public medical training college, a public referral hospital and several private clinics among other social amenities.
Explain your project idea (2,000 characters)
The principal goal of the project is to use ICTs to find solutions for social and economic problems facing local communities. In this project, software developers will develop an application that will be used by people living with HIV/AIDS to help them better manage treatment of the disease. Specifically, the application which will be used on mobile phones will send automatic reminders to HIV/AIDS patients to go for their antiretroviral (ARV) drugs as well as give daily and timely reminders to patients to take their medicine. This application will be the starting point though other software solutions like an online platform where those living with HIV/AIDS can share ideas, support each other and share experiences will be developed. Other solutions will be developed as more needs are identified.
While the project will employ experienced developers to build the application, it will also involve training young Computing/IT graduates on software development. Once trained for a period of three months, the trainees will work on live projects with experienced software developers in order to get a feel on how to work in the real environment. Trainees will also benefit from business and entrepreneurial skills training to enable those among them who want to start their own businesses to be adequately prepared to run them.
Who are the beneficiaries? (1,000 characters)
There are several beneficiaries of the proposed project. The first and primary beneficiaries are people of all ages living with HIV/AIDS in Homabay County, in Western Kenya. The second category of beneficiaries are the youth between the ages of 19-27 years from any part of the country. Though only a small number of youths will benefit from training and practical attachment during the life of the project, we anticipate that they will be agents of further change. Some of them will create businesses will employ other young people.
How is your idea unique? (1,000 characters)
This project is unique because it builds the capacity of young people by equipping them with skills they need to become more economically productive citizens while at the same time helping solve the inherent problems associated with poor management of ARVs by those living with HIV/AIDS. Additionally, it encourages and enables developers to have a mindset change on how ICTs can be used. Many software developers focus strictly on developing business solutions, thereby narrowing the scope of opportunities available to them. This project will spur innovation among developers to come up with solutions that solve critical social and/or economic problems to ordinary citizens.
Idea Proposal Stage (choose one)
Initial Design: I am exploring the idea, gathering the inspiration and information I need to test it with real users.
Tell us more about your organization/company (1 sentence and website URL)
The name of the firm is Tendo Software Technologies (TST), a sole proprietorship and a software development company registered in March 2018 in Nairobi, Kenya.
Organization Filing Status
Yes, we are a registered company.
In 3-4 sentences, tell us the inspiration or story that encouraged you to start this project.
While having a conversation with some health workers who work on HIV/AIDS projects, I found out that a lot of HIV/AIDS patients still die due to poor management of treatment. Some patients stop replenishing their stock of ARVs or do not replenish their stock in time, while others do not take their medicine as stipulated by the healthcare personnel. All these have a negative impact on the effectiveness of the medicine as well as the treatment in general.
Please explain how your selected topic areas are influenced, in the local context of your project (1,000 characters).
The county in which the project is to be implemented has high infection rates as well as prevalence of HIV/AIDS. Besides, the economic activities are limited particularly for young people. This has had the undesirable consequence of high levels of unemployment among the youth. Nevertheless, most of the households have mobile phones, which will make the implementation of the project much more feasible. While the poverty level in the county is generally high, it has a lot of unexploited resources that can be used to turn around its economy. Initiatives such as this will help to inspire other people, businesses or organisations to come up with solutions that help improve the economic and social livelihoods of citizens of the county.
Who will work alongside your organization in the project idea? (1,000 characters)
Though none of the partners has been approached, Tendo will work with county government’s department of health and non governmental organisations (NGOs) or CBOs working in HIV/AIDS in the county. The department of health has data concerning all aspects of HIV/AIDS. The NGOs/CBOs on the other hand have hands on experience on treatment and management of the disease. They are also very aware of the behavioural aspects of people living with HIV/AIDS that must considered by any actors attempting to provide a solution to their plight. The involvement of these two potential partners in the project is therefore of grave importance as it will increase its chances of success. Students from the two local university campuses in Homabay town and from other parts of the country will also work in the project as interns or volunteers.
Please share some of the top strengths identified in the community which your project will serve (500 characters)
A major positive attribute of the target community is that it has high levels of literacy among young people. The town in which the project will be based has two universities. This will make it easy to recruit young people who will be trained in software development and subsequently work alongside the experienced developers. An additional advantage is that there is high levels of ownership and usage of mobile phones.
The project targets Homabay County in Western Kenya, but will be replicated across the country.
How many months are required for the project idea? (500 characters)
12 months will be sufficient to develop and deploy the notification mobile app. However, the project will explore the possibility of developing other solutions for agriculture, fishing and education sectors in the county that can be scaled up or replicated elsewhere.
Did you submit this idea to our 2017 BridgeBuilder Challenge? (Y/N)