OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign up, Login or Learn more

Solving social and economic challenges using SMART technology and social ecosystem, enabling convenience to access services & opportunities.

We create value through structural change of service or business models and social transformation of communities to sustainable ecosystems.

Photo of David MUYAI OTIENO

Written by

The Problem: We live in diverse and able communities with a mix of talents that are sometimes silent or in silos, maybe because they are isolated, unheard, underrated, unrecognized or undiscovered. Especially, in Africa – with the vast untapped resources and opportunities, why do we encourage every youth to seek employment after completion of specialized training? Why can’t we empower the youth to self-employment through innovation? Why can’t the society encourage self-confidence and leadership traits that address the challenges of the 21st century and the impact of globalization? To be specific, why can’t our service seekers easily, conveniently, reliably and securely access services such emergency and assistance services, home fixtures, professional services, car repairs, health services etc. from their phone, at their convenience, whether planned or on-demand? Why was it that when I needed First-Aid in Africa, and there was a highly qualified First-Aid professional within my neighborhood reach, I could not access his services? Why is it that such a fundamental right to survive or prosper is still a puzzle in our neighborhood? Such are the questions that have driven me to seek for a solution.

The Solution: The solution recognizes that eradicating poverty to achieve sustainable development for all is not simply a matter of expanding access to material resources but also an endeavor of structural and social transformation. While addressing Goal 1,2,3,4 of Sustainable Development Goals, the solution offers a “disruptive change” through a SMART mobile app technology. The focus is to use of internet technologies and distributed app to create value addition through appropriate structural change of service or business models, enabling convenience, ease and secure access to services, and social transformation of the society by establishing connected service ecosystems, where innovators, service seekers, service providers and business entities benefit from this form of organization. The solution creates convenience for service seekers and opportunity for the service providers and innovators. All stakeholders and beneficiaries of ecosystem are empowered through self-employment, guidance and counselling, technical support and relevant training to assist them succeed.

  • Hypothesis for the proposal and why I expect the proposal to succeed. 

The proposal is being tested Kenya, Nairobi environs.  In Kenya, the internet usage penetration is over 45%, vehicle motorization is growing at 12.5% and the Kenyan Government 2030 vision aspires to connected cities and communities through an infrastructure of roads, railways, airways, waterways, internet and telecommunications. In addition, the youth embrace the use of technology to change their lifestyle. Using our mobile app and its intelligent GPS, the isolated, unheard, underrated, unrecognized, or undiscovered – our target customers, the invisible will become visible in our mobile app “work-space”. Another use-case of the app is addressing threats on Kenyans roads, including detection of blockage and subsequent removal of such threats. During the months of March and April 2018, we introduced our first release of MVP to our target customers. This led to recruiting 63 Service Providers (SPs) and increasing the downloads to 1000 plus. The customers showed great enthusiasm to use the app. I am confident that this proposal will succeed.

Explain your project idea (2,000 characters)

The Problem: We live in diverse communities with a mix of talents that are sometimes silent or in silos, maybe because they are isolated, unheard, unrecognized or undiscovered. Especially, in Africa – with the vast untapped resources and opportunities, the majority of youth stay unemployed after training. In Kenya, the internet usage penetration is over 45%, vehicle motorization is growing at 12.5% p.a. and GoK 2030 vision aspires to connect cities and communities. Despite this, the service providers and consumers are not leveraging the ability to access services using mobile device - the service seekers are not able to conveniently, reliably and securely access emergency and assistance services, home fixtures, professional services, car repairs, health services etc. from their phone? How can we empower the youth to offer these services? Once, I needed First-Aid assistance in Nairobi - a professional was within my neighborhood, but I could not access his services? Why is it that such a fundamental right to survive or prosper is still a puzzle in our communities? Such are the questions that have driven me to seek for a solution. The Solution: The solution recognizes that eradicating poverty to achieve sustainable development for all is not simply a matter of expanding access to material resources but also an endeavor of structural and social transformation. Barabara app offers a SMART disruptive change by using the mobile/data carrier, WiFi internet service and distributed app to create value addition through structural change of service or business models, enabling convenience, ease and secure access to services, and through social transformation of the community by establishing service ecosystems to connect service providers with consumers. The solution creates convenience for consumers and opportunity for the service providers - enhancing a self-sustaining and supportive system that empowers youth to self-employment and consumers for better alternatives.

Who are the beneficiaries? (1,000 characters)

Our beneficiaries are the unemployed, underemployed, SMEs, Generation X, millennial change-agents, Low to Upper-Middle class in Kenya earning $2K - $250K/year (95% of working class). This include drivers, corporate fleets managers, home and office professionals, service providers such as rescuers, technicians, plumbers, security officers and motor garage owners. The youth embrace technology to change their lifestyle. Through Barabara and its ecosystem, the isolated, unheard, underrated, unrecognized, or undiscovered – the beneficiaries, the invisible will become visible in our mobile app work-space. Another use-case of the app is addressing threats on Kenyans roads, including detection of blockage and removal of such threats. Our partners such Red Cross, National Transport Safety Authority (NTSA), Car Insurance companies, Clinics and Hospitals are also beneficiaries. During the 1st recruitment drive, our consumers, the beneficiaries showed great enthusiasm to use and grow the services.

How is your idea unique? (1,000 characters)

The idea is disruptive and unique because of the its impact, scalability, relevance to the community, aggregation of services, ease of use, adaptability and applicability. The focus is changing the landscape and agility of service industry. - Barabara promote coexistence, take the service to the clients, and create opportunities for the service providers. It offers unique value preposition such as onsite service delivery, convenience to reach assistance and emergency services, developing service ecosystems, quality assurance through service rating, 24/7 accessibility of proximate services, data analytics for market intelligence and overall improvement of service industry. The payment plugins offers flexibility, convenience and integration with electronic payments, e-wallet etc, allowing transparency, partnership with companies and integration with modern technologies. Through aggregation of services, we build a self-supportive and sustainable community to work together for the better.

Idea Proposal Stage (choose one)

  • Prototype: I have done some small tests or experiments with prospective users to continue developing the idea.

Tell us more about your organization/company (1 sentence and website URL)

GloBIVA Limited (http://www.globiva.org) is an engineering and business consulting company, globally connecting and supporting various SMEs, service learning and social ecosystems, and transforming neighborhoods to smarter communities by enabling, supporting and realizing entrepreneurial initiatives, nurturing talents, engaging, inspiring and empowering the community, individually and collectively to address social and economic challenges towards sustainable development and financial growth.

Expertise in sector

  • 1-2 years

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.

I grew up in environment where the impact of inaccessible opportunities, non-existence peer networking support structure or inability to access mentors to encourage and turn ideas to solutions, especially to the poor was devastating. It was unacceptable when I couldn't access a service close to me. This has happened to me severally, the last one, life threatening - I needed an Emergency First-Aid, yet I was not able to access a professional who later I discovered was walking distance from me.

Please explain how your selected topic areas are influenced, in the local context of your project (1,000 characters).

I choose "Bridging Peace and Prosperity" because peace cultivate willingness to interact with each other and nurture prosperity. Poverty level continue to escalate unchecked in Africa because the social support system is weak, or non-existent. The activities that promote confidence and motivation for the youth to coexist, get into self-sustainable and prosperous employment are not there or in fewer occasions when available, are poorly managed. For most youth, there is no that "leapfrog moment" to shrink or escape poverty level. It may feel like stuck in dark cage. When the poor continue to be poor and the rich continue to be rich, there is discontentment, anger and sometimes disobedience among the hustlers. This dangerous situation can easily escalate to tension, violence, political unrest or irresponsible disobedience across class, race and cultural lines, leading to disruption of peace. Barabara technology, its service ecosystem and social support system will address this situation.

Who will work alongside your organization in the project idea? (1,000 characters)

Our customers are agents, partners, service providers and users of the app. We engage through mutual understanding, innovation and professional management style. Our Agents are value-based trained on our technology and management style using the 3P (People, Passion and Purpose) experience to help them discover and articulate product/service value proposition. Then, they become our Salespersons and Train-the-Trainer focal points, who deliver training to service providers, partners and users of the app. The strategy works. We recruited 68 service providers, 4 partners and generated 1000+ in 2 months. We leverage on collective strengths to create partnership, drive sales and growth through service aggregation, performance review, service learning, support system and customer-based expansion. For example, when working with partners, we collectively create value and visibility through our strength and use of the app. We engage our customers through email, texting and face-to-face meetings.

Please share some of the top strengths identified in the community which your project will serve (500 characters)

Our training sessions for the target community has been exciting. The youth are fascinated with our technology. They see Barabara as the "Uber of Services" - the ultimate door opener to possibilities towards empowerment and self-employment. In particular, one youth pointed out how her cleaning service, being part of the learning service ecosystem and "visibility" on our work-space would greatly benefit from clients, performance reviews and support system, thereby directly influencing her growth.

Geographic Focus

The idea target Kenya, and its 47 counties, starting with Nairobi, but can scale out to Africa.

How many months are required for the project idea? (500 characters)

The project idea is being implemented within a 36 month timeline. The immediate focus is market penetration, strengthening operations, capacity building and stabilization of business processes. Barabara business discovery processes deploys the five phases of startup life-cycle: - Problem/Solution, - Fit, Services (MVP), - (Services), Product/Market Fit, - Scale, - Maturity. We use Design thinking, lean management and agile methodology to learn, engage, explore and adapt.

Did you submit this idea to our 2017 BridgeBuilder Challenge? (Y/N)

  • No

If Yes, how has project idea changed, grown, or evolved since last year? (2,000 characters)

Not Applicable.
View more

Team (9)

David's profile
Adoga's profile
Adoga Kiharangwa

Role added on team:

"Noting how social inequity can result in tension and violence across class, race and cultural lines". Let's engage and get Barabara to work as planned. Hello world, Mr Adoga is our Communication and legal representative."

Mike's profile
Mike Kibuka

Role added on team:

"Dear Mike, I have joined OpenIDEO Bridging Peace and Prosperity Challenge. We will our Barabara app and its ecosystem to tackle the challenge. Thanks Mike - let's work it out together as a team. Hi Everyone, Mike is the responsible for technology management."

Raphael's profile
Raphael Ngenga

Role added on team:

"Hi Raphael, Welcome. All, Raphael is our to go guy who takes care for us the Digital (Modern) Work-space at GloBIVA"

Martina's profile
Martina Kitavi

Role added on team:

"Hi Tina, Welcome. All, Tina takes care Media and Digital Content at GloBIVA"

Mike's profile
David's profile
David Angwenyi

Role added on team:

"An opportunity to address the wider and deeper between the rich and the poor. Let's engage and get Barabara. Hello world, Dr. Angwenyi works with GCK to deliver impact and service learning in communities."

Ochieng''s profile
Ochieng'

Role added on team:

"Thanks for your feedback."

Paul's profile
View more

Attachments (4)

Barabara Newsletter April 2018.pdf

Barabara Newsletter April 2018 Issue introduced the Barabara app, its use and engagement activities, partnership and training of Agents. We issue Barabara Newsletter after every three months to assist with reporting, make self-assessment, and reflection on quarterly deliverable as per Strategic plan and Efficiency Indexes, or as defined by our Financial model - Sustainability Effort towards focused outcomes.

GloBIVA Who Are We May 2018.pdf

GloBIVA, the organization, the vision, the mission and the culture. We promote coexistence, learning, take the service to the clients and create opportunity to the service provider.

GC-GloBIVA Profile.pdf

A high level business profile of GloBIVA Limited at its inception, describing the organization focus and approach towards delivery of services.

Barabara Profile ver1.pdf

A summarized profile of Barabara app and it services at the idealization stage - gathering and exploring value and how the services are delivered.

38 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Photo of Mike Kibuka
Team

Inspiring innovation that impacts lives

Photo of David MUYAI OTIENO
Team

This statement reminds me of how once not able to access an emergency service almost turned to a disaster.

Photo of Mike Kibuka
Team

Great David. With filling up the connectivity gaps, then convenience will the the new conversation, for access such major services will be a click a way and hence in return Barabara becomes a life saving tool.

Photo of David MUYAI OTIENO
Team

That is the goal. Innovate and impact lives. If your car stalls on the road, you should be able to access a proximate service; if you need to access an ambulance, you should be able to have access to one; If a car stalls on the road creating a hazardous situation, we should remove quickly to avoid any dangerous situation. And there is several scenarios. That is just a few examples how we impact lives.

Photo of David MUYAI OTIENO
Team

Hi Team, Also, we have already started developing the service ecosystem (http://providers.barabara.co.ke). We would continue to use the site to showcase the work of our service providers and customers.

Photo of David Angwenyi
Team

Barabara is an innovative way to bring emergency service help to the hands of customers and essentially enhance their safety. Imagine a car breakdown in the middle of nowhere and then a single click you are connected to the rescue service. Well, Imagine no more because this is what Barabara does for every person who has downloaded the app into their smart phones.

Photo of David MUYAI OTIENO
Team

Yes, and also in addition to the ease it offers, Barabara is building an ecosystems where the service providers, partners and users of the application can support each other. Yes, creating a friendly environment - that's one reason why it is referred to as FRIEND YOU CAN TRUST.

Photo of David MUYAI OTIENO
Team

Yes, Daktari, An opportunity to address the wider and deeper between the rich and the poor. Let's engage and get Barabara to impact and service learning in communities.

Photo of Mike Kibuka
Team

And with that, mapping service provision across the vast road network. The reach is exponential...

Photo of David MUYAI OTIENO
Team

Hi Mike, it is true that the reach is exponential. There so many out there undiscovered skills out there, and I am confident that once we make the app known and well positioned, there will be more opportunities for service providers to realize that reach.. the access to consumers; and for consumers, the access to services.

Photo of Raphael Ngenga
Team

That's what we are all about, solving challenges in the society by creating solutions that use SMART technology,making a difference in society through creating opportunities and transforming lives.

Photo of David MUYAI OTIENO
Team

Thanks Raphael, I am happy to hear encouraging and positive responses from the users of the application. The goal towards self-employment is something I am truly passionate about. To be able to nurture and empower a skilled job seekers to effectively deliver a service is exciting and rewarding. Working together to discover that innermost and shared values, and being able to utilize that strength to overcome everyday challenges to entrepreneurship life-cycle is our greatest inspirations to continue pursing our objectives.

Photo of Dusti Becker
Team

David MUYAI OTIENO Great to hearSMART technology aims to empower local workers through self-employment. I am curious, however, how do you nudge self-employed workers to discover shared values and work together?

Photo of David MUYAI OTIENO
Team

Dear Dusti, Thanks for your response and question.

First, we create an environment that is responsive to the challenges we face. One such challenge is unemployment. The other challenge, and especially for a common wananchi, if you need an immediate emergency and assistance service, it normally not readily accessible, but we all know we have them somewhere.

So taking about the first challenge, unemployment, many youth graduate from schools and colleges and take a long time to get a job, some as long as five, six or more years. But, we are creating a system address this. When a youth graduate from school with skill say, a car technician, or hair dresser, we make them part of a service community. There are some requirements such background check, identifications and technical proficiency, but once these are cleared, they immediately become part of the service ecosystem and use our app to access relevant consumers or customers in the market place.

Our job is to appreciate their skills and make them visible in our digital space, so they can access self-employment opportunities. In doing so, we must position our to target consumers of such - something we have tested and got a good response.

Secondly, we need to ensure they grow and are continue to be competent, so we create self-sustaining support structure, performance review and guiding environment. Think of it as a "Welcome Orientation" for a new entrants and "Performance reviews" for already existing member. This can can be peer-to-peer or even expertise-to-starter. This way we create an environment where all co-exist. Of course, consumers too benefit because they have more alternatives and the service providers, for example, the technicians, have access to wider customer base. This is just one way we will be using our first footprint app, Barabara (the path - to alternative solutions).

Photo of Martina Kitavi
Team

This is a very good insight David MUYAI OTIENO It is incredible to see how much Barabara is transforming the society by bridging the gap between service providers and service seekers. It is great to see the society embracing our idea and helping us get nominated in the recently concluded Digital Media Awards (Technology Category) in the Social Media Week.

Photo of David MUYAI OTIENO
Team

Thanks so much Tina. Always doing great work reaching out to customers, service providers and working with them. I was humbled to see Barabara getting nominated among the top three app in Digital Awards (Technology Awards). A clear indication that our work is just starting.

Photo of Raphael Ngenga
Team

I think what barabara has done thus far is simply amazing.we are trying to change people's lives by eradicating poverty in the society by creating employment and giving opportunities to anyone especially to the youth who have just completed their studies and have been equipped with the right skills because they are our future leaders.i think youth unemployment is a major challenge globally but that is why we at barabara think different and do things differently by using technology in a neat and smart way to transform lives.

Photo of David MUYAI OTIENO
Team

Thanks, it is great to hear this. Before, what we are used to seeing is that when someone finish college, he or she have to look for a job. But with Barabara, this will dramatically change. We recognized that their greatest strength is the knowledge they have learned and seek to place in self-employment immediately.

Once your identity, a clean background check and a satisfactory level of proficiency are established, a new graduate becomes part of the Barabara service ecosystem. His or her expertise, for example, a car technician or professional hair dresser, immediately becomes available to the marketplace and consumers. We use technology to make them visible in our digital work space.

This is made possible by changing the service model to fit the current mode of operations through empowerment and technology. The service industry changes from the regular top-down, to more of an accessible and distributed and peer-to-peer model service platform. Together, with a supportive, performance evaluation and guiding environment, Barabara make available the tools require to support the sustainability of the system. It is one way to bridge the economic and social gap within our communities.

Photo of David MUYAI OTIENO
Team

The world is not just changing so fast, but fundamentally in special ways that we must address the challenges that comes with such changes. We recognized that to end Extreme Poverty, or even drastically narrow that divide between the economic classes - one of 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, we are not simply going to expand access to material resource but rather an endeavor of structural and social transformation on scales never attempted before. SDGs are likely to fail unless far more attention is given to addressing governance challenges crucial to their implementation. Barabara project hinges on the two pieces of the puzzle, first provide convenience so services can be easily accessed and then create a self-support ecosystem to support the identified community of service providers and consumers. We see this a doing things differently, addressing the issue through out of box. It is way to use technology smartly.

Photo of george
Team

This is a very good initiative. Apart from other good things it brings about, like easy access to service delivery, it can create jobs to the youths for economic mobility, hence prosperity of our country. God bless this project, and God bless the men and women of this noble idea.

Photo of David MUYAI OTIENO
Team

Thanks George for your feedback. We are engaging the various professionals to bring services closer to consumers, and the consumers to easily access the necessary services.

Photo of Martina Kitavi
Team

A great move David MUYAI OTIENO .The heading now captures the bigger picture of using Smart Technology to overcome challenges of entrepreneurship life-cycle as well as nurture talent, inspire and empower the community.

Photo of David MUYAI OTIENO
Team

That is what the peer-to-peer networking environment and community portal, the Barabara service ecosystem is intended to address - create a self-supportive environment.

Photo of David MUYAI OTIENO
Team

Hi Team, I have been reviewing our activities to able to articulate the impact of our project. It is clear that the outcomes of our activities create self-employment through the use of the social ecosystem that we are setting up. Seeing the conversation how each of participants can contribute to the ecosystem is great. I have therefore changed the heading of our project to " "Solving social and economic challenges using SMART technology and social ecosystem, enabling convenience to access services & opportunities." Let's have some feedback on this change.

Photo of Raphael Ngenga
Team

Amazing feedback we are receiving from our users. They are super excited about the idea and the whole concept and are making good use of our campaigns.

Photo of David MUYAI OTIENO
Team

Our clients - the users of the app, and their feedback is critical to us. The feedback will help us improve on our business processes and the the impact. So, let's continue documenting the user stories and their experience and then see how else to improve the processes.

Photo of Ochieng'
Team

Brilliant concept! Given it aims at addressing unemployment among the youth, perhaps working with them (and other agencies) to get them organised in cooperative-like arrangements which provide specific services from among the ones Barabara offers, then training, certifying and enroling them to offer such services professionally would be something worth considering. There are agencies that fund youth groups to start such ventures.

Photo of David MUYAI OTIENO
Team

Thanks Dennis, that is the goal. The Barabara will enable service learning and support system that empowers the service providers to self-employment and sustainability. To simply put it - we create many friends, individuals and the community will trust and make them visible in the public domain

Photo of Martina Kitavi
Team

Hello team.Our Service Providers are super excited to be part of the barabara community.

Photo of David MUYAI OTIENO
Team

It is great to see their are enthusiastic to engage and work with us. A clear indication that we in the right path. Let keep documenting the lessons learnt and how to greatly impact the process.

Photo of David MUYAI OTIENO
Team

Hello team, I will sharing the video of the OpenIDEO introductory meeting. As take our baby steps one at a time, I encourage each one of to freely contribute and create conversations in various aspect of our project.

Photo of David MUYAI OTIENO
Team

Thank you Kamnow. There is always need to continue organizing and getting people to work together to impact positive change.

Photo of Saved Kamnao
Team

Great work.

Photo of Paul Muchiri
Team

Great app. Barabara leaves one with peace of mind while travelling for business or pleasure. Truly a much needed solution.

Photo of David MUYAI OTIENO
Team

Great Paul and welcome. I am very passionate taking the steps one at a time moving the app through its baby steps to maturity.

Photo of Martina Kitavi
Team

Barabara Application is a fast, convenient and secure way of accessing emergency assistance on road networks.

Photo of David MUYAI OTIENO
Team

Hi Tina, Welcome. You support as our Media and Digital Content is highly appreciated. Please feel free to get give feedback.

Photo of Raphael Ngenga
Team

This is innovation at its best. Transforming lives.