Jara provides a personal offline education device that teaches geographically custom curriculum to people in disaster affected regions.
What problem does your innovation solve?
Access to education is lost in natural disaster and displacement, and even when efforts are made to remedy this, gender discrimination often prevails.
The 2015 earthquake in Nepal left millions of people displaced and out of school.
In parts of Western Nepal, women still practice Chhaupadi - during 7 days of menstruation, women are kept in seclusion because they are seen as impure, excluding them from attending school for 1 week each month.
Explain your innovation.
Our focus includes regions hit by natural disaster and people who are displaced, like refugees. We provide each individual with the Jara Unit - an offline education device that can be used anywhere, anytime, without requiring access to infrastructure. Jara empowers people to rebuild their communities and continue their education, despite their circumstance.
The Jara Unit is a personal pocket-sized, durable tablet preloaded with geographically customized educational content and uses crank/solar power to charge to work independent of electrical grids, generators, and Internet. It has geographically customized educational content preloaded to each device, and locals distribute the Jara Unit to each person in need.
Versions very similar to our product have been validated multiple times in various regions of the world, from the SPELL project in Micronesia, to the Stanford SMILE & Pocket School project in Palestine, India, Rwanda, Mexico. We now have a member of the SPELL team on Jara.
User Experience Map part 1
Title: The User.
Location: Western Nepal.
Info: She started having her period 7 months ago and practices Chhaupadi.
She is currently on day 3 of the 7 days she is in a secluded hut for Chhaupadi. She has not been able to interact with other people, or go to school. She misses 1 week of school every month and is falling behind.
User Experience Map part 2
Title: Introduction to Jara.
Her neighbor has begun working with an organization called Jara and introduces Karuna to the Jara Unit and teaches her how to use it and how it is useful for when she is in seclusion.
Title: Charging the Jara Unit.
She learns from her neighbor that she can charge it in the sun with solar panels, or using just the crank when indoors for 7 days
User Experience Map part 3.
Title: Using the Jara Unit.
During her next Chhaupadi cycle, Karuna uses the Jara unit and continues learning despite her circumstance, so that she can keep-up with the boys in her class.
She learns her maths and sciences and languages, in addition to learning about building a plumbing system, which her region lost quite a few during the 2015 earthquake
User Experience Map part 4.
Karuna is now caught-up with classes each month and starts to lead groups in her region of Nepal to build a plumbing system.
2011, UNICEF found that 101 million children are not in school, let alone the large number of children in school who are not getting a proper education.
In 2012 Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head by a Taliban bullet in Pakistan for standing up for female education.
Thousands of schools in Ukraine, Syria, India, to name a few, are destroyed in recent wars. UNICEF reported that 13 million children have been displaced from classrooms in the Middle East alone due to wars.
As of 2016, according to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, 65.3 million people fall under the definition of asylum-seekers, internally displaced, or refugees, the highest it has ever been in history with half of them being children.
The loss and lack of access to the classroom itself is one of the main reasons people lose their chance at an education. When these people receive a Jara Unit they will have the opportunity to learn, despite their circumstances.
How is your innovation unique?
The Jara Unit is the first low-cost education device that uses basic technology and does not require any pre-existing infrastructure. It is wireless, waterproof, dust-proof, durable, and consistently secure. In additional, it uses non-conventional, crank and solar, energy sources to charge. By deploying durable but extremely basic technology with cheap, readily available components, Jara aims to decrease device theft and black market transactions.
The Jara Unit provides easy access to geographically-designed gamified curriculum, based on user's asks:
Traditional Curriculum: i.e. Nepal asked for: Math, Science, English, Nepali sourced from local and international educators, open-source resources, and existing educational databases.
Practical Curriculum: i.e. How to build a plumbing system with the resources around you in Western Nepal
What are some of your unanswered questions about the idea?
We are still working out how to convert our collaborators' educational content to our innovative flashcard process (which is the UI our curriculum is delivered). We are working to automate this system, which will require a collaboration with AI companies. Again, we do not need to recreate the wheel, we are stronger together.
Tell us more about you.
Jara is a non-profit organization. We believe we are stronger together and that we do not need to reinvent the wheel. Therefore we are planning on collaborating with as many organizations who are either:
-Education Content Creators
-NGO's existing in areas we plan to implement Jara
-CSP Programs (corporate social responsibility programs)
From MIKTA, we are connected to Turkey, currently working to launch a pilot for the refugee population there.
What is the primary type of emergency setting where your innovation would operate?
Emergency Setting - Elaborate
In Nepal, the 2015 earthquake impacted districts between Kathmandu and Pokhara, leaving many regions without access to education, internet, or an electrical grid. We will implement initially with students in disaster-torn schools with their teacher as the distributor of the Jara Unit. We will expand to having impact-driven locals as the distributors.
Furthermore for the women practicing Chhaupadi, the Jara Units will empower them to continue their education, even in seclusion.
Where will your innovation be implemented?
Pilot #1: Nepal
Scale to: Australia, South Sudan, Turkey, Philippines
To design for humanitarian relief effectively, you must assume nothing. We aim to preserve culture while bringing education and opportunities to these various regions. Therefore each region will require different curriculum and relationships need to be established in geographically and culturally relevant ways to each location.
Experience in Implementation Country(ies)
Yes, for more than one year.
For Nepal we are at the early stage of working with networks like One Step Projects, Makesense, and Communitere.
For Australia, we are at the early stages of working with North West communities such as the Aboriginal peoples of Pilbara, & northern territories where Yolngu live, because their history has been translated for 40k years, & lifetimes of languages are getting lost by the day. With Jara, the Aboriginal peoples of Australia can continue to preserve language & gain basic health info.
I've worked in a sector related to my innovation for more than a year.
Sector Expertise - Elaborate
Our innovation is implemented by our non-profit, Jara Worldwide. Collectively, our team has in depth experience creating and implementing solutions in education, disaster relief, refugee empowerment. We have backgrounds and expertise in humanitarian relief, research, product implementation, emerging markets, design, marketing/PR, volunteer coordination, business management.
Existing Prototype or Pilot: I have tested a part of my solution with users and am iterating.
We are a registered non-profit, charity, NGO, or community-based organization.
San Francisco, Ca
How has your Idea changed based on feedback?
We conducted interviews in various regions of the disaster-affected parts of Nepal asking the following questions:
We learned that a lot of people in situations without access to education are also wanting access to food too. We are starting discussions with locals to see how viable it is to grow food in these regions & are looking into partners who can create curricula around this.
One interview - http://bit.ly/2vbkw7R Translation - What do you want? Food and Books
Who will implement this Idea?
We have a core team full-time in addition to volunteers and Jara Ambassadors who will make Jara a reality. Jara Ambassadors are full-time paid, well respected locals we will hire who have demonstrated action towards bringing opportunity to their communities in the regions we are targeting. Our onsite Jara Ambassadors will teach users how to use the Jara Unit and show why it is beneficial, and teach users how to fix the Jara Units when broken. Furthermore, we will facilitate the practical curriculums and encourage continuous use of the Jara Unit.
What challenges do your end-users face? (1) What is the biggest challenge that your end-users face on a day-to-day, individual level? (2) What is the biggest systems-level challenge that affects your end-users?
1) Lack of access to a classroom with a good student to teacher ratio and access to facilities associated with the classrooms like plumbing systems or clean water systems
2) Emergency relief resources going to those with access to electrical grids and to those with more personal assets
How is your organization considering sustainable growth in order to continue making an impact over time?
Product Sales: The Jara Unit will cost $3.50 to manufacture and assemble. We will sell them at $10-$15 price points to governments, education ministries, and NGOs.
SaaS (Software as a Service) Model: If a customer (a government, education ministry, or NGO) would like more educational content added to their region’s Jara Units, we will have the customer subscribe to a SaaS model for access to more of our internationally curated educational flashcard platform.
HaaS (Hardware as a Service) Model: If a customer wants more Jara Units after the launch of 1000+, we will charge a premium.
Tell us about your vision for this project: (1) share one sentence about the impact that you would like to see from this project in five years and (2) what is the biggest question/hurdle you need to address to get there?
IMPACT: By 2022 we would like Jara to be implemented in Nepal, South Sudan, Turkey, Australia, Philippines, with Jara impacting over 3 million people especially women, through the Jara Unit and Jara associated programs.
QUESTION: How do we create an effective and ethical distribution channel, from ethical factory to the benefactor’s hands, for all of these regions in order to bring over 3 million sustainable Jara Units to all of the users?
How do you currently measure (or plan to measure) outcomes for this project?
The Jara Unit contains a chip so we can follow each user’s progress at scale. Each student has a username which enables us to identify and quantify data - from # of times a flashcard/topic is studied to the # of times a question on a quiz is repeated until success.
Our practical curriculum contains physical structures being built, so the Jara Ambassadors will photograph progress each week and the Jara website will contain a map of what has been built each week for the public to see.
What is the timeline for your project Idea? What are the key steps for implementation in the next 1-3 years?
Research & Development for the Jara Unit's DFM (Design for Manufacturability). (2-3 months)
Ethnographic Research (1-3 months), validation, pre-pilot (1 month), pilot (3 months), launch - for each region.
Create partnerships with education content creators for each region (2-3 months)
Translate to flashcard format (1-2 months)
Key steps include:
-Creating regional partnerships
-Design/implement ethnographic research
-Hire+Train Jara Ambassadors
-Lock down ethical manufacturer
My organization's operational budget for 2016 was:
We didn't have an operating budget
How many of your team’s paid, full-time staff are currently based in the location where the beneficiaries of your proposed Idea live?
Under 5 paid, full-time staff
Is your organization registered in the country that you intend to implement your Idea in?
We are a registered entity, but not in the country in which we plan to implement our Idea.
How long have you and your colleagues been working on this Idea together?
Between 6 months and 1 year
What do you need the most support with for your innovation?
Business Development / Partnerships Support
Understanding User and/or Community
Other Technical Expertise