Thank you @Ashley & OpenIDEO Team for featuring our solution on the blog its means a lot to the team and give us energy & motivation to do more work for the community. We are really Excited & committed for the cause.
How will you get community buy-in? This is a very valid question. We always thought about this before the start of our pilot experiences. We thought that by being specific to the culture will do the trick. However, we found that the community was very eager to accept the learning and a diverse set of content were more needed. It was encouraging to find the eagerness of the community to be involved. Our learning definitely is to stay specific to the native language and involve more info graphical content as it’s more reaching. Also, it’s more effective when the elders in the community are keener to the spread of education. We have to involve the local community, NON-Profits, Foundations during the discussion phase to get the best buy-in models for them.
Will the community have the skill set to deploy the tools? We started our pilots with an engineer’s approach which is at a very high level of operating the tools with an elaborate set of machinery which needed numerous steps to deploy but almost immediately fell flat on the face in the initial pilots as it took us more time explaining to the teachers how to deploy and we faced resistance citing with the usual it looks complicated approach. HCD approach helped us a lot. We took that learning to build fast and easy deployable tools which are more plug and play. The maximum skill required is to be able to use a feature phone. Our pilot reference
Is education a priority in a crisis zone, if not how will you get involvement? We considered crisis zone goes through multiple stages. The priority of education is in accordance with the stage of the crisis. In the peak of crisis when life is at stake the priority for education is at its deferral level and communication is at emergency level however during the warning and resolution stages the priority of education is at high and routine level respectively. Hence the involvement is also prioritized based on the stages of a crisis at levels of priority.
In our experience, during the course of our pilot training, we were asked by the teachers to if we had any educative content on the epidemic disease dengue as during the period there was news on the advent of the disease and a lot of students were affected. We had presented the educative info graphics on steps needed for prevention, precautions, and resolution of the disease we also shared material on malaria and typhoid. It had a positive impact and we were told by the teachers that students and they took proactive initiatives for prevention. Our learning is that education is a priority as a routine and we need have the right grasp of the situation to impart the right content with the specific set of tools which enable easy and efficient involvement and distribution. We have built our modular and easy to set up with the ability to have stored content.
In the communities you serve will having both genders in a classroom hinder your efforts? We have not faced such a situation as our pilots were all in India and a very culturally secular environment. We do understand the basis behind the question and don’t think it will hinder our efforts as the solution offering is very portable and can be positioned in any such classroom.
Can you use incentives to get children there? We have found children to be inherently very interested with our solution as it’s somewhat a new approach to their routine way of learning. To make them continue is the challenge and yes we will use incentives to keep it interesting.
There are also many socio economic reasons for them not to continue education those are the ones we need to incentivize to bring them back to school.
Yes, incentives are needed and we will seek partnership with social organizations for such actions.