Ungana-Afrika News > From the Field
News reports related to Ungana-Afrika's
activities in the field (in reverse chronological order):
10.2005. New ICT Programs
To date, Ungana-Afrika has been
involved with the start-up of 6 new technology support and
capacity-building projects in 2 African regions. This includes concept
development and design assistance for 3 new projects in Southern Africa
(South Africa, Mozambique and Zambia), and training and support to 3
more in West Africa (Senegal, Sierra Leone and Guinea Bissau). This
assistance is part of Ungana-Afrika's efforts as a Centre of Excellence for development technology projects and the Incubation of ICT Capacity Building Programs service launched in 2004.
11.2004 - Present. New Service: Incubation
of ICT Capacity Building Programs
Ungana-Afrika is currently seeking partner
networks, interest groups and other supporters who would
like to bring the benefits of ICT into specific oganisational
groups throughout Southern Africa.
A new service offered by Ungana-Afrika,
entitled "Incubation of ICT Capacity Building Programs,"
will combine the innovation and mobility of the eRiding
support model, with the strength and scale found in
existing development networks. The aim of this effort is to incubate
and implement new technology capacity building programs
within existing organisational networks of Southern Africa.
These programs can help collaborative network structures,
and individual non-profits within, to employ technology
to better accomplish their missions.
Many development non-profits are beginning
to recognize the value of ICTs, but lack the internal funding
to address the opportunities they offer. As a result, this
new "incubation" service can assist the start-up
of ICT support programs that draw upon central network knowledge
More for the complete details of this service, and how
to get involved...
9.2004. Ungana-Afrika Hosts Security Workshop at
Highway Africa Conference
offered a three-day workshop on "Secure Computing and
On line Communications" during the Highway Africa conference
in September in Grahamstown, South Africa. APC further contracted
Toni Eliasz (Ungana-Afrika's Executive Director) to coordinate
and run the event. Highway Africa is the world's largest
conference for African journalists and was attended by more
than 350 journalists and media folk. More details can be
found at the complete
media release (cached copy).
7. 2004. Ungana-Afrika
Launches South Africa eRiding.
eRiders working in South Africa
Ungana-Afrika, with the support of
OSISA and the Finland Government, is now offering
subsidized technology consulting to non-profit organisations
in or near Gauteng. With the help of these subsidies,
eRiders will be providing all eRiding
Services to new clients beginning in August. In
order to provide better, more-focused services that
draw upon sector-specific knowledge, most of these
South Africa operations are targeted towards Health
and Media non-profits.
Ungana-Afrika welcomes new client
organisations and client networks to apply for these
subsidized services. Please Contact
Us if you are interested in more information about
6.2004. Working With EngenderHealth and HIV/AIDS
Ungana-Afrika is involved in a collaboration
between Open Society Institute, and EngenderHealth
to help develop new software tools for HIV/AIDS organisations
in the developing world. These organisations are working
on an active research project to determine the usefulness
of a clinic patient management software tool. In the
past tools have been developed for the sector with
very little involvement of the actual organisational
users. With this research, we hope to build bridges
between the health, developer and funder community
to build a useful tool that meets users' needs.
Ungana-Afrika and Engenderhealth
consultant Teresa Crawford are working on-the-ground
with HIV/AIDS organisations in South Africa, Swaziland,
Botswana and Zambia. Through focus groups and assessments,
we aim to define localized organisational needs, and
ultimately contribute to the development of new software
tools that will help these organisations better manage
their patient operations. In addition, Ungana-Afrika
hopes to identify new eRiding projects within the
HIV/AIDS sector in these countries.
11.2003. eRiding With South African Community
While evaluating our pilot
phase, and developing our strategy for future, Ungana-Afrika
didn't stop working on-the-ground with NGOs. During the
final months of 2003, Ungana-Afrika eRiders worked on a
project with the community radios of South Africa.
from a community radio in rural South Africa
Under the support of Open Society
Foundation South Africa (OSF), Ungana-Afrika teamed
up with the National Community Radio Forum (NCRF)
of South Africa to provide ICT support to its members.
During this time, Ungana-Afrika provided technology
assessment and planning services to 5 provincial hub
These hub stations are located in
different provinces across the country, and are intended
to serve the needs of other stations within the province.
As a result, they must have sufficient technology
capacity and support. By developing a technology plan
for each station and researching high-level needs
within the entire radio network, Ungana-Afrika hopes
to encourage new methods of communication, knowledge
sharing and capacity building within this exciting
10.2003. eRiding Success Stories from the Pilot
The Ungana-Afrika initiative has recently completed a six-month
pilot phase in Southern Africa. Now it's time to look back
and evaluate our accomplishments as we expand and plan for
the future. The goal of this six month pilot was to introduce
the eRiding model
of IT consulting to the African NGO environment and to customize
it to this unique context. This pilot proved that there
is a great niche for an eRiding initiative in southern Africa,
as NGO response was overwhelming, and the demand for our
services was much greater than our initial capacity.
During this six-month period, Ungana-Afrika
started providing customized
ICT services to NGOs in 6 countries within southern
Africa. Though these services were always client specific,
the greatest demands were often for skills training and
- 117 participants received formal training
in computer operations, office productivity tools, Internet
- 15 major implementation and development projects
were completed including: backup policy implementation,
network setup, formal technology plan development, website
strategy development etc.
- In excess of 75 troubleshooting tasks completed,
including software/hardware upgrades and maintenance,
system and network optimization, etc.
- Formal infrastructure and staff skill assessments
and recommendations finalized for most client organisations
As a result of the positive feedback and
great demand, Ungana-Afrika is determined to continue eRiding
in southern Africa. Moreover, we are currently redesigning
and greatly expanding our pilot strategy to meet the needs
of a much larger number of NGOs. This new model will employ
a scalable strategy that promises to achieve more measurable
results with less time than isolated and individual projects.
7.2003. African eRiding in Full Swing.
After months of preparation, including
three international conferences, the Ungana-Afrika team
is now turning their training into hands-on experience as
eRiding begins. "During this initial time we have been
setting up the structure of Ungana Afrika and contacting
client NGOs in nine SADC countries. Now we are on the move,
working with them in person," says Rudi von Staden,
the South African member of the eRiding team of Ungana-Afrika.
4.2003. eRiding Pilot Processes Begin.
After two months of local preparation,
Ungana-Afrika is now visiting prospective NGO clients in
person. We hope to establish relationships with these organisations,
introduce the Ungana-Afrika project personally and gather
relevant information about their technological needs. This
process will help us prepare for the real eRiding experience.
These initial country visit are taking place in Mozambique,
Zambia and Zimbabwe, and will later expand to Swaziland,
Botswana and Lesotho.
Looking for a more historical background of Ungana-Afrika
or additional news? Please see or History
page or the General News page.