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Projects > Mobile Technologies Capacity Building Program

Ungana-Afrika is setting-up a mobile technology program and looking for individuals and organisations to collaborate with.

Ungana-Afrika has started implementing the first phase of its capacity building program focusing on mobile technologies, that will aim at supporting different stakeholders to utilise mobile technologies in their development programs. During the first part of 2007, a short research study and a high-level program concept will be implemented. The project is supported by Open Society Foundation for South Africa and the documentation prepared will provide a foundation for further development of the long term program concept. Currently we are approaching relevant stakeholders and initiatives for future collaboration purposes.

Context

The growth rate of mobile technologies and services have been one of the highest on the continent, even amongst the poorest people. Examples of the opportunities mobile technologies are providing to African development organisations are a way to collect information more accurately than before or providing a medium for cost efficient activism campaigns and programs. However, due the current technology capacity crisis, development  organisation have either no understanding of the possibilities, or they are not sure how to proceed. Without a knowledge how mobile technologies support the program strategies, what are the  implementation requirements, how to coordinate implementation, who are the trustful service providers etc.., the benefits of mobile technologies may become lost opportunities. 

Program Concept

The capacity building program will help the sector to overcome different challenges by ensuring that development organisations are able to understand, plan, utilise and sustain mobile technologies more efficiently. In addition, the planned program aims to ensure that low-cost technology support is available when there is not enough capacity within the development organisations by advising service provides about the specific needs and support models related to the development sector.

Diagram of the program stakeholders and their relations (Note that this image is scaled to fit the boundaries template of this page. Click on the image to open a higher resolution version, 244 KB):

Mobile Program Diagram

Current Activities: A research study and program planning process

The incubation of sustainable program is a long term commitment and it requires resources, to establish efficient operations. To avoid failures at a later stage, where investments for several year program has been bade, it is important to proceed in careful phases.

The Open Society Foundation for South Africa is supporting the implementation of the first phase of the program incubation by helping Ungana-Afrika to:

  • Gain better understanding of the opportunities mobile technologies provide by conducting a brief study of the most relevant existing and emerging mobile technologies available for (South) African development organisations (special focus will be given to one of the OSF-SA program areas: Media, Human Rights, Criminal Justice, or Good Governance)
  • Gain better understanding of the requirements of the next steps for the set-up of a successful capacity building program focusing on mobile technologies

As a result, a short study report will be developed summarising the most promising and relevant mobile technologies and defining initial ideas how they could be utilised by development organisations (initially within the sector supported by OSF-SA). In addition, a proposal focusing on the next phase of the program set-up, including piloting of services that build the capacity of OSF-SA supported organisations, will be prepared.

Call for collaboration

As a part of the program concept planning we will be evaluating different collaboration models with stakeholders interested in the development sector including technology and service providers, or other mobile technology development initiatives. The aim is to find partners with tested technologies or sustainable strategic programs and rather replicate successful initiatives than develop something from scratch.

We are also looking at possibilities to align our program with current government programs and seeking support from relevant departments and regulators.

Please send us your expression with a short definition of your organisation/project and your ideas for possible collaboration to info@ungana-afrika.org. Also, check out this space few months from now for additional information and program updates.

Ungana-Afrika

Ungana-Afrika is addressing the technology capacity crisis in Africa by building innovative support programs and tools that are empowering the development community. We are leading the move towards more strategic application of technology for meeting development objectives in the region, and have developed a good relationship with local and global NGO networks.

Our mission is to empower development organisations to better integrate ICTs as a strategic, mission focused, tool.

More information about Ungana-Afrika can be found at www.ungana-afrika.org

 

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