Archive for July, 2009

Today July 16 I’m speaking at the Digital Bridge Institute at the ICTs and NGO Symposium.  I’ve been asked to discuss funding for ICT initiatives.  These are my speaking notes and links to other resources:

Funding ICT Initiatives

  • General Tips and Strategy
  • Specific Resources, Directories and Funding Networks
  • Prizes / Fellowships
  • Other Funding Ideas
  • Further Reading

Tips and Strategies

  1. Focus on what the technology will help you achieve, not the technology itself.
  2. Monitor and evaluate the success of an ICT initiative just as you would any other part of a project.
  3. Include how you plan on sustaining the technology once funding runs out.
  4. Calculate costs correctly.

Funding Sources

  • Foundations – eg Ford, Kellogg, MacArthur, Packard, Rockefeller…
  • Prizes
  • International Development Agencies – British Embassy, European Commission …
  • On-line Directories and Networks
  • Equipment Donations
  • Donations, Commerce, Services and Partnerships

Online Resources and Networks

Prizes

Some Other Ideas

  • Income Generation with ICT
  • Accept Online Donations
  • E-Commerce
  • Services
  • Corporations and Partnerships
  • Equipment Donations – Computer Aid International (see citad.org)

Resources

It’s been a bit difficult to have consistent and/or reliable Internet access so this post is a little be overdue.  This post is a summary of some of the activities/projects that are planned or currently underway.

Center for Information Technology and Development (CITAD, http://citad.org/)

At CITAD Ian Anderson (http://skissar.com/nigeria/) and I are working on an directory of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and community-based organizations (CBOs).  This will be hosted on-line and hopefully facilitate networking among international groups that need to find “on the ground” expertise.  The  goal is to have this ready for the conference that we’re attending in Abuja that will have 100 or so NGOs/CBOs in attendance.

The next project is to begin to move some of CITAD’s curriculum into and on-line learning environment (Moodle, http://moodle.com).  We’re working on a system of local hosting at CITAD so that students in the lab can take quizzes submit assignments, etc.  There will be and Internet-hosted version that will serve primarily to share the curriculum broadly.  To make some of this work effectively will be engaging in networking training and server setup with the CITAD lab as our hands-on project.

Lastly with CITAD we’re going to trial a small portable solar setup and begin to experiment with low-power computers.  We’re looking to have a plan for a low-power and zero-petrol lab based potentially on Inveneo (http://inveneo.org/).

Shehu Idris College of Health Sciences and Technology

Evelyn Castle (http://evelynlcastle.wordpress.com/) and I are working with the Health Information Management Program at the Makarfi campus to provide introductions to the Open Medical Record System (OpenMRS) to see if it is an appropriate option for the school to 1) train other students on as part of the Diploma program and 2) as a patient record system for the local clinics they are partnered with.  In the same vein Evelyn wants to see if OpenMRS is a good fit for the free maternal and child health clinic that is operated by the Kaduna campus.

Also at the Kaduna campus are 3 medical program: Public Health Nursing, Midwifery and Reproductive Health.  These programs all have some ICT or basic computer skills components.  We’re currently reviewing the curriculum to see where we can begin to add to and revamp these materials.

We’re continuing to look at mobile tools for the health but this seems like it will take a bit more exploration.  We’re going to review some of the mHealth case studies that are available and mostly provide information or sensitization workshops for some key health staff.  Mostly we see the potential for portable mobile devices with data connections that can facilitate the collection of health information at the clinic and village level.

The 2 campuses that we’ve visited thus far have decent libraries but are in need of 1) more electronic resources (eLibrary) and 2) a library management system.  Some open source library management tools have been identified now we need to explore the feasibility of implementing.  Potentially this could be used to link all of the campuses libraries on-line.

Lastly Ian and I will provide some support in developing a website for the College so their programs and other resources can be available on-line for easier discovery and sharing.

Development Research Projects Center (dRPC, http://drpc-ng.org/) and the Leadership Development for Mobilizing Reproductive Health (LDM) Program

One of the core goals of this summer is to conduct research on the use of ICT for leadership development in the reproductive health field.  This involves identifying key fellows and strategic organizations within the LDM network and assessing their individual and organizational use of ICT.
Following this we’ll define goals for increasing ICT capacity and providing the necessary training, equipment and support.

MacArthur Foundation (http://macfound.org/) Workshop with the Berkman Center (http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/), and Digital Bridge Institute

Interestingly I was introduced to Colin Macay at the Berkman Center that is working with MacArthur and the Digital Bridge Institute in hosting a 3 day workshop Abuja from July 14-16.  The workshops on ICT, human rights and health care are for MacArthur grantees from Nigeria and other African countries.  I’ll participate in a couple of discussions during the conference:
1. A discussion with Paul Lubeck, YZ Ya’u (of CITAD) and myself on the ICT projects underway with some emphasis on health initiatives.  Also we’ll discuss the development of international collaborative partnerships.
2. The second discussion I will provide for the general meeting (July 16) which will involve many more NGOs/CBOs from Nigeria.  I will discuss ICT-based project funding strategies focused on Nigerian RH and human rights groups.  I’m working also on identifying some specific information from Nigerian funders like MacArthur, Open Society Institute of West Africa and others.

The End and Other Stuff

It’s already been a very exciting trip to Nigeria.  There is still so much more to explore and learn and only 5 more weeks to do it.  I think I’ll start to explore ways to extend my trip.

I’m currently in Kaduna, Nigeria and heading to Markarfi tomorrow with Evelyn to visit the College.  I’ll most likely be back in Kano Tuesday night or Wednesday morning.   Send me emails and comments if you want more info or have other ideas and resources that might be useful.