It has been a positively affirming past fortnight for Applab Uganda. On two occassions, the initiative and its work has received positive recognition both from local and international application developers.
At this month's meeting of Mobile Monday Kampala, Applab's CKW suite of
applications was announced as having earned top marks in a contest for bottom of the pyramid applications developed for the Ugandan market. The contest was judged by peer developers here in Uganda. MomoKla however chose Skyfy, a smaller outfit than Applab is to present Uganda at the Mobile Monday Peer Awards in Helnski, later this month.
Earlier during the Google Uganda Developer Days
, in a contest judged both on merit and by popular vote, Applab's team built an application that won scored top marks in the merit awards. It was however beaten to the popular vote thanks to a group of students who put in louder clapping for their peers than the Applab team could.
Sept 8th, 2010: Applab's CKW Team Conducts Software Development Workshop at Makerere University Kampala
Kenny Wolf and Lauren Lavoie, Microsoft engineers currently volunteering with Applab Uganda are conducting a week long software development workshop at Makerere University Kampala. This morning, CKW technology manager, Luke Kyohere joined them to lead a session on software architecting
and the considerations that go into the process. He also demo-ed the suite of applications used in the CKW project.
Some 100 students are attending the workshop that includes formal lecture sessions and laboratory practice time during which they will benefit from hands-on guidance and support from Lauren and Kenny. The AppLab Uganda technology team is in a good place to conduct such capacity building programs as its own capacity and work has recently received some very affirming recognition both from international and local developers.
May 17th, 2010: 98 CKWs for Kapchorwa, Uganda
Recruited in March and trained in May, 98 Community Knowledge Workers (CKWs)have now started delivering vital information to farmers in the Kapchorwa district of Eastern Uganda.
Training sessions which took place in local community centers, covered 4 groups of CKWs and spanned one month. The erstwhile ordinary farmers were introduced to the CKW program, its vision, approach and goals. They were then trained on the usage of smart phones and CKW mobile applications to run surveys and disseminate agricultural information.
The CKWs have gone right to work. They are currently using their newly acquired mobile technology skills to submit lists of households in their parishes (data that will be used in sampling for later surveys) in addition to the information they are delivering to farmers.
Through a planning grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Grameen Foundation implemented a nine-month Test of Concept in Uganda focused on answering key questions around developing, supporting and sustaining a network of Community Knowledge Workers in rural areas. During the pilot, which began in December 2008 and ran through August 2009, Grameen Foundation prototyped mobile information services, built and supported a network of 40 CKWs in two districts, conducted mobile surveys using various technologies and gained strategic insight on how to scale the project. See the full pilot report here