Posts Tagged ‘ICT’

Stories from the Field: What do our Community Knowledge Workers do?

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

Edward Chelangat is Grameen Foundation’s Community Knowledge Worker (CKW) field officer in Kapchorwa, Uganda

John Mamosogo in his coffee plantation

John Mamosogo is a farmer from Tangwen parish, Kabeywa subcounty,  Rumasaki village, who farms coffee as a business. His CKW is Tabitha Solimo whom he refers to as madam in the story. When I visited him, on August 8, 2011 he told me the following about CKW work and coffee farming:

“I had a friend called Ben who knows madam [CKW Tabitha Solimo], when we were walking together, he told me he was going to check something in the internet. I asked him where is the internet? He told me there is a madam who has internet and gives information on coffee. I accompanied him to the madam, madam scrolled for us everything and I centered on coffee mainly. I was interested in coffee because I had some problems in my coffee farm, so with the help of madam, we went through coffee management and under that we went to diseases. I gave my symptoms and madam compared with what was being described in the internet. I told her my coffee is “sooty black”, some leaves look yellowish and rusty and the flowering coffee drops. In another stage you find the immature berries as if hot water was poured on the berries and when you shake the coffee, they drop massively and those which are near maturity, they dry there and become “mbuni”, for us people were saying it is due to coldness, when I compared with the information with madam, I said this must be a disease not coldness.

The diseases which the phone told us were coffee berry disease; coffee leave rust and another one which I can’t remember the name. Madam advised me to spray with sypalanthy and copper, we also identified one which made white substance between my coffee berries, and it attracts ants to climb coffee, so I sprayed copper and sypalanthy, my coffee has improved so much. I have not registered leaves dropping again, even the berries are no longer dropping, those ants no longer make journeys up my trees. The copper which I applied speeds maturity of my coffee, my wife has already started picking coffee”

John’s message to Grameen Foundation:

“The knowledge we are getting is very good, give Madam a motorcycle so that she can reach all the farmers in three parishes, if she can reach every farmer, it will help farmers so much”

Joseph Solimo

Joseph Solimo is a farmer of coffee, beans, bananas, and  pigs  from  Gamatu  village, Gamatui parish, Sipi sub county, Kapchorwa District, when I asked him about his experience with CKW services, he had this to say:

“Last year in September, my pig gave birth to 15 piglets but the piglets died and I remained with 2 only, I consulted Tabitha who checked on the phone, it was found out that the pig lacked iron when it was pregnant. The phone also told us to apply iron tablets or charcoal 2 to 3 times in a month when it is pregnant. The phone also told us that the pig should eat dry soil when it is pregnant. When the pig got pregnant again, I used the methods of applying charcoal and tablets of iron and the dry soil. This was October 2010.

“I gave the pig charcoal 3 times in the month and iron tablets once, I continuously fed the pig with dry soil by grazing it where there is dry soil, the next delivery was very successful, my pig gave me 12 piglets and none died.”





Can We Text Our Way to Behavior Change?

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

Jason Hahn is a Business Development Manager at the Grameen Foundation

Randomized Control Trials (RCTs) that show the evidence of mobile phone based development interventions do not come out every day.  At Grameen Foundation we look forward to them as they can help us shape our interventions with fact-based evidence of other interventions that worked - especially when they show an almost 25% change in behavior.

It was with great interest to read about one that did just that in a recent Lancent article on “the effect of mobile phone text-message reminders on Kenyan health worker’s adherence to malaria treatment guidelines”.  The article written by Dejan Zurovac, Raymond Sudoi, Willis Akhwale, Moses Ndiritu, Davidson Hamer, Alexander Rowe, Robert Snow from the Kenya Medical Research Institute - Wellcome Trust Research Program in Nairobi illustrated their findings after they text messages to health care workers encouraging them to follow treatment guidelines for pediatric malaria.  They sent two messages every work day for six months to rural health workers in 11 districts in Kenya.  The messages contained treatment guidance and an inspirational quote.  I’ve excerpted from the article one of the messages that was sent on Monday mornings:

Check ALL sick children <5yrs for any severe signs! Also check for fever, cough, diarrhea, pallor & any other problem.Quote: “Persistent work triumphs”

Health care workers who received the messages improved their management of pedatric malaria by 23.7% immediately after they received the six month intervention and by 24.5% when researchers went back 6 months later to check on them.  This compares favorable with a 9% success rate for traditional health care worker performance improvement programs which don’t use SMS.   The research this team did builds on other research that showed behavior change triggered by SMS messages among people living with HIV who were taking anti-retroviral medication for HIV.

AppLab Indonesia wins Global Telecoms Award for Best Mobile Application Innovation

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

Congratulations to the AppLab Indonesia team!

From Left Aldi Haryopratomo (Ruma), John Stefanas (Qualcomm), Camilla Nestor (Grameen Foundation)

Together with our partners, Qualcomm Wireless Reach®, Ruma and Bakrie Telecom, the AppLab Indonesia team was awarded the Global Telecoms Award for the Best Mobile Application Innovation on June 7th in London.  This is well deserved recognition for the considerable investment of time, energy and creativity of the AppLab team, led by Farid Maruf in Jakarta and guided by Sean DeWitt in our Washington, D.C. office, who over the past several years has worked tirelessly to create our technology innovation hub in Indonesia.  Heather Thorne from our Seattle office and Happy Tan in our Manila office have also played instrumental roles in this achievement.