The Community Knowledge Worker Platform

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CKW ICT4D Uganda

For those of you who are frequent readers of the AppLab blog you will have seen quite a few references to the Community Knowledge Worker program.  We think of the CKW program as providing a human, technology and data analytics platform for socially minded organizations seeking to reach small holder farmers.  Heather Thorne, Director of ICT Innovation and Applab, breaks down how CKW provides each platform: 

  • First, it offers a human platform, introducing known, trusted points-of-presence in the village who serve as a two-way distribution channel for information, services, and potentially goods.   This network of ‘trusted intermediaries’ is carefully selected, extensively trained, and the CKW incentive model is constantly honed to ensure it results in desired priorities and performance related to information dissemination to poor farmers.
  • Second, it offers a technology platform, designed to enable delivery of Software as a Service (SaaS), which allows any organization seeking to provide information to, or collect information from, the rural poor in areas covered by a CKW, to “rent” access to that platform and the many different capabilities it offers—some off-the-shelf, and others customizable.   Core elements of that platform include field-facing mobile information services, customizable and self-service mobile surveys, CRM system tracking every farmer and the CKW and interactions with each (, and a Content Management System.  A Voice Information Fulfillment Center to offer voice-based recommendations is also planned for implementation later this year.  The ability of organizations to utilize this platform prevents them from having to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to develop similar systems of their own.
  • Finally, CKW offers a data and analytics platform containing datasets of individual farmers and farmer interactions from within the CKW program.  It presents a powerful tool for operational monitoring, tracking services received by farmers, and longitudinally tracking farmer attitudes and behavior, tracking progress out of poverty over time (using the BRAC scorecard or Progress Out of Poverty Index), and, in combination with the results of impact studies, assessing effectiveness of various types of information or approaches for encouraging adoption or behavior change.

How else do you think we could use this platform?  Let us know in the comments section below.


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  • Auth April 15, 2012

    cool.for my part, i turn to sites like freerice (rice daiotnon), kiva (microfinance), and goodsearch (daiotnon per search), as ways to help alleviate poverty online. i also put up their banners on my blog. saw this post via the blog action day site. it's great that you're participating.