Kenya ICTD Project: Initial comments

UNDP Kenya is launching  a new project called Digital Information Centres for Innovation and Development. The prodoc is here.

Here are the comments we shared back with the CO, with inputs for egov team members.

Many thanks for sharing the very interesting ICT4D project document. This is indeed great news and we stand ready to support you in any way we can.

Please find below some initial reactions on the programme as well as some suggested areas where we could work together. Needless to say we are open to your suggestions too.

Overall Comments

  1. When looking at the problem areas in connection to the emerging opportunities it seems that responsible journalism takes minor role in the defined activities. Will it still be part of the overll ICT4D programme?
  2. The prodoc already has an important link to youth. Are there any plans to extend the links to the achievement of the MDGs in general or, for example, to support women’s empowerment?
  3. Although social innovators are mentioned in the analysis, there seems to be little on harnessing social innovation or supporting social innovators. For example, the stakeholder forums could also specifically address the gap between policy makers and local innovators to tackle some of the existing issues relating to both sustainability and scalability. Any chance the social innovators angle could be expanded

Concrete Suggestions

Output 1:

  1. The activities have an important training component. Are government officials at local/county level are already fully on board on this or will there be some kind of ToT programme for continuous capacity building at various levels?
  2. What is the envisaged outcome of the training? To sensitize them, to develop a platform, content for the website to promote A2I, to capacitate them on ICT use in general? Is there any room for training on policy and development issues vis-a-v-vis new technologies?

Output 2:

  1. Digital Villages” are mentioned. Are these One Stop Shops or do the One Stop Shops need to be established? If so, does the budget include hardware/software/connectivity costs most likely these locations are not really well endowed when it comes to ICT infrastructure? It will also be interesting to extend the training activities to the operators of the Shops in order to help define their specific role and the models that can be used for the sustained operation of the shops.
  2. The ProDoc mentions engagement with communities. Will there be an opportunity for the communities to engage in say the design of local content or an advocacy strategy to raise awareness on the One Stop Shops among community members? Will the local content also accessible through mobile phones for people out of reach from a One Stop Shop? Are there any plans to offer acces to basic public services via the One Stop Shops?
  3. What do you exactly mean by the knowledge platforms? It seems more like an e-learning tool.
  4. Assume the incubator centers are directly linked to social innovators and youth entrepreneurs but this could perhaps be elaborated on a bit more. If funds will be made available to spur ICT business, how will this overcome the scalability and sustainability challenge that social innovators are currently facing? How will this be embedded on the national level?

Our Support

As you know, we’re currently working on the International Network of Social Innovators for Human Development, to be launched soon. The network will hopefully address some of the gaps between policy and what is happening on the ground and serve as a pool of app developers for UNDP Cos and client countries.

Some of the work described in the prodoc has already been undertaken in several other countries including Bangladesh, Ghana and India to mention a few. Rural development is important for these countries as is the need to target the poor and marginalized. We can also bring these experiences to bear. I note that the missing link in the Kenya proposal is the absence of any reference to bring basic public services to the rural areas -and not just information. There is also good potential for crowdsourcing public service demand in the country where crowdsourcing was first championed, etc.

We can also offer mission support to help you advance on some of these issues.

Hope this helps.

Cheers, Raúl



Print Friendly, PDF & Email