Associated Initiative:


Key Individual:
Rapudo Hawi


Who can benefit from this study?
Civic Tech initiatives


Organisation responsible for case study:
Name: Kijiji Yeetu

Org. type: Non-Profit



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Activating Smart village of Kenya in the midst of COVId-19

Post Status:
Main Project Location: Nairobi
Project country/countries: Kenya
Project dates: 2020 –
Last updated: 23 March 2022


Brief overview of the Case Study   

Kijiji Yeetu is a registered nonprofit organization to activate village resources, knowledge, and aspirations towards development. However not everyone is convinced, some local people wonder whether Kijiji Yeetu will really inspire change for future generations of young people, women, and their families. Our deployment seeks to identify digital village champions promoting the notion of remote-working and establishing their impact within villages through social media and other digital applications. This story looks into digital village champions, why it presented as an idea for this project, the vision for impact in the community, and how locals feel about development affects them and their future.

The practice of the digital learning paradigm centred on Internet networking opportunities and the power of technology was entrenched in community networks, digital transformation, and multistakeholder support. This would result in a reduction in the digital divide and high-cost Internet infrastructure improving public service delivery and participation. The effort was aimed to convert grassroots groups through social media platforms and existing digital networks. The trips we have taken all the way to Machakos, Gem, Kakuma, and Kegogi villages among others to be visited different parts of the country.

This story started by documenting village experiences in order to communicate them to the appropriate forums, make a proposition to the government, engage in public education, and explore reasonable partnership such as United States International University-Africa, Internet Society Kenya Chapter, Kenya Flying Labs, Access Now, and the Global Encryption Network, Young Moon among others, assisted the project.

The challenge or problem

Kenya's mobile penetration increased to 59.24 million connections in January 2021, however, the majority of Kenyans are still without actual digital connectivity. Kenya had just around 21.75 million Internet users in the same year, resulting in a 40% Internet penetration rate. The Internet's tools and services are significantly detached from the right to social connection, but also educational and economic opportunities.
Villages are suffering from limited livelihood skills and knowledge, and young girls and boys are dropping out of school, turning to drug addiction, alcoholism, criminality, and extremism. Children are dying at a higher rate in hospitals, despite county government funding, due to corruption and mismanagement. In the 21st century, with mobile phones and computers, communities have turned to rumours and gossip owing to restricted access to information.
Low-income rural people, especially youth, women, entrepreneurs, and community organizations, face digital exclusion in the villages. They confront challenges to digital product and service uptake and accessibility, as well as literacy and education gaps. Given the advancement of digital technology, customer-centricity and access to relevant digital and financial services remain inadequate.

The solution that was implemented

Kijiji Yeetu is Smart Village model targeting local residents to access and use digital transformation to uplift their livelihood.
The Kijiji Yeetu digital platform offered one-stop digital services such as digital learning, innovation, and support for citizen inclusion.
Digital stories and voices were mapped using the Ushahidi platform to generate insights, remove adoption barriers, and improve community competence.

Ushahidi's technology was utilized by the Kijiji Yeetu deployment to crowdsource and map positive news, stories, and real-life circumstances from local communities while also attempted to address misinformation and influence government responsiveness.
Kijiji Yeetu digital tools based on encryption, internet governance digital rights, privacy, freedom of information, and digital security with the support of Global Coalition on Encryption, Access Now and the Internet Society
Kijiji Yeetu is conducting digital literacy mapping, training, and local development with the support of the Internet Society to enable its platform to connect local communities to share information, increase connectivity, and contribute to innovative solutions.

What results were achieved?

Local youth and women in villages are taught how to use digital technology and services, as well as essential livelihood skills, to become self-sufficient and better serve their communities.
Digital inclusion and literacy are growing as a result of increased awareness and knowledge that provides them with improved confidence in their capacity to handle digital services.
Kijiji Yeetu builds social capital and social networks through integrating community groups and digital services offered directly in the areas of health, environment, gender, and youth.

Lessons and recommendations

Adopt user-centred strategy and use the potential of digital platforms to engage rural digitally excluded groups in the digital transformation.
To understand more, background and experience on community culture and indigenous knowledge preferences in villages are a vital part of a strategy for designing, testing, and sustaining our solution.
Adopt safe and reliable digital inclusion and literacy solutions to empower people and community organizations to thrive in the digital economy.

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