Who can benefit from this study?
Civic Tech initiatives
Organisation responsible for case study:
Name: Community Tablets
Org. type: Non-Profit
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Empowering rural communities in Mozambique with digital education
Main Project Location: Maputo
Project country/countries: Mozambique
Project dates: 2015 –
Last updated: 23 Mar 2022
Brief overview of the Case Study
An African solution to an African problem, the Community Tablet is the first digital school, which runs on four to six large LCD screens, powered by solar panels transported by trailer (which can be attached to anything – from a motor vehicle to a donkey). Working with anthropologists at Mozambique’s leading university, Universidade Eduardo Mondlane, The Community Tablet delivers customised animations that are relevant and familiar to local communities. Gamification helps to increase engagement, while also collecting vital data to demonstrate how well a message has been understood. Since hitting the road in 2015, it has helped to educate more than one million Mozambicans across 90 communities. Community is the first patented mobile digital school.
The challenge or problem
The lack of infrastructures constraints the access to information and education regarding global issues that affect the development of the rural communities in Developing Countries. The provision of tools for universal education is a key factor to the successful implementation of development policies. In the 4.0 Industrial Revolution era, the access to internet and ICT is still a mirage in Africa. Rural communities are often left out in the access of information pertaining the development of their communities and other issues affecting the world. Statistically, very few rural communities have experienced the Digital Era we live in today.
The solution that was implemented
The Community Tablet is a digital platform transported around rural African communities in partnership with NGOs and organisations such as World Bank to educate on topics including immunisation, financial awareness and how to prevent disease spreading. Dayn Amade, the founder of the platform identified some of the ways NGOs could improve their approach to increase the effectiveness of aid campaigns. (extracted from intelligentcio)
Community Tablets are mobile computer devices with large, TV-sized screens transported on a trailer, which allows them to reach even the most isolated rural communities. The large screens enable viewers to quickly learn and absorb new topics, and the technology has been utilized to aid health programme implementation in Mozambique.
The Community Tablet is focused on civic education areas: Public health, financial education, Agriculture, literacy, always in partnerships with governmental and non-governmental organizations in rural communities in order to promote better understanding in specific topics.
What results were achieved?
Community Tablets were developed to harness this phenomenon for public health – and they act as a multi-featured educational platform to engage rural communities through educational videos.
The founder argues that technology has a vital role to play as people are more likely to engage with digital content and can see actually what changing their behaviours may look like.
“By promoting access to ICT we strongly believe that we can increase the intellectual level of the users, we aim to convert topics into short videos/ cartoon animation where users can quickly learn, promote also interactive games where users have to apply what they watched in the movies to the games and introduce them to internet as a an important research tool for the specific topics and other in order for them to enrich their knowledge on health information in rural areas, the Community Tablet aims to improve communications among healthcare institutions, provide support to reordering medications and facilitate data monitoring in rural clinics”, Dayn Amade asserts.
Since schools are largely unavailable in remote areas due to lack of connectivity, the Community Tablet can also be used as a local library for the youth and the local community to access learning resources. The Community Tablet ultimately aims to promote digital inclusion and empower communities in Africa and all third world countries.
The Community Tablet is the first digital mobile to have a patent. The design rights were registered in the UK Intellectual Property Office.
Through this work, Founder Dayn Amade has gained national and international recognition. In, 2018, he was named by the African Union as one of the top 50 educational innovators and received 3 South African start-up awards – Best Social Impact Start-up, Best EduTech Start-up, and Start-up of the year.
Lessons and recommendations
Presentation is critical when explaining health initiatives, Amade said. Using images of people of the same ethnic appearance, dress and dialect as the audience can make people more receptive, encouraging them to feel they are being engaged by one of their own rather than just handed a printed pamphlet.
“There is a lack of understanding of the African reality. I have seen many organisations with the best of intentions making obvious mistakes, such as giving out information pamphlets to individuals who cannot read, or trainers giving talks while holding an umbrella to shield themselves from the sun, or while wearing sunglasses. The audience sees this and thinks: ‘Why does he think he’s so important?’ These simple mistakes can have a big impact.”
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