The “ICT for Social Good” Grant is entering its final stage. After a selection process lasting three months, the list of candidates for the two individual grants of 10,000 and 12,000 euros each – financed by Innovazione per lo Sviluppo Program and Fondazione Mission Bambini Onlus – has been narrowed down to 25. We are happy to introduce to you the extraordinary projects that have been shortlisted and are going to be evaluated by an International Jury of excellence.
Written by Viviana Brun
233 innovative projects from 57 countries were initially selected based on formal criteria, adherence to the guidelines and requirements, and according to the analysis of all documentation requested. Projects entering this last selection stage are the final 25.
The Scientific Committee of the Grant – composed of representatives from SocialFare, Fundacion Paraguaya, Moxoff, E4impact and Nesta – has begun evaluating the projects, paying close attention to innovation, both from the point of view of technology and of the methodologies and approaches that have been adopted. The main focus is on the positive impact generated by the projects at the local level.
The winners will be announced at the end of September and the grants officially awarded during the Open Days of Innovation, scheduled in Milan, on November 6th and 7th.
A general overview
The 25 shortlisted innovators come from sixteen countries. The most represented countries being Nigeria and Kenya, both with four projects each. The African presence is very strong as twenty of the twenty-five finalists come from this continent. Of the remaining projects, two are from India, one is from Bosnia Herzegovina, one from Cambodia, and one from Colombia.
Nearly 40%, or 9 out of 25, of the finalist projects were presented by women, resulting in good female representation. While there is often talk of a gender gap in technology access, these “ICT for Social Good” innovators seem to counter this notion. As a percentage, women’s projects have risen from around 25% of the total initial applications to 36% of those that are in the final shortlist, demonstrating a high level of competency and quality among the proposals submitted.
The issues addressed most by the applicants concern agriculture and health, as well as the themes of education and of participation in political and public life. Seven of the finalists are tackling child-related issues and they will compete for the Grant funded by Fondazione Mission Bambini Onlus, specifically dedicated to this target.
The 25 finalists
- Muhammad Abdullahi of eTrash2Cash, a technology-based waste management social enterprise based in Nigeria. It uses the web and mobile app platforms to register and collect major types of wastes from low-income individuals and households and exchanges them for cash incentives directly through their mobile bank accounts. eTrash2Cash uses wastes to create reusable materials. Food wastes are converted into organic compost to be sold to Nigerian farmers, low-cost tissue paper is produced from paper wastes, and plastic refuse are used in making termite-resistant tables and chairs for school children.
- Elijah Amoo Addo of Food for all Africa program, a not-for-profit start-up with a mission of creating sustainable means of nutrition and food security for vulnerable people, mostly children. This is done through food banking, farming and a forum that ensures efficient use of food within the supply chain in Ghana. A mobile and web application enables food sharing by connecting vulnerable communities to surplus food.
- Bukola Bolarinwa of Haima Health Initiative a project that deploys an innovative Blood Supply Chain System (BSCS) to complement the current structure, with the aim of tackling the blood supply shortage in Nigeria. Haima Health Initiative leverages technology to improve blood availability for people in need, and to reduce blood racketeering and ‘blood black market’ operations. This is executed by the construction of Nigeria’s first mobile and web platform backed by a database of voluntary blood donors who are then connected to patients in real-time using Global Positioning System (GPS), mobile and web technology.
- Ahmed Karim Cisse of Connexion Sans Frontiere, uses ICT for a telemedicine project dedicated mainly to trauma patients, for example, victims of road accidents in Senegal.
- Gabriel Diago of Fundación Educativa Gimnasio Los Caobos, based in Colombia, has developed a platform dedicated to interactive, educational games designed for children with Down syndrome.
- Albin Mathias Fiita of Potential Enhancement Foundation installed solar energy-powered computer laboratories in Tanzania, using low-power Raspberry Pi computers and open source software to make laboratories sustainable over time.
- Kristin Gaensicke of Riziki Source, a platform that bridges the gap between the job market and persons with disabilities in Kenya. It enables access to job opportunities for persons with disabilities by collecting relevant data from text messages. The information collected is used to form a profile of the job seekers available through the online platform, where employees can easily access it. The platform also informs employers the type of disability, thus enabling them the allocation of appropriate jobs or putting accessibility needs into consideration during job interviews.
- Elizabeth Kperrun of Lizzie’s Creations, creates fun, educational mobile apps to teach kids using Africa’s native languages, in Nigeria. The first app series AfroTalez narrates African folk tales to kids while also tackling standard classroom lessons such as counting, object recognition, and more. Another series Teseem teaches kids their first words in English, as well as in their native African languages such as ausa, Swahili, Igbo and Yoruba.
- Suzana Moreira of Mowoza in Mozambique, works with Mabiz, an education solution delivering business-related content to female-led micro and small businesses via SMS and WhatsApp. Many female micro and small business entrepreneurs in Mozambique have no formal education and struggle with stagnating businesses. By creating awareness of business concepts these traders are able to make better decisions while investing their resources wisely.
- Clever Mukove of Knowledge Transfer Africa in Zimbabwe, worked on the creation of eMKambo, a web and mobile application dedicated to exchanging information on agricultural issues, market prices, and connecting producers and traders.
- Jennifer Nantale of Nyaka School, in Uganda, has developed Patient App Care a mHealth, an Android-based application, working as a medical reminder system to improve people’s (mainly HIV/AIDS patients) access to medicines and healthcare.
- Grâce Françoise Nibizi of SaCoDé , in Burundi, has been working to raise awareness among citizens, especially women, on issues related to sexual and reproductive health using an interactive SMS information system.
- Margaret Njenga of @iLabAfrica is conducting a project that involves the supply, implementation, and commissioning of a business intelligence, analytics and automated online revenue accounting system for county governments in Kenya. County Pro, the name of this project, aims to increase citizens’ participation in county government processes, as well as increase transparency.
- Achiri Arnold Nji of Traveler, a mobile phone app that monitors the performance, speed, location and number of passengers on a bus. With the help of big data and machine intelligence, the app alerts drivers and authorities to potential dangers in Cameroon. The system automatically sends high-speed alerts each time a given bus runs above regulatory speed limits. With an integrated cloud service and a ‘back-end’ monitoring system, it can provide predictive analysis and recommendations to road safety officials that can help reduce road accidents. Should an accident occur, the app automatically detects it and notifies its location to emergency services, hospitals, and families of all users. The app is designed to work with or without an Internet connection.
- Henri Nyakarundi of Ared, a Rwanda based company that provides a business-in-a-box solar kiosk platform, called Shiriki Hub, to empower low-income individuals with the use of a micro-franchise business model. The kiosk is a self-contained unit from which mobile money, airtime, advertisement, and digital content using wifi technology can be purchased, as well as where customers can charge their mobile phones and other small devices. Through this technology, they can provide affordable access to key services and digital access to low-income people, while also addressing the significant unemployment problem in the region.
- Francis Obirikorang of AgroCenta has developed an agri-tech platform offering a suite of services designed to empower rural smallholder (?) farmers in Ghana. These services include up-to-date commodity pricing information that allows farmers to sell their crops at fair market value, an on-demand logistics service to facilitate crop deliveries and prevent food spoilage, an online platform to arrange sales, and electronic payment services leveraging local mobile money providers to process payments. These services are designed to address rural farmers market exclusion and provide technologically assisted market linkages.
- Simeon Oyando Ogonda of Education for Change in Kenya, he uses the m-shamba platform to train people in rural areas to the use of alternative green methods when cooking food and/or managing pests in agriculture.
- Daniel Oulai of Grainothèque, the first Community library in Ivory Coast dedicated to seeds, born to preserve African biodiversity, but also to ensure access to young farmers to traditional seeds and training courses. The project includes the creation of a web platform dedicated to topics as seed reproduction, how to adapt agricultural production to climate change and to improve the marketing of local products.
- Emmanuel Owobu of MobiCure, in Nigeria, has developed the OMOMI app that allows mothers to monitor their children’s health and growth by receiving targeted information during different stages of their babies’ lives.
- Alexie Seller of Pollinate Energy in India, offers ecological products that can improve the quality of life within Indian suburbs and uses mobile technology to handle payment rates.
- Victor Shikoli of Hydrologistics Africa, in Kenya developed HydroIQ, a GPS- and internet-enabled device that is plugged into existing water supply systems in homes or businesses and along water distribution networks, to automatically monitor water use, quality, and leakages using sensors that send data to an online platform in real-time, thereby turning traditional water systems into smart water grids to improve inefficiencies, sanitation and hygiene.
- Sumeysh Srivastava of Nyaaya, India’s first free online repository of every central and state law explained in simple English with interactive guides and visuals to make it easier for people to be aware of their rights and duties.
- Sovan Srun of Edemy, in Cambodia has created a system to equalize access to quality English by improving students’ and teachers’ education. Edemy avoids the need for constant Internet connectivity when delivering online education and works by using a cheap Rasberry computer and educational in-house software developed for this purpose.
- Branko Vasiljevic of Civil Patrols, developed software to improve and support communication and cooperation between civilians and police/public safety institutions with an aim to make their environment safer by joining forces. It allows end-users to report illegal activities to the appropriate institutions via secured online communication channels in Bosnia Herzegovina.
- Emily Warne of Health Builders, uses ICTs to network and digitize medical information to make health centres more efficient in Rwanda.