MOBILE TELEPHONY TECHNOLOGIES THAT SUPPORT COMMUNICATION AND FUNDRAISING NEEDS OF A RURAL COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT ORGANIZATION; A KIRUCODO LIVE EXPERIENCE

Posted: May 30, 2013 in E-Learning Africa2013, mFarming, Mobile Technology, Technology News, Web2.0
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

By Robert Kibaya, Director Communications Without Borders Ltd and Executive Director Kikandwa Rural Communities Development Organization; P.O.BOX 705 Mukono, Uganda; E-Mail: robkib@gmail.com, Twitter: @rob_kib, Skype: rob_kib; Blog: www.ruralafricafacts.wordpress.com

FirstPagePhoto

Introduction

In Uganda, about 80% in rural communities earn a living from agriculture. Though the government has tried to invest in the sector, majority of the farming communities still lack key services such as clean water, health, electricity, among others that limit their adequate concentration on farming activities. Improving lives in farming communities in Uganda and Africa in General, requires the participation of not only the government, but also other stakeholders who can bring in services that directly or indirectly lead to the improvement in the sector.

According to the report on communication markets in Uganda, mobile penetration rose from just 1.9 percent at the end of 2002 to an estimated 39.0 percent in 2009. This is expected to rise further, reaching 70.7 percent penetration by 2014, while the number of mobile subscriptions will exceed 27 million. [1]

The introduction of cellular telephony has revolutionized Uganda’s telecommunications industry since the first network went live in 1995, with two more following in 1998 and 2001. As early as 1999 Uganda became the first country on the continent where the number of mobile subscribers passed the number of fixed-line users, and the ratio is now more than 18:1.[2]

Why Mobile Telephony Technologies for Rural Community Development Organizations Managers?

One question, how much do you turn the information you access into opportunities for yourself and those in your reach?!

Looking for, Identifying, Linking with and coordinating collaborations easily and cheaply with potential donors worldwide has always been a great challenge to majority of rural community Development Organizations supporting farming communities in Uganda and Africa in general. On the other hand, the utilization of modern communication tools that are mostly hosted on the internet has always been hindered in rural communities by lack of: connectivity and electricity, access to affordable ICT equipment and technologies, among others.

The introduction of mobile telephony technologies has once more restored hope to majority of hopeless Rural Organizations’ managers who for the first time are able to coordinate most of their respective organizations’ activities on mobile telephony platforms ranging from simple phone calls and short messages to various online services.

What is it that you need to consider for an online fundraising strategy?

  • Whom do I need to reach to?
  • How will I reach to him/ her?
  • When and where?
  • What do I need to use?
  • Which kind of content and how to package or repackage it?
  • Which kind of skills do I need?
  • Which fundraising platform and why?
  • Whom do I need to involve?
  • How much time and how much money will it cost me?

Live experience sharing from Kikandwa Rural Communities Development Organization on innovative utilization of modern mobile telephony and web2.0 technologies to support the following projects:

The following live examples below were accomplished by the utilization of web2.0 skills that were developed during my 2011 involvement in CTA regional training opportunities and CTA sponsorship for an online course in Innovative Collaboration for Development (ICfD) offered by United Nations Institute of Training and Research (UNITAR). Computers, digital cameras and mobile telephony equipment such as mobile phone and internet modems were used interchangeably or in a combination to coordinate most of the activities.

(1)  Online fundraising drive for beekeeping project to support the education of rural primary school pupils especially the girls. US$ 232 was secured at Global Giving from five online donors. The project has already benefited two families with two school-going primary school girls as per this link indicate.

(2)  Online fundraising drive for providing safe and clean water to three primary schools in rural farming communities of Mukono District. The 2012 winter fundraising drive on Global Giving secured a total of US$ 1,705 from eleven online donors. Three rainwater harvesting tanks are already constructed at three rural public primary schools to serve children of the community farmers.

(3)  Managing and coordinating the implementation of the water project (in 2 above) at three locations more than ten miles from each other.

(4)  Soliciting and online fundraising for supporting the shipment of donated scholastic materials to rural primary schools in farming communities. A total of about 1500 pupils have already been reached to in the past two years. As the following links indicate:

a.       School case one
b.       School case two
c.       School case three

Key points to note:

  1. The mobile telephony and web2.0 technologies can help you to build diverse online communities that can be of great benefit to you but:
  2. Be always Transparent and accountable to your online communities.
  3. Be careful and take necessary precautions and steps as not all people online are really genuine.
  4. Always use different passwords for your email accounts and social media networks.
  5. Don’t just respond to frequent requests directed to you to sign up to different platforms as some of them might be interested in capturing your login details.
  6. Keep on changing your passwords after a specified period of time.
  7. Help others online to meet their communication needs as they can in turn help you when you need them.
  8. It is not about how much time you spend online but it is all about how much value you put to the time you spend online

Points of concern:

Though there is a wider mobile technology penetration in Uganda and Africa in General, there still major challenges that need to be addressed which include but not limited to: required skills to operate the equipment, poor mobile telephony networks in rural communities, lack of electricity, lack of enough technical personnel to handle technical faults in rural communities, smart phones and tablets are still very expensive, poor quality equipment on market, poor rural ICT infrastructures, etc

AND FINALLY:

THANK YOU CTA FOR SPONSORING ME AND FOR EXPOSING ME TO WEB2.0 SKILLS

  • THANK YOU MR. GIACOMO FOR CONTINUOUS MENTORING AND GUIDANCE
  • THANK YOU E-LEARNING AFRICA FOR GIVING ME A CHANCE TO SHARE AND LEARN
  • THANK YOU LADIES AND GENTLEMEN FOR LISTENING TO ME
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s