Grameen

Tag: Uganda

  • Mobile Data at the BOP


    Posted on October 29, 2011

    Luke Kyohere is Senior Technology Manager, at Grameen Foundation

    There was a time when all that handsets could do was make calls and send SMS.

    Then mobile data arrived, the first versions of which simulated an analog modem/landline setup. These gave way to GPRS, 2G and finally 3G. In Uganda today, mobile data is available almost everywhere that GSM connectivity is.

    This fast proliferation of 2G and 3G has been influenced, in part, by recent MNO competition and price wars, as well as last year’s drastic drop in internet prices upon go-live of the Seacom and...

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  • Stories from the Field: What do our Community Knowledge Workers do?


    Posted on August 21, 2011

    Edward Chelangat is CKW Field officer in Kapchorwa Uganda,at Grameen Foundation Uganda

    John Mamosogo is a farmer from Tangwen parish, Kabeywa subcounty,  Rumasaki village, who farms coffee as a business. His CKW is Tabitha Solimo whom he refers to as madam in the story. When I visited him, on August 8, 2011 he told me the following about CKW work and coffee farming:

    “I had a friend called Ben who knows madam [CKW Tabitha Solimo], when we were walking together, he told me he was going to check something in the internet. I asked him where is the internet? He...

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  • A Weekend with Simon Obwoya, Community Knowledge Worker


    Posted on May 27, 2011

    Heather Thorne Matthews is the Director of Information and Communications Technology Innovation at the Grameen Foundation’s Technology Center.

    I spent a weekend in early May with Simon Obwoya, one of Grameen Foundation’s Community Knowledge Workers, near Opit, Lalogi Subcounty, about 50km south-east of Gulu in Northern Uganda.  Simon is 43, and is married, with 8 children, ranging from 6 months old to 19 years old.  He and his family have 3 simple thatch-roof, mud brick huts in close proximity to their neighbours. They have no electricity, but have a bicycle,...

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  • Building a Power Company that Serves the Rural Poor


    Posted on April 26, 2011

    Sean Paavo Krepp is Uganda Country Director and CKW Program Manager.

    Building a power company that serves the rural Ugandan poor is a tall order.  Rural small holder farmers may live miles from the nearest road or power line.  Access to steady power, something we take for granted, is a fundamental concern for the rural poor as they seek to charge their phones or study at night.  Recently we’ve been fortunate to work with Mike Lin, an American entrepreneur and founder of the renewable energy company Fenix International. Fenix is a different kind of power...

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  • The Community Knowledge Worker Platform


    Posted on March 21, 2011

    For those of you who are frequent readers of the AppLab blog you will have seen quite a few references to the Community Knowledge Worker program.  We think of the CKW program as providing a human, technology and data analytics platform for socially minded organizations seeking to reach small holder farmers.  Heather Thorne, Director of ICT Innovation and Applab, breaks down how CKW provides each platform: 

    • First, it offers a human platform, introducing known, trusted points-of-presence in the village who serve as a two-way distribution channel for...
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  • The Difference a CKW Makes


    Posted on March 18, 2011

    Lydia Namubiru is Partnership Analyst, CKW program, at Grameen Foundation Uganda.

    For a long time, Charles Mukonyi of Gamatui parish in Kapchorwa had a problem with his chickens – the hens died off soon after hatching new ones. Three months ago, he was visited by his neighbor Tabitha Salimo who told him that she had a phone that has huge amounts of agricultural knowledge to answer many of the problems farmers face. Naturally, the first thing Charles asked about was the hen problem. Tabitha checked her phone and informed Charles that his hens were likely to be...

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  • Simple mobile tools to combat fake agricultural inputs


    Posted on March 17, 2011

    Whitney Gantt is Partnerships Manager, CKW program, at Grameen Foundation Uganda.

    Poor farmers in Uganda routinely struggle with access to agricultural inputs, such as fertilizer and improved seed varieties, that would boost their crop yields.  Access to improved inputs is one of the highest impact scenarios for improving farmer productivity.  In the right context, the application of fertilizer can significantly increase  yields, by up to 300% – which means the potential to triple income.

    Two of the chief constraints for a smallholder farmer to buy these...

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  • GF President visits CKWs in the field


    Posted on March 16, 2011

    Grameen Foundation President Alex Counts recently visited Uganda and met with several of our Community Knowledge Workers.  Here Alex (second from right) heard from CKW Albert Somiko (right) of Kamunarukut about the impact of information distributed by CKWs on banana disease control.  Later that day CKWs presented Alex with a gourd for storing milk which is a traditional gift for a warm welcome to Uganda.  We hope to publish more news from Alex’s trip to Uganda, Kenya, and Ghana after he returns.

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  • How much can I get for my coffee?


    Posted on March 16, 2011

    Jason Hahn is Business Development Manager ICT Innovation, at Grameen Foundation Seattle.

    As readers of this blog know, Grameen Foundation’s AppLab is building a network of Community Knowledge Workers (CKWs) in Uganda.  These CKW’s,  equipped with mobile phones and customized agricultural apps, bridge the last mile of agricultural extension work.  Below you will find the story of farmer Michael Kipsang’s experience working with his local CKW and we answered his coffee question. Thanks to Edward Chelangat, one of our field officers in Uganda, for passing...

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  • How did James Amadi benefit from his local Community Knowledge Worker?


    Posted on March 01, 2011

    Edward Chelangat is CKW Field Officer Kapchorwa , at Grameen Foundation Uganda. 

    “James Amadi is a farmer who uses CKW services.  He has benefited from coffee tips and price information.  His coffee trees are green in a dry season largely because of following CKW advice on manure application.  James also said the CKW has helped him identify diseases in his coffee plantation, for example leaf rust which he though it was coffee berry disease. He sprayed orious fungicide which cleared it off.”

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  • A few tweaks in the CKW intervention can deliver more impact to farmers


    Posted on February 16, 2011

    Lydia Namubiru is Partnership Analyst, Community Knowledge Worker program, at Grameen Foundation Uganda.

    Samuel Olara’s chickens were getting weak and sleepy. He feared they had caught something that would kill them and he didn’t know how to save them. Fortunately, he knew someone who might know. He walked 2 kms to the local CKWs’ home to consult on chicken diseases and their treatments. The CKW in turn consulted his phone and advise Olara to treat his chicken with soda ash. They quickly recovered and were doing well three weeks later when a Grameen...

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  • Engendering our Work in Uganda


    Posted on January 16, 2011

    After we launched our Community Knowledge Worker (CKW) network in Uganda, I was reviewing a budget report and came across a “babysitting” entry. Thinking this must be an obvious mistake, I contacted our local finance person for an explanation. I discovered that we did pay for babysitting as some of the CKWs we were training were mothers who would not have been able to participate unless we paid for child care. It makes perfect sense now and is a good example of a practical step you can take to ensure that women and men access your programs.

    At Grameen...

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  • Community Knowledge Worker Pilot Report and Program Launch


    Posted on May 19, 2010

    Lydia Namubiru is Partnership Analyst, CKW program, at Grameen Foundation Uganda.

    In early 2009, Grameen Foundation went to Uganda with the idea of creating a fluid and effective two way communication channel between rural farmers and the world of agricultural experts, development agencies, traders and commercial players. Through this loop, rural small holder farmers would be given livelihood saving agricultural information generated by the experts and the big  players would keep informed on conditions on the farm from adoption of best practices to available...

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  • How do AppLab Programs Get Started?


    Posted on October 28, 2009

    Tim Wood is Director, Mobile Health Innovation, at Grameen Foundation Ghana.

    How do AppLab programs get started?  How do you really understand the best way to address the problems that people in poor rural communities face?  The approach we have consistently taken for AppLab projects is to conduct a broad “needs assessment” survey at the very outset of the project.  We work with experts in ethnographic research who spend hours and hours interviewing people in the field.  The end result is qualitative data which helps to guide and inform our project work.

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  • Agriculture and Mobile Phones Come Together With Our Community Knowledge Worker Project in Uganda


    Posted on October 21, 2009

    Eric Cantor is Director, Grameen Foundation Uganda.

    Last week in Uganda I was fortunate to attend a meeting in Busano subcounty, Mbale district, with some of the Community Knowledge Workers  (CKWs) – local farmer leaders empowered with mobile applications to improve the livelihoods of their communities by distributing and collecting relevant information about agriculture – and their clients, the smallholder farmers we all seek to benefit.  There was a lively discussion of the pros and cons of a variety of information services we have been testing nearby.  One...

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