Over the past few months, we have been in engaging discussions with Refugees United, an organization that empowers refugees to directly search for and reconnect with missing family and friends through a mobile and web-enabled family tracing platform. Together we have crafted an exciting research project based around assessing RU’s mobile WAP tool as well as the processes surrounding the use of the tool. The RU sign-up process was updated 5 months ago from a cumbersome, paper-based system to a quicker, more efficient WAP-enabled sign-up via mobile phones. The RU family tracing and search tool is currently being rolled out across Kenya through local partner organizations: Refugee Consortium of Kenya (RCK) and Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS).
In order to optimize the Refugees United family tracing service, iHub Research will be conducting a 5-month tech assessment with the aim of mapping out the concrete challenges related to the sign-up of refugees via the RU mobile application and potential solutions to these. We are also interested in monitoring the process of conversion from non-user to active user. Our final report will include specific recommendations for RU’s tech development going forward, especially looking at what tools RU needs to more effectively solve the challenges related to sign-ups and conversion rates. The final report will also include our analysis of the potential scaling up of this system in other countries and recommendations for avoiding future design flaws.
iHub Research will conduct Focus Group Discussions, In-depth Interviews, and Field Observations in 3 site locations (Nairobi, Kakuma, and Dadaab) with refugees, NGOs, monitors, and local partners RCK and KRCS. The research will run for 5 months beginning this month (Jan 2012) until May 2012. We are finalizing the research instruments this week and will be in various Nairobi neighborhoods beginning Monday (Jan. 23rd) for our pre-test.
This research will feed into ensuring that the recently launched RU mobile application and sign-up process becomes a success in creating users, securing a high conversion rate (from sign-ups to users of the RU platform) and ultimately leads to digital reconnection of missing family and friends. In the following months, iHub Research will regularly report on this project’s progress project through this blog. We always welcome your comments and support!