Discovery, Knowledge, Sharing.

PROJECTS

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iHub Research has expertise studying Governance & Technology, and Technology Innovation & Entrepreneurship in the region. We have experience conducting both large-scale quantitative surveys and smaller scale qualitative projects as client assignments and in-house projects. Our research has provided evidence-based findings to influence decisions among technology stakeholders. Below, find brief descriptions of our current projects as of November 2014.

Understanding the Role of Digital Jobs in Kenya’s Technology Ecosystem

This study is developing a scanning mechanism for job-creating innovations and high-potential enterprises. More specifically, the project generated a landscape of innovations generated by Kenyan tech enterprises, with an emphasis on digital job creation for youth; a framework composed of relevant criteria for identifying innovations generated by tech enterprises and a  report outlining recommendations on how to catalyze digital job creation within technology-driven enterprises, and shift the thinking of the innovation community toward the importance of addressing job creation through enterprise development. The final report will be released at the end of November 2014.


Read more here.

Learn more about Rockefeller’s Digital Jobs Africa program: http://www.rockefellerfoundation.org/our-work/current-work/digital-jobs-africa/our-strategy


ICT and Governance

iHub Research, as part of the ICT4Democracy East Africa network, is undertaking an 18 month project to assess how ICT tools are being used for various aspects of governance in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.

We want to identify, describe and analyze conditions under which ICT tools can/have successfully facilitate(d) or hinder(ed) two way interaction between government and citizens towards reducing the cost of delivering public services, stemming corruption and increasing transparency and accountability. We also want to study the innovative initiatives that have taken off to achieve this, as well as [de]motivations for utilizing ICT tools, among the various stakeholders(citizens, governments, civil society and non-governmental actors).

To better assess ICT tools used for governance (which can be SMS, web and/or mobile-based) we will be looking at four key elements/metrics, that is:

  • if/how they promote(or hinder) rights/access to information,
  • if/ how civic participation (transparency and accountability) is facilitated(hindered),
  • if/how such tools assist(or hinder) in monitoring government's service delivery (health, water etc) and
  • if/how ICT tools have been, or can be utilized in tracking corruption

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Una Hakika

Una Hakika is a collaborative project run between Sentinel Project and iHub Research. During the interethnic massacres in Tana Delta between August 2012 and January 2013, misinformation was singled out as a main cause of the conflict. Una Hakika is being rolled out in the area so as to understand how misinformation is transmitted throughout a population, particularly how networked technologies influence the spread of misinformation and whether they can be used to map and then counter misinformation. ICT will play a key role in Una Hakika for collecting data in the form of rumour reports, verifying the truth behind rumours, and disseminating counter-messaging to the Tana Delta community via both SMS and later via voice in the form of neutral, accurate information.

To subscribe, users will send a short code to 21512 and thereafter report rumours. Verification of rumours is intended to be carried out using volunteers and relevant officials.

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OCSDNet

OSCDNet is for researchers and practitioners from the Global South working on, or are interested in the role of openness and collaboration in science, as a transformative tool for both development thinking and practices. Through this project, we intend to nurture an interactive community of Open Science practitioners and leaders in different contexts working and learning together, and contributing to a pool of open knowledge on how networked collaboration could help address some of the local and global development challenges.

TThe overarching question for the Open and Collaborative Science in Development Network (OCSDNet) is whether, and under what conditions open and collaborative approaches (including access to research outputs, wider participation in framing of research questions, sharing of technologies and processes, and more collaborative and inclusive approaches to the conduct of research) could contribute to the effective applications of research to achieving development goals at multiple levels, from individuals to institutions, and from the national through to regional and the global community.

In particular, OCSDNet aims to:

  1. Support new projects and activities so as to generate evidence on whether, and if so, under what conditions open approaches to science can enable research that contributes to development goals in the global South.
  2. Build a community of Open Science practitioners and leaders in different contexts, by nurturing an interactive research network.
  3. Identify the structural, technical, policy and cultural barriers for individuals and organizations to participate in OCS and determine how these barriers could be addressed.
  4. Contribute to the building of a new and vibrant area of study (Open and Collaborative Science in Development), producing knowledge to inform policy and practice, and a community of researchers who identify themselves as working on OCS.

 

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Power of mLearning in Kenya M&E

The ‘Power of mLearning in Kenya’ project aims to improve KCPE exam results, social awareness, cognitive thinking and IT literacy through the use of mobile technologies. 250 initial students and all teachers at a primary school in Nairobi received individual tablets with Safaricom 3G mobile connectivity to access eLimu’s eLearning application. The application features high-quality educational content correlating to the national curriculum.

iHub Research is conducting a monitoring and evaluation study over a period of 15 months on this project. The main objectives of the study are:

  1. To evaluate the learning outcomes of students using tablets and the eLimu interactive learning content;
  2. To understand how the technology is being used by the students and perceptions about the eLimu content;
  3. To evaluate the relevance of the technology for the learners, and the frequency of usage/activities being done on the tablet.

The M&E research will measure the effectiveness of the tablet in reaching specific goals and outcomes; inform refinements to the tablet technology deployed focusing on hardware issues (connectivity, battery life),  eLimu platform and processes (training, maintenance); gather evidence of the user experience to inform eLimu design and implementation; and collect feedback on how to improve the platform.

The research team plans to conclude the first year of the pilot study in February 2015.

Find out more about eLimu here: http://e-limu.org/

Testing the Efficacy of the Waterford Early Learning in Kenya

iHub Research and Karibu Centre are conducting a 9-month research study in schools in Thika among students in Early Childhood Development (ECD) classes (pre-unit, standard 1 and 2). The study will enable the research team to establish if there are benefits to introducing a computer program to students in ECD to improve their literacy.

The research project is being conducted in four schools in Thika. Students in three of the schools are exposed to a computer program every week called Waterford Early Learning. The study hopes to evaluate the effectiveness of the computer program and how it contributes to a students' overall performance.

Find out more about Karibu Center here: http://www.thekaribucentre.com/

Umati

The Umati project was born out of concern that new media may have played a catalyzing role in Kenyan 2007/08 post-election violence. The project seeks to identify and understand the use of dangerous speech in the Kenyan online space. The project monitors particular blogs, forums, online newspapers, Facebook and Twitter. Online content monitored includes tweets, status updates and comments, posts, blog entries, videos and images.

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