A series of focus groups in Narok has enabled us to make key conclusions about the ways in which community groups currently use the technology, and how Sisi ni Amani’s platform can enhance their work.
Major Conclusions about Use of Technology & Coordination:
- Groups use technology for outreach and coordination. SMS is the most effective – both in terms of cost and impact – for outreach and often for communication. Groups often use a system whereby one person sends an SMS to a group in their phone, then that group passes it on, etc. This means any important message sent may have a “ripple effect” and reach even more individuals than its intended audience.
- Groups only sometimes coordinate with each other and communicate with other groups in their areas.
Major Conclusions in Terms of Sisi ni Amani:
- These groups find the technology most useful for communicating within their own established networks, especially if they get to use it free of charge (at least for a certain amount of credit). This is because they currently face barriers of efficiency and cost when communicating within their networks.
- Groups also do not have the ability to communicate to the entire community, and would find the technology useful for that purpose. At the same time, this needs to be geographically specific (someone from Olulunga doesn’t necessarily want the message to go out to Narok Town), and thus creating geographically specific groups will be very important
Key Conclusions for System set-up and Information Flows
- There will need to be different types of groups within the SMS database:
- Community groups’ networks: community groups can use the database and keywords to communicate with their own networks
- Geographically-tagged groups: Groups separated based on geographical areas and used for targeted outreach
- Narok County: A group that includes all database members (for things like civic education, peace messages, etc.)