D.R. of Congo: Mogribu
Mogribu is an interactive voice reporting application that enables marginalized communities in rural and conflict affected areas to be heard on the internet through phone-based reporting and automated content updating and sharing on Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and Google+.
What locality or neighborhood will your project focus on?
Describe the specific population with whom you will be working.
Our app aims to allow marginalized citizens to be heard on internet through their mobile phones. In fact, 80% of people in the democratic republic of Congo live in rural areas, together with people in conflict affected areas, they often lack the way to report, to share information and their views on different problems affecting their communities due to lack of comfortable source of media in their regions. However, Mobile technology, including everything from inventive applications to simple text messaging, is increasingly ubiquitous in the developing world, especially in rural and geographical isolated and holds great potential for impact in areas such as freedom of expression.
Who else will be on your team to help implement the project?
Narcisse Mbunzama is a founder of Mogribu. Narcisse is a serial tech entrepreneur and award winning tech innovator. Narcisse holds a Master in computer science from Umea University. Narcisse has more than 10 year's experiences working as Software developer in several IT firms such TechNova Group, etc.
Mr. Mila Roland, Co-founder of Mogribu. Mr Mila is software developer with more than 5 year's experiences. Mr. Mila holds a Bsc in computer science from University of Kinshasa.
What kinds of news, stories and other content will be created?
Mogribu is an open-source application offering flexible voice-based communication. The system connects an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system to social media as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and others. Using Mogribu, communities without computer skills can establish a voice forum using an ordinary computer and and modem. Citizen can record and listen to posts via mobile phone, while in the same time the global community can access and contribute recordings via the Internet. Mogribu uses existing cloud-based services to provide free online content moderation, free hosting of audio recordings for dissemination to a global audience, and an innovative solution to automatically synchronize audio recordings across different areas.
What technologies and digital tools do you plan to use in the trainings?
Describe the connections that you or your organization have already established or plan to establish that will contribute to the success of the project.
We have etablished a partnership with Fosbes, kinshasa-based freedom of expression NGO that will train marginalized citizens how to use their mobile phones to report on internet.
A MoU has been signed with TechNova Group, to assist also in software development by providing us with their API that will accelerate the development of our solution.
How many participants do you think will be trained in your project?
We are planning to release the application by September 2014, using the power of Facebook, Google+, Twitter and YouTube; we hope to reach more than 20,000 users by the end of 2014 and in 2015 we will have more than 100,000 users.
Through a strong marketing campaign such Face-to-face campaigns, participations in the events, meetings such as farmers activities, etc.
Describe which technologies, tools, and media you will focus on when training participants.
We will develop a solution that makes it easy for marginalized citizens to be hear on internet by using their mobile phones. Our team will code the application, test it and release it to be use by different communities in the democratic republic of Congo.
Describe the facilities where you will hold the workshops.
We are not organizing directement a workshop.
What is your current relationship with the community with whom you plan to work? What makes you the most appropriate individual or organization to implement this project?
We have great experiences in developing IT solution for improving the lives of millions people in the democratic republic of Congo. With our background and experiences, we think that we have excellent quality to make this project a success. We don't have particular relationship with the marginalized community, for that reason we are going to collaborate with local based NGOs, associations and community-based groups to bring our project within different communities of marginalized groups.
What specific challenges do you expect to face when planning and implementing your project?
The political situation in the democratic republic of Congo remains volatile, in case of majors conflicts in the country, we will stop our activities and restart when the situation will become calme. At this stage the situation is very calme and there is not a major challenge to realize our project.
How will you measure and evaluate the project’s impact, specifically: your primary participants, the wider regional community, or the global digital community?
We will measure the numbers of marginalized citizens that will use our application to report on internet. For us; the success is related to the numbers of people that will use our solution.
If your project were to be selected as a Rising Voices grantee, what would be the general timeline of project activities in 2014?
The activies will include the development of application going from May 2014 to July 2014, then we will test the application to identify potential fails in August 2014, After that we will release the beta version of the application in September 2014 and start the marketing activities in same month September 2014 so that we can have several citizen sign up in the application.
Detail a specific budget of up to $2,500 USD for operating costs.
The fund will help to cover cost for technology, including the cost to purchasse software and materials to develop the application estimate at 1500$, and cost to test the solution at large scale estimate at 500$ and 300$ for marketing cost.
Besides the microgrant funding, what other support can Rising Voices provide for your project to ensure its success?
Rising Voices can provide us with technical expertise and advice to increase traction in our application. Technical expertise in terms of additional developers to help in development of the application in short time of activities can be very helpful.