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ICT for Integrated Development in Nuba

Overview

Egypt Information and Communication Technology Trust Fund (ICT-TF) is continuously supporting women's development, entrepreneurship, education and health solutions using ICTs, typically as in "Integrated ICT for Development Program - Nubia" project.

Working with a vision of enabling remote communities though providing access to essential services, ICT-TF initiated a comprehensive model for enhancing such marginalized area through utilizing ICTs in cross- sector developmental fields.

 The Integrated ICT for Development program has innovatively implemented a number of interventions using a lot of highly customized applications that are aiming at women empowerment, the enhancement of the children's health status, modernizing education, and increasing employability in Nubia.

The Nuba integrated development program is implemented in two locations in Aswan governorate; Abu Simbel El Siyahe; located in the old Nuba, South of Aswan in the Nile Basin, and Markaz Nasr El Nuba (in the new Nuba, North of Aswan, some 25 kilometers away from the Nile). This is responding to the Nubian community which suffers many health problems as the limited specializations, less reliable doctors concerning availability, needed time and cost for seeking the medical advice and a few numbers of available medical services. Furthermore, there are apparent under-coverage of IT- skills for teachers and students, lack of general knowledge of Nubian history, heritage and Egyptian. Nubian population suffer general lack of skills such as traditional hand crafts that inherited from old generations.

Goal and objectives

Goal:
Empowering the local Nubian community in areas of education, health and employability through integrated and focused interventions using ICTs, and enabling civil society organizations to play effective role in fulfilling this goal.

Objectives:

  •  Enhancing the role of Civil Society Organizations in developing the Nubian community and promoting community participation as a means for community development. This objective interacts with all following services as it is the deployment mechanism of the project.
  •  Enhancing informal education and capacity building services for different target groups of Nubian community
  •  Decreasing child and maternal mortality rates in Nubia through telemedicine solution and other ICT-related services
  •  Increasing self-employment and income generation opportunities through empowering M/SMEs and entrepreneurship among youth in Nubia
  •  Using ICTs through social media networks and e-marketing services to support women's traditional crafts businesses, thus enabling them to play more effective roles in the Nubian community.

 

Pillars and Milestones of Nubia Project

ICT for Health

Telemedicine is the delivery of healthcare via telecommunication technologies. The greatest strength of telemedicine is that it can improve access to health services for the underserved communities particularly in the remote regions. Individuals in underserved communities suffer by long trips and expensive journeys to metropolitan hospitals to receive the care they seek. Telemedicine alleviates the need to travel, cutting cost, time and effort by providing quality healthcare at the patient's geographical location. Furthermore, Egypt has a considerable population of highly qualified medical experts however their unbalanced geographical distribution leaves a large portion of the population underserved.

In partnership with the major health stakeholders whether international, regional or national (AGFUND, the Arab Doctor Unions, the local NGOs in Nuba, Qasr EL Ainin Hospital) the project succeeded to build a quick-win comprehensive model that provide the telemedicine solution, building the capacities of system users as well as formulating and monitoring the business model for local community scaling up and sustainability.
The Telemedicine System Framework is achieved through the following objectives:

  •  Implementing Cloud based TeleMedicine SaaS Solutions deployed in the ICTFUND Datacenter
  •  Expanding the health services network to provide greater access to services
  •  Strengthen health training capacity to ensure and sustain the supply of locally trained health human resources

ICT for Micro/small and medium enterprises (M/SMEs)

In order to increase self-employment and income generation opportunities through empowering M/SMEs and entrepreneurship among youth in Nubia, the MSMEs track was formulated. The project staff validated the list of potential trainees (entrepreneurs and SME owners) provided by the NGOs trainers.
The training was delivered to 400 selected trainees on project management, entrepreneurship, Basic IT skills. The project staff conducted post-training evaluation to assess the effectiveness of the training programs.

There is a clear evidence for the change of the attitude of Nubians as entrepreneurs and SME owners can manage their projects in a more scientific way with automated business models such as accounting using excel and e-marketing. This is a drastic shift in the way they used to do business. They even used tele-conference in the providing training with experts in Cairo and attendees in Nubia. Finally, the gap between the training and the implementation has been bridged.

ICT for Women Empowerment

Development is unthinkable where half of the population is marginalized. Women comprise almost half of the population of Egypt, but a high majority of the population that is living under poverty. Hence, empowering women alone can alleviate more than half of the poverty in Egypt. Moreover, empowered women can empower their families and society.

The track was formulated to promote Nubian heritage by training the Nubian ladies to three specific handicrafts: Klim, Arjon, Embroidery and Sewing. The track was built around a production unit (info-lady and a group of vocational ladies that lacked knowledge or access to IT).

The concept that the project seeks is to deploy peer-training for sustainability. As a part of a TOT process, the track trained the info-ladies on project management, entrepreneurship and Basic IT skills which lasted from September 2014 till January 2015.

The training was offered on three consecutive levels for 99 vocational ladies (33 per handicraft) and 24 info-ladies (8 per handicraft). The info-ladies were guided to develop and conduct community awareness sessions to vocational ladies and other participants on the topics including; reproductive health and children nutrition. As a part of encouraging the Info-ladies to handle e-marketing, a web page on Kenanaonline portal and a Facebook page were created for every handicraft linked to the webpage. The info-ladies are responsible for updating the webpage and Facebook interactions.

ICT for Education

This track was formulated, based on the results of a field study in Feb 2013 to promote informal and continuing education and capacity building services for different target groups of Nubian community focusing on teachers and students in the preparatory and high school stages. The project staff held an awareness session to promote the track and its objectives to teachers in governorate of ASWAN and got their feedback.

Furthermore, the project staff worked with ELCC to develop the digital storytelling training program. The staff developed the portal and enriched the content of the e-library of Egyptian Teacher through Kenanonline platform as they developed 3 CD training kits for writing skills, E-marketing, course lab Tutorial to create e-learning lessons online. These CDs were distributed later to various members of the Nubian community to generate awareness and encourage e-learning.

Beneficiaries and Location

Location:

The Nubia integrated development program is implemented in two locations in Aswan governorate; Abu Simbel El Siyahe; located in the old Nubia, South of Aswan in the Nile Basin, and Markaz Nasr El Nuba (in the new Nuba, North of Aswan, some 25 kilometers away from the Nile).

 

Beneficiaries and Stakeholders:

The beneficiaries varied to include trainers, info-ladies, vocational ladies, SMEs owners and entrepreneurs, patients, General practitioner, reference doctors, community leaders at the villages.

Project’s Sustainability

Through Sustainable Development in Remote Areas Conference ‘Technologically Empowered Communities-Nubia, two conventions of cooperation had been signed that aimed at creating greater chances of success. Two agreements in which Egypt ICT Trust Fund was an effective partner, as one was in cooperation with Industrial Modernization Center (IMC), and E-finance company. They are intended for encouraging inherited industries in remote areas and opening international markets for it through e-commerce and e-marketing technologies. The other agreement was in partnership with the Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University in order to enhance medical services quality provided to the Egyptian citizen through development of technological capabilities by using cloud computing to facilitate managing the health system.

Results

1- With the selected NGOs

  •  Building capacity of the NGOs working in Nubia
  •  Better usage of Information Technology gadgets

 

2- With women empowerment

  •  Increasing demand on better products lead to local and international exposure.
  •  Created a tier of professional trainers in Nubia.
  •  Relative improvement to household income
  •  Change the attitude of Nubians to produce functional products & become entrepreneur

Nubians use the handicrafts to decorate their homes, now they realized that they can produce more functional items to be sold to other. The sky is the limit to product development using natural raw materials, handmade and unique culture reflection.
Nubian ladies now know how to price their products correctly and so they can negotiate with the buyers accordingly.
Quantitative indicator: 10% of the interviewed vocational ladies expanded their business (swing and embroidery mainly) serving their communities

  •  Saving the environment 

Nubians natural raw materials for their handcrafts such as Arjon and natural dyes used in klim. Such practices help to preserve the natural life of Nubia. Qualitative indicator: Vocational ladies recycle Arjon in producing functional products.

  •  Empowering the NGOs and trainers

Each center in Nubia has its unique characteristics; Nasr El Nuba is more of a touristic center so focusing on klim will enrich their culture and vis-versa.
Quantitative indicators: 80% of the interviewed NGOs requested more training on various traditional handicrafts and suggested to include bead made accessories

  •  Exchanging experience among Nubians enriching the produced products

Each center in Nubia has its unique characteristics; Nasr El Nuba is more of a touristic center so focusing on klim will enrich their culture and vis-versa.
Quantitative indicators: 80% of the interviewed NGOs requested more training on various traditional handicrafts and suggested to include bead made accessories

 

3- With Employability

  •  Creating a tier of professional trainers in Nubia that helped to provide a business mentor 
  •  Relative improvement to household income through SMEs/ entrepreneurship

 

4- With Telemedicine

  •  Acceptance of tele-medicine idea at different levels starting by NGOs
  •  Raising demand for other specialization via the tele-medicine 
  •  Better management of the medical cases 
  •  Providing patient record archive as a nuclease for local community database
  •  Providing On the job learning

 

5- With Education

  •  Saving time and money and guarantee sustainability of updated content online
  •  Change the attitude to use the materials in Nubia and to develop it in Aswan 
  •  Provided the NGOs with some exposure to this track that will prove to be very important in the near future.