@iLabAfrica

@iLabAfrica- Strathmore University Researchers Attend IST Africa Conference 2017.

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Three Researchers from @iLabAfrica- Strathmore University, were selected to present their papers in the IST Conference 2017 held in Windhoek, Namibia. Tabitha Mberi, Tracy Weru and Lorna Mutegi presented their individual papers to an audience comprising of senior officials from both the public and private sectors in education and research; Innovation stakeholders from Namibia, the European Commission, the African Union Commission, Southern African Development Community, Ubuntu Alliance among others. There were over 150 presentations from 36 countries.

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L-R; Lorna Mutegi, Tracy Weru and Tabitha Mberi

Tabitha’s paper themed:”Challenges to the Successful Implementation of E-Government Systems in Developing Countries: A Case of Taita Taveta, Kenya “was on work that @iLabAfrica- Strathmore University continues to implement in Taita Taveta County. Tabitha’s research looked at how devolvement of government from local authorities to county governments in Kenya has resulted in many counties adopting online revenue collection systems with the aim to improve public sector services and deliver them in an effective and efficient manner. Her study assessed the  various challenges that the team has faced in implementing the system which range from lack of trust of e-government systems by citizens, lack of infrastructure servicing by the county government, failure to follow procedures by system users among other reasons

Lorna’s paper, titled “Unlocking the Supply of Open Government Data for SDGs: A Case of Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS)” focused on demand for data-for-development to support and monitor a country’s progress in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is a rising global need. Lorna’s paper illuminates on a model for unlocking the supply of Open Government Data (OGD) for monitoring and evaluation of the SDGs based on a project that Strathmore University, through @iLabAfrica- Strathmore University, is currently working on in partnership with The World Bank and the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS). The model informs on the benefits of utilizing a quadruple helix model (public/private/research/civil society) in an OGD initiative, to unlock quality, timely and reliable government data to support and measure SDGs and other national development goals.

Tracy presented her paper titled “Cyber-Smart Children, Cyber-Safe Teenagers: Enhancing internet   Safety for Children“. Child Online Protection is a hard and tricky concern that requires multi-national efforts if it’s to be successfully tackled in the near future. This is mainly due to the exponential growth in smart devices. Providing a safe environment requires an in-depth understanding of the types and prevalence of online risks young Internet users face, as well as of the solutions most effective in mitigating these risks. To be able to get the right information on protecting children and teenagers there is need of  an Internet Safety awareness program that will build a generation of responsible digital citizens whose online behaviour demonstrate media literacy, ethics, safety and security.The paper presented by Tracy Nyatoro Weru proposes the development of a mobile based game application based on child online protection that will provide a comprehensive learning experience that is amazingly fun, highly interactive and extremely effective.

The IST Africa Conference provides a platform to strengthen Information Society, ICT and Innovation related policy dialogues both within Africa and between Africa and Europe, through Plenary Sessions, the rich thematic knowledge exchange facilitated by Scientific Programme and co-located multi-lateral (eg. JEG8, eu-Africa HLPD on STI) and private bi-lateral meetings. (Source: IST Africa).

Participation in the IST Africa 2017 conference continues to contribute to @iLabAfrica’s- Strathmore University exploitation and research and innovation strategy. In addition, the networking opportunity will continue to help build the research Centre ties with leading Public, Private, Education, and Research organizations from more than 39 countries who took part in the conference.

 

101 Things You Wanted To Know About the Police But Didn’t Ask. Get the App

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About the App

The primary purpose of 101 Things You Wanted to Know About the Police But Were Too Afraid to Ask (101 Things) is to improve relations between the police and the public. The police are regarded by the public as suppressing them in order to promote the interests of the rich and the powerful. The police are regarded as being extremely corrupt, especially in extracting money from the less well off. Public opinion polls for several years put them at the top of the list of the most corrupt state institutions. We consider that better understanding between the police and the public would come about if both of them have a better understanding of the obligations of the police and the rights of the people. 101 Things focuses largely on the authority of the police and the rights of the people that they must respect. We believe that the full benefits of the pocket book will be achieved if both the public and the police carefully study and follow it.

The relationship between the police and the public goes back to the time of the colonisation of Kenya, when the primary purpose of the police was to suppress Africans in the interests of the colonial power and European settlers. To a considerable extent this continued after independence—and with this the uneasy and often tense relationship between the people and the police. Both those in authority and the police considered that the main role of the police was to protect the interests of those who controlled the state. There was little accountability of the police for their conduct.

A fundamental change in the structure and functions of the police was set out in the 2010
Constitution in accordance with its principles and values of protecting the rights and security of the people and the accountability of state institutions. The police will no longer be under the absolute authority of the government, their independence being a fundamental constitutional principle.

The Kenya Police 101 app has the following features:

  • All the 101 questions have been divided into 8 different categories as shown in the navigation drawer
  • Inclusion of images in the content of the answers for easier illustration
  • Search functionality to easily look up a question of interest
  •  Favorite functionality to enable users bookmark their favorite questions
  • Quick links for frequently asked questions
  • About page with description of the various sponsors and contact and social media links for Katiba Institute

Download the App here.

Copyright Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative and Katiba Institute (2016).

An IoT Event Hosted by @iLabAfrica in conjunction with the University of Edinburg and Pycom.

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Come spend the afternoon of Friday, 2nd December,2016 learning how to use the latest in IoT technology from Pycom. In this workshop, we will give an overview of the Pycom boards, talk about the magic in the socket layers and give examples of how to use the LoPy, programming it with MicroPython.

In addition, we’ll look at how to connect sensors to the LoPy, program it to act as a nano-gateway and work on examples of extended WiFi range. All of this to effectively help drive data from the field to your middleware platform and ultimately front end applications where visualisation and decision making can take place.

About IoT

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a cluster of technologies spanning hardware devices, networking, data collection and data applications. It allows any ‘thing’ to be connected to the internet. This means that we give things a name, a job to do, and a voice. A name is some kind of unique identifier; a job will typically involve some kind of sensing of — or acting upon — the environment; a voice is a means of communicating. As an example, we could add a heat sensor to a chair so that it can report whether someone is sitting on it. If all the chairs in a given room were able to communicate this information, we could get a real-time picture of how full the room was.

To be part of the event, Register here.

@iLabAfrica Trains County Officials on Revenue Enhancement.

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In a decentralized system of governance, with two levels of government collecting revenue, levies and taxes from citizens, there is bound to be confusion, duplication and uncertainty. As a result, the county collections have been very low and counties are relying heavily on the revenue from the equitable share from the national government to finance their budgets.

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To address the above issues, @iLabAfrica, Strathmore University, in partnership with Inspire, organized a Revenue Enhancement Training. The aim of the course was to gain insights on revamping their respective county’s revenue collection strategies. It was also meant to educate county executives on strategies to reduce county dependence on the equitable share from the national government; and methods to maximize on revenues within the general fund.

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@iLabAfrica hosted County Revenue Directors for 4 days of intensive training (1st -4th November 2016). The participants came from various counties that include Turkana County, Kwale County, Kisii County, Laikipia County, Tharaka Nithi County. This course was aimed at training senior and middle managers in the revenue or the finance departments of County Governments, including Directors, Chief Officers, Sub-county Administrators, Revenue Officers, Members of the County Assembly (MCAs), in charge of the budgeting process, and professionals willing to learn advanced techniques on revenue enhancements within the devolved governance structure.

The next training is scheduled for:  21st to 24th February 2017.

 

The Data Analytics Training Workshop

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@iLabAfrica Research Centre and DataScience Ltd conducted a Data Analytics training on 11th to 12th August, 2016 at Strathmore University. The training attracted interest from a myriad of domains within both business and public sectors and in total featured 31 participants.

Participants were taken through 8 areas in total covered in 5 sessions within the 2 days.  The areas included:

  1. Introduction to the concept of data and the legal framework around data use and sharing complete with case studies of data use in business and public policy to provide insight that inform decisions for better planning
  2. Best practices in data research, various data sources and how to manage data for better analytics
  3. Data Exploration explaining the transition from MS Excel To R
  4. Introduction to Data Visualization and Information Design
  5. Data Visualization using Microsoft’s Power BI
  6. Data Visualization using Datascience’s ChartsData Visualization using Qlik, a modern Data Analytical Tool

The last session was a talk by Mr. Guruprem and Ms. Ivy from Virtual Works Africa who gave a presentation on data analytics use cases in various sectors both in Kenya and globally using Qlik Data Analytics Tools.

The closing and certificate award ceremony was officiated by Dr. Joseph  Sevilla, the Director of @iLabAfrica Research Centre.

For more details about the Data Analytics Training and the next training dates, please click here.

Social Media Week(SMWi): The Event That Was..

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The theme of the SMWiNairobi event was harnessing the power of Technology & Social Media to transform business, culture and lives. It was definitely addressed and emphasised as various individuals inspired their audience in the Master Classes, Workshops and/or Youth Forums that they were presenting in with wise words and practical examples which can be applied by anyone anytime. 2D Game Content Development, Digital Content Development, Emerging Digital Marketing Tools, How to Grow your Brand Online, Digital Storytelling were all addressed on the first day. The youth forum was done by Jane Mukami (@fitkenyangirl) about how she capitalized on her social media following to make her business a success.

The SMWiNairobi attendees in @iLabAfrica were in for a treat on Wednesday. A Master Class session in the morning was a presentation from Hill + Knowlton about the importance of engaging with the audience in social media rather than just communicating with them. The speaker emphasised also gave real-life relevant case studies of companies such as Coca Cola who have embraced digital storytelling as part of their social media strategies. Other sessions for the day were: a Digital Marketing class by Livity Africa, a presentation on Maximizing the potential of Social Media for SMEs by the Hootsuite Ambassador for EMEA, Kenya, and an afternoon Master Class by Cellulant and Shift Culture.

The CEO of Cellulant shared his vision for his company and the belief he had for the next generation of entrepreneurs. Meltwater, South Africa wrapped up the day with their presentation on how companies like them can help you master the art of implementing a digital strategy by using media intelligence to inform strategy, connect with your audience and measure success. As you might guess there was a lot of networking and engagement.

The following day also had its share of informative and inspiring presentations as well. An eye-opening presentation on IoT (Internet of Things) by one of our own IoT experts, Peter Nyambura, gave the audience a glimpse of what to expect from digital transformation. Aga Khan University, Sochin Ltd and Nendo teamed up to give an exciting presentation dubbed ‘Siasa & Social Media – Where the Internet, Influence and Information Collide.’ They dug deep into the research they had conducted on Politics and how it is influenced by social media. Kangai Mwiti – famous for her Makeup tips, Tricks and Tutorials on Youtube – in her presentation emphasised on the urgency of using Video in social media marketing as it has a more impactful and emotional effect to the viewer. She also touched on personal branding, discipline and consistency when leveraging on social media platforms to drive your business. Optiven CEO, George Wachiuri was also present, and motivated his audience on embracing entrepreneurship in this digital age.

On the final day we were graced with Bright Gameli, a renowned Cyber Security expert. He wowed his audience with his cool skills and emphasised the importance of being secure and safe when online. Cellulant CEO was also present in another session where he challenged his audience to be innovative and come up with the next ideas that will not only shake up Kenya, but the Africa Region as well. Following his inspiring presentation was one by Centonomy on personal financial management. Center for Intellectual Property and Information Technology Law (CIPIT) helped the audience understand Copyrights, Trademarks, Patents and Utility Models.

Statistics show that Kenyans are very active on social media platforms: 5.6+ million on Facebook, 3+ million on Youtube, 2.2 million on Twitter, 1.4 million on LinkedIn, 780K on Instagram – and this is just via mobile phone. These numbers can only increase hence the importance of being strategic in order to maximize the potential of social media in transforming businesses, cultures and lives. The SMWiNairobi definitely lived up to the hype!

The WILD App: Helping Conserve our Wild Animals

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On Friday, 23rd September 2016, in partnership with USAID, @iLabAfica, Strathmore University launched the Wildlife Information and Landscape Database (WILD) App that will strengthen existing wildlife anti-poaching and human wildlife conflict (HWC) deterrent efforts. the U.S. The mobile phone data collection application and cloud-based database is designed to improve collection, sharing, management and analysis of biodiversity information and data of endangered wildlife i.e Elephants and Rhinos in East Africa which are facing extinction due to the increased poaching activities.

In January 2014, in response to President Obama’s Executive Order onCombating Wildlife Trafficking, USAID’s Planning for Resilience in East Africa through Policy, Adaptation, Research, and Economic Development (PREPARED) Project established a partnership with key governmental, non-governmental conservation organization and private sector stakeholders in Kenya and Tanzania to discuss how Information and Communications Technology could be used to improve the fight against poaching in East Africa. The goal was to develop innovative tools that help prevent poaching and HWC, and improve monitoring, coordination, and analysis of anti-poaching and HWC deterrent efforts.

Brad Arsenault, Deputy Office Chief for Environment at USAID’s Kenya and East Africa Mission, explained that “Protecting wildlife from poaching and illegal trafficking helps to secure our global heritage and fight against sophisticated criminal networks that lead to insecurity.”

The WILD application tracks a patrol unit’s movement using global-positioning software (GPS) using the smart-phone. While on patrol, game scouts can record information on incidences that occur, such as poaching, animal mortality, human wildlife conflict, illegal human activity, community service, wildlife sightings, climate data and others.

The information captured in WILD is stored in a secure online database that allows administrators to access and analyze information collected by their scouts, and use this information to support evidence-based management decisions, such as re-organizing patrol routes to cover areas with higher incidents of poaching or HWC. WILD can also be used to track the progress and outcomes of counter wildlife trafficking legal cases that the organization is supporting.

Administrators can view reported incidences geo-spatially by patrol unit, time period or incident type. Administers can link related incidences that occur over a longer time period; for example, linking a crop-raiding incident with a retaliatory killing that may have happened several days later.

WILD can be downloaded on Android-based smart phones via the Google Play Store and has offline capacity to ensure functionality when there is no or limited network access.  Watch how the app works.

Story was first published on PREPARED Facebook Page