I wanted to let all of you know about an amazing initiative that Smart Solutions is hosting and why you should get involved and participate.
Have you ever heard of Build-A-Change? Well let me tell you all about it!
Why was Build-A-Change created?
This event came from the realization that students who want to make an impact often find it difficult to contribute to problems in the developing world. A lot of students who are passionate about different aspects of development have lots of cool ideas but how can they channel that into reality? Nelson Mandela said a powerful quote that “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” So how can we use the skills we’ve learned in school and experiences that we’ve gained throughout our lives to help make a difference right now? *Light-bulb* Why not create a forum where students can use their creative ideas and educational experience to make a difference and solve a real issue? Basically, give students experience in being part of the execution of a development project.
Okay sounds interesting but how do we make this into a reality? How are we going to connect students with the beneficiaries at the ground level?
1) This year Build-A-Change has partnered with a development agency named the Aga Khan University Nairobi (AKU) and their Integrated Primary Health Care Start-up program which is in partnership with the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF). As an institution (AKU) has worked in its area for more than 27 years and understands the difficulties and challenges that people face at the ground level.
2) The Aga Khan University Nairobi has identified 2 problems in Kenya that they need students help solving.
We challenge you to help us develop a model for continuous health professional training that is high-quality, sustainable, cost-effective, and locally-driven. Currently, health care professionals in rural East African communities undergo training sessions lasting 1-5 days. These training sessions tend to be inconsistent and expensive to hold. Our hypothesis is that training professionals through coaching or mentorship is more effective than the current approach of organizing training sessions. Use of modern technology such as telemedicine and mobile technology may be considered.
Traditional approaches to understanding the situation, demands, and needs of a rural community using focus group discussions and interview sessions have many limitations and may not be the most effective method to identify the perceptions of communities. Our hypothesis is that market development strategies and consumer insight approaches used in the corporate sector may be adapted to assist NGOs to understand the needs of a community before designing suitable interventions.
Read the full problem statement: here
Like any problem these are multidisciplinary and requires different angles and perspectives to look at it- this is where you come in.
What can YOU do?
At Build-A-Change 2012, students will form teams and pitch their creative solutions to real problems faced in the developing world. We have the ability to make a difference, so why not act now?
All you need to do is:
1) Register as a team or individual
2) Chose a problem to tackle
3) You’ll have the opportunity to connect with our expert from Nairobi who will answer questions you may have about the context of the problem.
4) Attend Build-A-Change Symposium on March 18th,
5) Develop and pitch your creative solution
- Interested in the evolution of mobile health? Our Keynote Speaker is: Peter Breitenbach, Manager of Business Development for Mobile Health Technology, Vodafone (Africa). Super AWESOME!
- The Winning team will be able to pitch their idea over Skype to the AKU team in Nairobi
If that wasn’t catchy enough check out our promo video:
I encourage all of you to Register today