Intel® She Will Connect Awareness Mobile App [Android]

Lee LaTour
Posted November 2, 2015 from United States

The Intel® She Will Connect Awareness is the perfect app for women to learn how to use mobile devices, PCs, and the Internet safely. This app aims to promote gender equality through awareness, basic education, and sharing inspirational stories of women who have benefited greatly by connecting to the Internet.

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Hummingbird
Nov 05, 2015
Nov 05, 2015

Thank you so much dear Lee for sharing this great source with us. I found the app in android apps and can't wait to check it out.

Thank you again sister.

Carolyn Seaman
Nov 08, 2015
Nov 08, 2015

Dear Lee,

Thank you for sharing this! I am so excited and eager to see what great resource Intel and World Pulse has been able to make of all the input that went into the Project. This already sounds like a great resource for African Women and would durely support our efforts at strengthening digital literacy in Africa. I was so anxious that I rushed to my Ipad and was almost getting franctic for no reason. Then, I realised that I should be looking for an android app. I have found it on my phone and I am installing it now. A big welldone to your team for this great resource!

Warm regards,

Nilima Raut
Nov 14, 2015
Nov 14, 2015

WOW! Lee, I am so glad to know about it and can't wait to explore this app. I will share my experience with the app. Thanks again !

Terry Shiundu
Nov 17, 2015
Nov 17, 2015

Hi Lee,

This sounds great. Will check it out!

Thanks.

Nilima Raut
Dec 02, 2015
Dec 02, 2015

So i tried this app and found some of the questions arising within the app

- first, a women who can not download or know how to even turn on the computer would barely know how to first download and install this application. 

- second, there are basic things that this app which the user might already have known about it or else he/she would not download this app.

- and last, this app teaches the importance of using the internet and how we can benifit from this which is really important. Is this app really build to be used by those who are new users of internet and android phone or is it to spread the message? Confusing. I like it's overall concept though.

Tenzing
Dec 02, 2015
Dec 02, 2015

Hi Nilima,

My name is Tenzing and I recently started working at World Pulse and am replacing Lee as Project Manager for the Women and the Web Alliance Project.  Lee finished her year with her fellowship here which gave me the opportunity to step into this new role.  Anyways I appreciate the feedback about the app and although have not used it myself yet, will be interested in investigating how it works.  These are quite good points you are making and helpful for me to know as well and our team.

Peace,

Tenzing

Nilima Raut
Dec 08, 2015
Dec 08, 2015

A BIG Welcome to you Tenzing. 

Carolyn Seaman
Dec 05, 2015
Dec 05, 2015

Hi Nilima,

You have highlighted some key points and I am glad that Tenzing and the World Pulse team would consider the issues you have raised.

I believe that there are a number of excellent resources, like the 'Intel She Will Connect' app and they are just lying there with very few people aware of its existence and taking advantage of same. While, I don't really have an immediate solution to that, I would suggest that the World Pulse team promotes the app the same way other campaigns have received global attention. This way, World Pulse members can share the app widely too and even use it as a training tool (I guess this also answers your last question). After exploring the app, my immediate thought was to adapt it as a foundational training tool to teach girls' and women how to use the computer or smart phone to download and use the application. This would definitely help to boost digital literacy for girls' and women in my community. Do you think that this would be a helpful training tool in your community as well?

Warm regards,

Nilima Raut
Dec 08, 2015
Dec 08, 2015

Yes Carolyn, this app is best to be used as training tool rather than for the new users of computer and android phones. One thing that I would love to see World Pulse App for the girls / women education. I hope this happens soon.

Carolyn Seaman
Dec 11, 2015
Dec 11, 2015

Right! Nilima. The app already serves as a great training tool, particularly for us here in Africa. 

Let me just add that the app was developed from an interactive process that engaged some World Pulse members from Nigeria and Kenya who conducted in-person surveys with young women 18-35years in our communities.

So, this is probably why the app may be best useful as training tool for us in Africa. However, i hope that it also finds some relevance to young women in other developing countries to build women's digital literacy.

I am also looking forward to a World Pulse mobile app that would improve our networking and feedback process using our mobile phones and iPad or tablets. This would greatly minimize the need to alwasy sit at a computer to network and feedback effectively on World Pulse. I also hope this happens soon.

Warm regards,

Marne
Jan 08, 2016
Jan 08, 2016

Hi Carolyn, 

I did want to make one clarification about the Intel She Will Connect Program - there are several components to it including face to face training, mobile apps, and the learning platform.  The Intel She Will Connect - My Digital Journey is the online learning platform that was developed from the interactive process you mention - surveying and interviewing more than a thousand women in the region.  My Digital Journey is a web based learning platform that can be accessed on PCs, laptops, and larger tablets, but has not been optimized for the phone.  Some of our users in Nigeria and Kenya have navigated through the platform using phones, but it is not yet supported.  

As you can see in the mobile app we do use the same data from the Women and the Web report that we based My Digital Journey on - and we use the characters from the learning platform in the mobile application.  We used some of the information we collected in interviews and surveys to inform the design of the mobile application - but I do want to emphasize they are 2 different platforms.  One allows you to download an app and work through it off line and the other requires you be connected and on a larger device.  

If you go through the entire Intel She Will Connect mobile app, you will see a link to learn more at the end.  This link will bring you to an Intel website on the program and from there you can navigate to My Digital Journey.  

Regards,

Marne 

Carolyn Seaman
Jan 19, 2016
Jan 19, 2016

Hi Marne,

Hope you are doing great? Apologies for my late reply, I have been in some rural communities working on a documentary and my access to the internet was not effective to keep me in the loop on a number of things.

Thank you for the clarification. I did participate in the survey from Nigeria and I have since gone through the entire sections on the mobile app. And I thought it was a great initiative; I even find it a useful tool to guide girls and young women on using the internet.

I commend this initiative and look forward to more creative initiatives we would develop to improve the digital literacy of women around the world.

In partnership,

Marne
Jan 08, 2016
Jan 08, 2016

Hi Nilima, 

Thank you for your feedback on the mobile application.  It was intended to serve several purposes, first to provide young women in Sub-Saharan Africa some data and create awareness on the internet gender gap, second to provide some stories from women who have connected to the internet and improved their lives, third to provide some basic digital literacy training.  What we found in our research is many women had feature phones that could access the internet and even smart phones - but they were using them for voice and texting only, some were using them for FB and other social media apps.  Their exposure to technology is through their phone only - and they did not have the awareness of the value of the internet.  So even though they didn't know how to turn on a computer, they knew how to use some features of their phone.  We want to teach women to use more features, to connect to the internet on multiple platforms- research from the Women and the Web report showed the more platforms women use to connect the more they are using the internet for education, work, and shopping.   

Intel She Will Connect is a program that was launched in Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa to close the internet gender gap through awareness and digital literacy training to connect women to opportunity.  Working with partners on the ground, this application is shared with young women through facilitated courses, they are also taught by peers and mentors how to download the app.  Sharing our mobile application in this group is also very helpful for feedback as well as a way to connect with women in the region so they can share the application with others.  

Regards,

Marne

Nilima Raut
Jan 09, 2016
Jan 09, 2016

Thank you Marne for your reply and details on the features of the app. My commets on the apps comes from what i have experienced here in Nepal. I have no single doubt that once the app is introduced to someone, he or she can learn things that you have mentioned above. I still think that to introduce this app to someone who has barely used features of mobile, needs may be one to one communication, or a person to teach them or peers to teach them like you mentioned. So my point is, the mobile apps are used to reach many people at the same time without mobilizing many human resources in the ground, so that the effectiveness of the app increases in many levels. If we need to mobilize people to just introduce this apps to the target group, then it takes the same lenghty process like teaching them actually a basics of digital techniques. This is my concern. I hope you got my point. Did i explain my seld clear? And i am raising these concerns because we are also using MHealth to reach youth and women in Nepal to create awareness. So obviously, my questions/queries are to make my self more aware about how we can provide maximum benifit of mobile media to our target group. Hearing from you on this  is a learning opportunity for me as well.

Thank you.

Marne
Jan 10, 2016
Jan 10, 2016

Hi Nilima,  Thank you for continuing this discussion.  Your insight is very helpful.  I want to make sure I understand you.  Let me start with this part of your response:  "So my point is, the mobile apps are used to reach many people at the same time without mobilizing many human resources in the ground, so that the effectiveness of the app increases in many levels. If we need to mobilize people to just introduce this apps to the target group, then it takes the same lengthy process like teaching them actually a basics of digital techniques."

Often we do need to mobilize people on the ground to introduce mobile apps but sometimes that mobilization is not as difficult as you think.  There are some examples in the environment today where demand drives the need for individuals to pass on knowledge to their families and friends and colleagues.  The mobile app I am referring to is Whatsapp.  As of September 2015 there are over 900 million monthly active users.  While the Intel She Will Connect mobile app cannot be compared from a content and features perspective to Whatsapp we can draw some connections about the adoption or use of apps in places where users have little to no experience with apps.  

My experience in the digital empowerment space comes from working with homeless women.  In this community women are isolated from information about many things, from government services to healthcare and education.  Lack of information or awareness is a huge barrier to their success as participants in society as wage earners, parents, having a home, etc.  Part of the Intel She Will Connect Program is about raising awareness around the Internet and technology.  How we do that is not only through our own local resources on the ground but also our partners with non-profit organizations both local and global.  In order to maximize benefits to those we are trying to reach/serve we need to have several ways to connect.  Our target demographic is 15-35, young women who have access to a feature phone can connect to the internet in Sub-Saharan Africa, (what we call the emerging middle class).  As you can imagine there will be young women who are savvy with technology and those who are not at all.  We need to be able to reach those on either end of the skill spectrum and all in between.  Our mobile app does not have a single focus or purpose by design, we need to be able to reach women who are not aware, those who have some awareness, those who have a lot of awareness but don't know everything the Internet can provide.  At the same time we have to be able to reach women of different skill levels. 

As I reflected on your message last night, I thought about the first time I purchased a cell phone that had access to the internet.  It was my first device that also allowed texting which I really wanted to do, it is why I purchased the device.  I did not know how to use the device when I left the store, I had to play with it (no one reads instructions anymore) to figure it out.  The key to this short story is I wanted this device for a reason - I wanted to be able to text.  I wanted to be able to communicate differently, this demand drove my purchase decision.  I had this phone for over a year before I ever tried to use the Internet feature - this was really early on and it was not easy to navigate (2001).  I preferred a larger device.  Many women do not have the luxury.  

I have learned that telling stories and creating awareness is extremely important. Being able to connect with a woman and show her the value of technology, the Internet, or access to information (mHealth) is critical.  When a woman connects to the value, really relates to how she, her family, and community can benefit from technology/Internet she shares her experience.  Creating champions for generating awareness is how we scale.  Understanding how information and knowledge is shared before technology is important as well.  In Nigeria for example young women join small groups or clubs and they meet monthly, these small groups are sometimes as large as 400 women and participants are members of these groups for life.  There is a lot of information shared about business in these groups.  It is a great place to raise awareness about how technology can help with member management, dues, etc - as today all of their tracking is done on paper.  It is also a great place to talk to young women about other tools - apps, websites, blogs, online safety, etc.  

I do think I understand your point about the challenges of using mobile apps and the lengthy process of training the basics of digital techniques.  (I have additional thoughts on training - it doesn't have to be lengthy, it does need to be supportive) My long winded point is - we can use many methods to reach women.  Face to face, mobile apps, creating champions.  One thing we are also exploring is first time buyer programs and having navigation apps installed on the device at purchase - so the seller can show an app to the buyer.  I think there are many ways to tackle this challenge.  Looking forward to more discussions in this group to generate ideas and address concerns.

Regards,

Marne 

Nilima Raut
Jan 16, 2016
Jan 16, 2016

Thank you Marne for addressing my queries. Thank you for giving examples of ways to reach more women to introduce technology. It was really helpful.

I  hope to read more post from on technology and women empowerment i our technology and innovation group.

Thanks a lot.

Adanna
Jan 13, 2016
Jan 13, 2016

Nice one!. This will help many women especially those who want to learn from the comfort of their home.