With support from the Google Impact Challenge, The Assistive Technology Information Mapping (AT-Info-Map) Project partners – SAFOD, Dimagi, AfriNEAD and University of Washington – have embarked on an ambitious endeavor that aims to map the availability of Assistive Technologies (AT) in ten countries in southern Africa over 3 years.
Gathering information on the availability and location of AT will serve to improve the link between supply with demand, and ultimately increase access to AT for people with disabilities in southern Africa. The project was officially launched on 19th April 2016, in Gaborone, Botswana.
Now after about nine months of undertaking a scoping exercise which involved a series of consultation meetings with various stakeholders, including suppliers and front-line workers, the version 1 (V1) of the long-awaited mobile application has now been released. Consultations and modification are still being made to the App in readiness of the V2 expected to be released sometime in February 2017.
Our technology partner, Dimagi, has developed the technology system (CommCare) that is being used in this project to collect and provide information about AT availability. CommCare is open source, is designed for use in low-resource settings and is a flexible system that can be easily modified to meet the needs of different users.
With regards to the At-Info-Map App, we, therefore, show you step by step how one can download CommCare on their Android phone before they can view or use the features for V1.
Remember that this is only the first version of the system and does not currently have any real data. Further modifications will be made to this system and real information will be entered over the next several months.
Here are the steps:
Having explained how to download and install the App, we now unpack the current version of the App, explaining some of the key features and/or how the App works, as follows:
- Currently under construction, the V1 has been built with the CommCare technology system to enable both suppliers and demand-side stakeholders perform multiple tasks.
- AT suppliers are able to enter products that they offer (such as hearing aids, Braille, wheelchairs, walking frames, etc) and demand-side users can then search to find the AT product they need.
- When the user clicks on the start screen, they are taken to a section that lists down a total of 22 categories of ATs, from which they can choose/click the category they want to access.
- Under each category, there is a list of suppliers, with information related to the distance one can travel to reach each supplier from their current location (GPS-enabled).
- Upon clicking on any of the listed suppliers, users are provided with basic information of the supplier, such as name, address, location, phone number, information about the ATs they provide, and their website.
- Suppliers can enter or update their own data into the system by clicking on the “supplier information” which takes them to a form where they could punch in information such as name of the company, company’s address, category of ATs they provide, detailed description of ATs or company, website, contact phone number, and number of products.