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“DIGITAL DOORWAYS” TRANSPORTED TO KARAMOJA, JANUARY 2010. THE INNOVATION WILL EMPOWER COMMUNITIES THAT NOW HAVE INADEQUATE ACCESS TO INFORMATION.
UNICEF Uganda is engaged in a countrywide drive to bring access to information to every village. One solution the office is currently prototyping is a rugged computer casing built from locally available -- and dirt cheap -- oil drums, which will then be fitted with screens (currently, laptop screens), keyboards, cameras and speakers, to become, effectively, community communication hubs. The team is exploring solutions for remote internet connectivity, with the units built to run on solar power. This first prototype was built in just three days, by a team of mechanics at an auto repair shop on the outskirts of Kampala -- the oil-drum concept, an original idea by UNICEF Uganda IT Chief Khalid Arbab -- with design and construction by UNICEF Fellow JeanMarc Lefebure, and guidance provided by
THE UNICEF UGANDA TECHNOLOGY FOR DEVELOPMENT TEAM ASSISTS TO SET UP A “DIGITAL DOORWAY” UNIT IN KARAMOJA, IN NORTHEASTERN UGANDA.
Institute. The challenge was to build something that will protect computer systems deployed in remote village locations, capable of being quickly constructed using locally available materials and tools, and local manufacturing know-how, all the while fueling local job creation in manufacturing, installation and maintenance.
A CHILD IS ASSISTED TO TRY OUT THE NEW “DIGITAL DOORWAY” IN KARAMOJA. SOON CHILDREN WILL BE ABLE
TO ACCESS LESSONS AND LEARNING MATERIALS VIA THE
UNICEF IS WORKING TO ENSURE THAT EVERY VILLAGE GETS A “DIGITAL DOORWAY” TO ENABLE INDIVIDUALS AND THE COMMUNITY TO ACCESS INFORMATION.
While still in the prototype stage, the initiative builds on three years of work by the Innovations Team of UNICEF New York, and is also informed by the experience of the Meraka Institute (at the Center for Scientific and Industrial Relations) which built the rugged computer kiosks now known as "Digital Doorways."