Grassroots Support Organizations and Capacity-Building in M4D: A Case Study of the Jokko Initiative in Senegal

Posted by LindsayEllen on Sep 30, 2011
Grassroots Support Organizations and Capacity-Building in M4D: A Case Study of the Jokko Initiative in Senegal data sheet 1105 Views
Lindsay E. Powell
Publication Date: 
May 2011
Publication Type: 

Fueled by renewed enthusiasm about the potential of new information and communication technologies (ICTs) for development, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are implementing ambitious projects with mobile technology components in the developing world in a phenomenon commonly referred to as “Mobiles-for-development” or “M4D.”


A participatory approach that responds to the needs and realities of local communities is widely recognized as a necessary component of a successful M4D intervention. However, project failure-especially in sub-Saharan Africa- remains the norm, pointing towards the need for more thorough enumeration of best practices and more rigorous impact evaluation on the part of field-based practitioners. This thesis calls for greater attention to be given to the role of human capacity, which is a precondition for participation in M4D interventions but which also tends to be deficient in rural, poor communities. A greater focus on capacity would entail both assessing capacity- in terms of physical resources and human capabilities- at the local level and including capacity-building in project activities when necessary.


This study employs the human development and capabilities approach and the case study and participant observation methods to examine the efforts of the American NGO Tostan to integrate mobile technology into its non-formal education and empowerment program in rural Senegal. The findings of this study underscore the decisive role played by local capacity and intent and by effective, locally based intermediary organizations, conceptualized in this paper as grassroots support organizations (GSOs), that support the acquisition of the human capabilities needed to harness the empowering potential of mobile technology and other ICTs.






Cloud-Based SMS Solutions: Technology Salon

Posted by nadodi on Jun 11, 2010

We had another great Technology Salon today, this time on Cloud-based SMS applications that showcased four interesting applications -- ChildCount+, Jokko, Happy Pill, and Patatat. And, in big news of the day, Matt Berg succeeded in breaking the Tech Salon cardinal rule of no slideshow presentations (and I am making it public knowledge in case someone needs ammunition in the future).

The rapid adoption of mobile technology by end users has also resulted in a corresponding proliferation of pilot projects around the world. A number of projects discussed in this Salon have cross-over potentials not just across borders, but even across sectors. Here are some notes and links to applications, all in the interest of wider dissemination beyond the group that was at the Salon.

Charge Your Mobile Here (cc) sour_doll

Cloud-Based SMS Solutions: Technology Salon data sheet 4622 Views
Countries: United States

Literacy and Community Empowerment with Mobiles: The Jokko Initiative

Posted by LeighJaschke on Aug 06, 2009

The number of women in Tostan villages that have abandoned the practice of female genital cutting is powerful testimony of the organization's impact. The tradition is centuries old. “Since 1997, 3,792 communities in Senegal, 364 in Guinea, and 23 in Burkina Faso, as well as villages from three other African countries, have joined other women [who have participated in Tostan's basic education program] in abandoning this harmful practice,” notes the Tostan website.