ZuZu and ZaZa fly to the DRC!
I think that what would be helpful is to have these discussions with a group of street educators and a group of street youth. It would be interesting to have both perspectives. You would, of course, need to localise the language of these questions and I’m sure you could write a better set. Here are some starting points…
- Do street children/youth have mobile phones or access to them?
- If so, are mobiles being used by the project to reach street connected children/youth? If so – in what way?
- What information do you think could be sent to street connected children that would be helpful?
- Do you think that mobile phones could be used by individuals or groups of children to get anonymous feedback/reporting from them about the relevance and quality of services provided by the project?
- Do you think mobiles and SMS could be used to provide information to street connected children/youth – to improve their health and life skills? If so, what ‘messages’ would you send and how would the children/youth be able to respond to the information if they had questions or feedback?
- What would be the costs of this? Would it be worth trying?
- What, if any do you think would be the risks?
Street connected children/youth
- Do you or your friends have mobile phones?
- How do you use them?
- Do project workers phone you or send messages? If so what messages are they sending you and why?
- Who pays for this communication?
- If the project was able to send you information – what information would you find helpful (e.g. about health or life skills – but do not prompt unless necessary)
- If the project sent you some questions to answer on the mobile, as long as you did not have to pay to send answers – would you do this if so – why and if not – why not?
- Do you have any other ideas about ways in which the project could use the mobile phone to reach you in a way that would be useful to you?
If there is no time for this then don’t feel under pressure. If it were me I would set aside a couple of hours for each of the two discussions – keeping them informal. If there is time then what would also be fantastic would be some photos of the discussions and of children using phones ‘one the street’ as it were – again ensuring consent and confidentiality where needed. Recording the discussions would be great as the info then becomes ‘data’ but maybe a step too far.
If we were able to get some good information then what I would suggest is that as an outcome of this – we put a proposal together to do a pilot and find a funder (Comic Relief?) under their ‘research’ grant initiative (up to 25K) or ‘indigo’ (up to 10K) if we can keep the budget low. I would be happy to help put together the proposal, to provide some technical support on the health and life skills side and facilitate some help on the technical side but I would not imagine you would need me in country (which is so expensive anyway!). I am not an expert on the tech side but after years of developing these ideas I have some ideas and good contacts and we have figured out some ways that this type of project could work. We could also get the research clustered within the CSC’s research associate group under Sarah TdeB who leads this group and who could keep an eye on the design and ensure a participatory and developmental design. She is very interested in this whole area and has already invited me to put together a proposal for consideration… wouldn’t this be FAB!
Keep safe and I’m here if you want to to-and-fro on any of this from DRC.