Integrity Idol names and celebrates public servants

Public servants often get a bad reputation in South Africa but one organisation is working hard to change unfair perceptions

Event Blog published on Medium, click link below

Integrity Idol names and celebrates public servants


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Melissa Tsungai Zisengwe

 

Apply for these opportunities in June

Here is a shortlist of fellowships, grants, funds and other opportunities available for social innovation, NGOs, start-ups and more

The Africa Data Science Intensive

The Africa Data Science Intensive (DSI) program is a hands-on skills training data science course based on solving real-world problems.

Big Data, data science, machine learning and artificial intelligence are driving a revolution around the world as companies rush to take advantage of their data and turn it into a competitive advantage. However, there is a shortage of skilled data scientists and managers worldwide and this shortage is much worse in Africa. In this program, participants will master the data science process, from statistics and data wrangling to advanced topics like machine learning and data storytelling, by working on real projects.

Read more here

|   Deadline 31 May 2020

BOOST UP start-up support programme

Are you a startup entrepreneur eager to learn how to better pitch your business and become more investable? Is your startup using technology to make a societal impact in Southern Africa? Are you based in Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, or Zambia? Then apply for BOOST UP 2020.

BOOST UP is a three-part startup support programme organised by the Connected Hubs network and the Southern Africa Innovation Support Programme (SAIS 2) in Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, and Zambia. BOOST UP targets startups that use technology to solve a societal challenge and are looking for skills that could help them articulate their business. The BOOST UP series comprises the Set Up online training events, Stand Up pitching competitions, and Scale-Up incubation programme.

Read more here

|   Deadline 31 May 2020

Call for digital francophone African startups and SMEs

As part of this program launched by the AFD, the GCAF will select digital, francophone-based, early-stage startups and SMEs and will offer them two types of support:

  1. A free interest repayable advances for companies demonstrating a capacity for development.
  2. A venture building support, in the form of strategic, financial, technical, and operational advice and capacity building

Read more here

|   Deadline 17 June 2020

Event Blog published on Medium, click link below

Apply for these opportunities in June


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#CTIF2020: Media Page

MEDIA

CIVIC TECH INNOVATION FORUM

Every year CTIN plans to put together the only civic tech conference in the continent, the Civic Tech Innovation Forum aims to bring the civic tech community together.

The event is for all people who are interested in how new technologies could enable better services and relationships between government and citizens.

We invite the civic tech community, government and non-governmental organisations including techies, activists, current and potential civic tech users, students and the digital media community to come and join us once a year.

The annual conferences are intended to enable network members to engage face to face, learn about innovations, tools and techniques, share experiences and meet potential collaborators.

They present an opportunity to gain an overview of what is going on in the sector in South Africa, Africa and the world. They also provide an opportunity for CTIN to consult with network members to inform the design of future activities.

The Civic Tech Innovation Network had planned to host its annual Civic Tech Innovation Forum in March 2020 however due to the COVID-19 pandemic the conference was turned into several virtual events, “webinars” discussing various topics. Here are the webinar videos and articles, watch, read and share.

VIDEOS

#CTIF2020

Al Kags

Co-founder, The Open Institute

Craig Wing

Partner, FutureWorld International

CTIF

Group Discussion

#CTIF2020:
Has Civic Tech delivered on its much-hyped promise?

#CTIF2020:
COVID-19: Reshaping the norm.
.

#CTIF2020:
Strengthening the Civic Tech ecosystem in South Africa.

BLOG

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#CTIF2020: Covid-19 is changing our societal values

#CTIF2020: Social norms and people should drive civic tech

#CTIF2020: Minimise civic tech hype, maximise people, inclusion and participation

The proliferation of the Coronavirus could be an opportunity to develop new people-centred values and practices

How can we leverage and support civic tech in South Africa going forward?

Four key takeaways on whether civic tech has delivered on its “hyped-up”’ promise

#CTIF2020 goes virtual

Innovation Q&A: #CTIF2020 Keynote speaker, Al Kags

Join us on Thursday and Friday for civic tech webinars with some of the speakers for the Civic Tech Innovation Forum

One of our keynote speakers shares his thoughts on the Civic Tech community in Africa

Apply for these opportunities for August and September

Here is a list of fellowship, grants, funds, competitions and other opportunities that have been made available beginning in August.

CIPESA Forum on Internet Freedom Call for Proposals

The Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA) and Paradigm Initiative (PIN) are pleased to announce the 2020 edition of the Forum on Internet Freedom in Africa (FIFAfrica20) and to invite session proposals. This landmark event convenes a spectrum of stakeholders from across the internet governance and digital rights arenas in Africa and beyond to deliberate on gaps, concerns and opportunities for advancing privacy, free expression, non-discrimination and the free flow of information online. In light of the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic, FIFAfrica20 will adopt a hybrid approach which blends online and physical interactions.

Read More

For those who want to be part of the Forum on Internet Freedom in Africa 2020 (#FIFAfrica20)submit your ideas for sessions that support #InternetFreedomAfrica

|   Deadline: 21 August 2020

Digital Accelerator for Tech & Innovation Start-ups originating from townships

Akro is a company dedicated to helping entrepreneurs turn ideas into businesses. The accelerator programme aims to get companies investment-ready and funded within five months of starting the programme. This is who can apply for this programme:

  • Businesses founded by South African passport holders.
  • Businesses that are at least 51% black-owned.
  • Businesses that were Either founded in a township, operating in a township or founders were born in a township.

Read More

|   Deadline: 21 August 2020

Hillary Rodham Clinton Scholarship Programme 2021 for International Masters Students

The Hillary Rodham Clinton Global Challenges Programme, supported by Sky, aims to facilitate international cooperation to address urgent national and transnational challenges. This graduate scholarship seeks to develop the next generation of outstanding, forward-looking, real-world focused leaders in legal scholarship, activism and practice.

The scholars will follow a one-year (12 months) Master of Arts degree in Global Challenges: Law, Policy and Practice; a degree programme that is based on experiential learning and includes a research project placement. Scholars will also benefit from a range of additional activities, including mentorship, guest speakers, visits and media training. Candidates accepted onto this master’s programme will receive a scholarship which covers the full tuition fee as well as a stipend of c.£15,000 to contribute towards their living costs.

Read More

|   Deadline: 28 August 2020

Event Blog published on Medium, click link below

Apply for these opportunities for August and September


FOLLOW AUTHOR:

Melissa Tsungai Zisengwe

 

Civic Tech for Cities World Cafe Session Newsletter

Civic Tech for Cities World Cafe Session

The South African Council for City Data (SACCD) in partnership with the Civic Tech Innovation Network (CTIN) hosted an online World Cafe to showcase South Africa’s civic tech innovation capacities to city officials. The virtual session was intended to enable South African city officials and public practitioners to engage face to face with civic tech doers and enablers/connecters, to learn about innovations, tools and techniques, to share experiences, and to meet potential collaborators.

See the civic tech initiatives profiles here

Covid-19: How Civic techies are stepping up to aid the fight in Africa

The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has seen a number of African civic tech initiatives support efforts to help citizens, governments, businesses and communities respond to the global health crisis that’s affecting every part of our lives.

Read More 

Share your civic tech case study with our community

The Civic Tech Innovation Network is welcoming any case studies that focus on civic tech-related topics. The case studies submitted here will be published and shared as widely as we can. To share your work with us all you have to do is fill out of this form. We are open to case studies from South Africa and other players in Africa in the civic tech industry

Read More

Community Report

From Global Black Youth: Harnessing Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship: A Report on What We Can Learn from Black Youth’s Responses to COVID-19

During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it is evident that within the Diaspora, the media has covered almost exclusively the disproportionate mortality rate of Black populations. Very few media platforms have mentioned the ideas, knowledge, and innovations produced by Black youth for stability and recovery. Continuing to marginalize their work and contributions is a missed opportunity that hurts not only Black communities but also the wider world.

Download the full report here

Covid-19: How Civic techies are stepping up to aid the fight in Africa

The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has seen a number of African civic tech initiatives support efforts to help citizens, governments, businesses and communities respond to the global health crisis that’s affecting every part of our lives. Civic tech has enabled government, citizens and companies to track and slow the spread of COVID-19 across different African countries.

According to the Civic Tech Innovation Network, there are at least 140 civic tech initiatives in Africa.

Civic tech during COVID-19 in Africa

Across the continent, civic tech initiatives have been actively using their innovations to respond to the pandemic — showing the potential and shortcomings of technology during a pandemic. Indeed, COVID-19 is an unprecedented opportunity to reimagine how technology can shape society. Although there are many civic tech initiatives stepping up to the fight against COVID-19, this blog post focuses on just eight initiatives. Here is how eight African civic tech initiatives are responding and helping during the COVID-19 crisis:

Amandla.mobi-South Africa

The independent, community advocacy organisation Amandla.mobi seeks to build a more just and people-powered South Africa and has been campaigning on COVID-19 related issues. With a membership of over 600,000 people, Amandla’s recent COVID-19 related campaigns include: Make schools safe before they re-openStop the late payment of social grants, families are struggling enough. Demand Minister of Social Development and Sassa CEO actCoronavirus, here’s what mobile networks should doAll these campaigns focus on daily issues that South Africans are facing.

The campaigns are run based on Amandla.mobi’s founding principle — turning every mobile phone into a democracy building tool so that no matter where South Africans live; the language they speak or issues they care about, they can take action with others.

Budgit-Nigeria

The Nigerian innovative enterprise focuses on simplifying the national budget and public data, making it accessible to the general public to aid participatory governance. Budgit in partnership with Civic Hive have been tracking COVID-19 funds and allocations through the COVIDFUND Tracka portal. It tracks COVID-19 donations given to the federal and state governments of Nigeria ranging from private and public, local and international organizations. According to Budgit the CovidFund Tracka portal enables them to monitor resources and give reports of palliatives being given to citizens. The platform lists the COVID-19 donations and it allows citizens to search through the datasheet by state, donor, name, donation details, donation type and more, currently COVIDFUND Tracka has tracked down 294 donations by private and public, local and international organizations. It follows up this effort through social media by sharing the news of donations.

Through the COVIDFUND Tracka platform, they also have a built-in COVID-19 dashboard which provides COVID-19 information such as the number of tests, confirmed cases, active cases, recovered cases and deaths.

According to Budgit’s media & communications lead, Damilola Ogundipe civic tech has to play the important role of advocating for accountability, citizen engagement, and information, monitoring government response to all citizens including persons with disabilities during COVID-19.

Code for Africa-Africa (CfA)

Code for Africa, one of the largest, if not the largest civic tech organisation in Africa has been using technology and data to build digital democracies and empower citizens with actionable information.

In response to the pandemic Code for Africa started working on multiple initiatives, including:

  • To digitise and publish local Africa-specific data and scientific research to help planners better understand which specific communities, infrastructure and/or services are most vulnerable to COVID-19, and what countermeasures might be most effective;
  • To debunk the most harmful misinformation and quackery, that has become a tsunami or ‘infodemic’ on social media and that is blunting public efforts to tackle COVID-19. The partners will do this by fact-checking misleading memes and claims, as part of a wider CfA partnership with Facebook and WhatsApp, while simultaneously amplifying the voices of credible African scientific researchers, and empowering African newsrooms and social media influencers to fight misinformation with facts and compelling storytelling;
  • This initiative aims to connect African researchers and experts to change-makers in government, the media and at development, to help improve the appropriateness and relevance of plans or interventions, as well as to bolster evidence-based public discourse.

Govchat-South Africa

Govchat, the official citizen engagement platform in South Africa. It enables the government and citizens to connect directly, at no cost. In response to the COVID-19 crisis, the initiative has deployed COVID-19 related functionalities to support the government’s efforts. The new features allow citizens to use GovChat on WhatsApp for COVID-19 screening, facility searches, and status reports.

Govchat has also been providing information, guidelines, resource tools for businesses, communities, citizens and enhancing public communication and engagement and action. The information and resources focus on how WhatsApp can help people connect with those who matter most.

Govchat COVID-19 Pre screening feature, UNATHI GovChat, was born out of a partnership with the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA). UNATHIi is a COVID-19 pre-screening and early warning digital interface.

UNATHI is an accessible ChatBot available over both WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger and assists both:

  • South Africans, in providing COVID-19 testing details and pre-screening information, and
  • The South African Government, in collating and reporting real-time citizen COVID19- related activity and symptoms.

Govchat says through UNATHIi’s easy natural language-guided questions, citizens are able to anonymously:

  • Indicate their location,
  • Report COVID-19 symptoms presenting in themselves, family or household members,
  • Find their closest public or private testing facility,
  • Report their test activity and results, and
  • Receive health tips and information.

UNATHI IS accessed through WhatsApp, people just add the number 082 046 8553 to their devices.

GovChat’s CEO Eldrid Jordaan says the platform has 3 million active users monthly.

Event Blog published on Medium, click link below

Covid-19: How Civic techies are stepping up to aid the fight in Africa


FOLLOW AUTHOR:

Melissa Tsungai Zisengwe

 

Our latest activities, upcoming activities, opportunities and resources Newsletter

CTIN latest activity: Increasing awareness on the use of civic tech to digitalise local government

We recently shared our insights on interesting initiatives that aim to link people to governance processes in inclusive ways and to share our experiences and insights on digitizing governance processes.

Read More 

Project Profile: Asivikelane, the campaign improving basic services in informal settlements

Asivikelane has one goal, to mobilize settlement residents to monitor failures in delivery of critical hygiene services and report the problems.

Read More 

Share your civic tech case study with our community

The Civic Tech Innovation Network is welcoming any case studies that focus on civic tech-related topics. The case studies submitted here will be published and shared as widely as we can. To share your work with us all you have to do is fill out of this form. We are open to case studies from South Africa and other players in Africa in the civic tech industry.

Read More

Apply for these opportunities in July

Here is a shortlist of fellowships, grants, funds and other opportunities available for social innovation, NGOs, start-ups and more.

Read More

Resource: The Definitive Guide to Starting and Scaling a Tech Nonprofit

Fast Forward has helped 50 tech nonprofits scale through our Accelerator, so we know what works. Now, you will too. The Tech Nonprofit Playbook distills best-in-class advice from the leaders whose work has transformed the social impact space. We wrote this guide with you in mind — the world needs you now more than ever.

Read More 

CTIN EVENTS

UPCOMING

Closed Virtual World Cafe:

In partnership with the South African Council for City Data (SACCD) we will be hosting a closed online World Cafe to showcase South Africa’s civic tech innovation capacities.

This webinar is intended to enable South African city officials and public practitioners to engage face to face with civic tech doers and enablers/connecters, to learn about innovations, tools and techniques, to share experiences, and to meet potential collaborators.

PAST

Black Communities Respond to COVID-19 Webinar Series

In May we assisted the Global Black Youth initiative convene and find suitable speakers for their webinar series. The webinars brought together bright minds in Technology, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship to highlight, share and discuss insights, ideas and possible solutions in response to COVID-19 from the African continent and the African Diaspora.

Watch the webinars here

SACCD Webinar: Learning from COVD-19

Also in May, we spoke at the SAACD Webinar on how have cities used data and analytics to respond in a time of crisis? This was a knowledge sharing session.

Read our write-up here

Project Profile: Asivikelane, the campaign improving basic services in informal settlements

Asivikelane has one goal, to mobilize settlement residents to monitor failures in delivery of critical hygiene services and report the problems.

FOLLOW AUTHOR:

Melissa Tsungai Zisengwe

 

CTIN latest activity: Increasing awareness on the use of civic tech to digitalise local government

We recently shared our insights on interesting initiatives that aim to link people to governance processes in inclusive ways and to share our experiences and insights on digitizing governance processes.

  • How can we include communities in the digitization process?
  • How do we determine where to start?

Slow progress: Why has it taken us so long to digitize, and what continues to keep us second guessing this process?

Geci offered that one of the reasons why digitizing local government has taken so long is because a whole range of issues have been conflated in the agenda, leading to a lot of complication which has avoided the possibility of taking baby steps — an approach which several international lessons point to, including from the experience of Cape Verde which today is a continental leader in e-government. Specifically, she explains that we have not even properly distinguished between digitisation, digitalisation and digital transformation, and have ended up pursuing varying and inadequate extents of each across our cities.

What’s missing: How can we include communities in the digitization process?

One of the major challenges with digitising local government or government in general is that the communities tend not to be included in the processes of innovating the services they have to use. Perhaps governments on any level should look at local formations who can assist with government digitalisation efforts. We need to think about the fact that there are effective practices and innovations and understandings that are already out there; it is not a blank slate and there is a lot that can be leveraged endogenously.

Starting Point: How do we determine where to start?

A city official shared some thoughts on where we can begin to digitalis local government: “Part of the big problem is that the procurement processes are not watching the right issues in local government… The procurement systems are not enabling local innovation or finding value for money, and cities do not have negotiators that can bridge the deals.”

FOLLOW AUTHOR:

Melissa Tsungai Zisengwe

 

Apply for these opportunities in July

Here is a shortlist of fellowships, grants, funds and other opportunities available for social innovation, NGOs, start-ups and more

CDD Call for Fellowship Applications

The Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) is now accepting fellowship applications for 2021–2022. CDD’s fellowship program aims to bring together people working in areas related to democracy and development from across a broad range of disciplines. CDD commits to leveraging its profile and resources in West Africa and internationally to advance CDD fellows’ research and reputation.

Read more here

|   Deadline Accepts applications on a rolling basis

Call for Innovators for the Future

As the world lives through a crisis unprecedented in recent history, Innovators for future has launched its first Global Open Call to Action for Innovators for the Future. They want your help to turn this severe global challenge into an opportunity — an opportunity to address the urgencies of the moment and the problems of our futures. This Call to Action is organized by the Futures Project as a contribution to the UN75 Global Conversation Initiative.

Read more here

|   Deadline 15 July 2020

SA-Egypt Joint Call for Proposals in Applied Research and Innovation Projects in Disruptive Technologies

South Africa’s Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) and Egypt’s Academy of Scientific Research and Technology (ASRT) hereby invite interested participants to submit applied research and innovation project proposals in the domain of Disruptive Technologies with a focus on real-world solutions in agriculture, water, renewable energy and health.

Read more here

|   Deadline 17 July 2020 by no later than 16H30 am CAT

Event Blog published on Medium, click link below

Apply for these opportunities in July


FOLLOW AUTHOR:

Melissa Tsungai Zisengwe