A Challenge to Create Mobile Solutions In South Africa

Claire Sale's picture

Vodacom Challenge LogoVodacom is hosting three challenges to support people who are using mobile technology to solve problems dealing with education, health, or community information that are deployable in South Africa. Their hope is to find projects that can demonstrate value for users, ease of use and deployment, scalablability, sustainability, and innovation. The winning teams will receive R20,000 ($2,646) and the winner with the most promise will receive an additional R20,000.

Below is a short description of each of the challenges. All entries are due by May 31, so be sure to click through and apply if you think you've got the solution!

Education and Training Challenge

This Education and Training Challenge is to to create a mobile solution that can be delivered via mobile, that will show youngsters that mathematics and science have practical, real world applications and/or show how mathematics and science are exciting subjects. There are many examples of how this is done in the TV world, with series like "Mythbusters", "How stuff works", "Tomorrow's World" and "Extreme Engineering". How would you translate this to the mobile world? One example could be a game in which a learner would need to employ mathematics and/or science in order to progress to new levels/challenges, but there are sure to be many other innovative approaches.

>> Learn more and submit an entry for the Education and Training Challenge

Health Challenge

This Challenge is to create a solution that addresses either of these two main problems:

  • Develop a mobile phone system that can have a measurable affect on reducing high-risk sexual behavior. This could be a game, location-based-service, quiz, text-chat or other mobile communication technology that plausibly could bring about behavior change in users. There could be incentives (e.g. a prize for an individual or a party for the community that makes best uses of the system).
  • Develop a mobile phone system that can have a measurable affect on increasing adherence to ARVs. Failing to adhere to drug regimens can be due to various reasons, including: failing to remember to take the drug at the right time; having unpleasant side-effects and preferring to stop the medication at least during the period of discomfort; not understanding the importance of continuing medication after symptoms have disappeared; general feelings of despair and hopelessness leading to inaction; stigma leading to the patient not wanting to be seen taking the medicine; vomiting up the pill (often due to having an empty stomach); confusion on which pill to take when with complicated regimens; or not having supplies of the drug to take for various reasons. The mobile phone system suggested should address as many of these (and other) factors as possible.

>> Learn more and submit an entry for the Health Challenge

Community Information Challenge

Many people in local communities have mobile phones and use them for voice and text. However, the use of mobile Internet is growing fast and can be used to enhance local communities. The mobile Internet can be used to share many types of information around the globe but there is often difficulty in finding local and relevant information. The Community Information Challenge is looking for innovative and fresh ideas on how local and relevant information can be accessed and shared with the local community.

>> Learn more and submit an entry to the Community Information Challenge