Framework: Context Analysis of Technologies in Social Change Projects
Context analysis helps you to understand the elements of an environment and a group of potential users so that you can design a better technology project. It should involve key stakeholders, including implementing partners, donors, local and national authorities, and community members. We suggest five key lines of inquiry that context analyses should consider: People: Levels of education and literacy, information habits and needs, access to disposable income for equipment, electrical power to charge devices, and airtime and data to run them, and network access; Community: How membership of specific groups may affect access to technology and communications habits. For example, a nomadic clan may have attributable characteristics shared by its members, and variations in levels of access and freedom within the clan differentiated by gender and age. Market environment: An understanding of the key players, legal and regulatory issues, the mobile market, including both cost and distribution of agent networks, and the infrastructure, including commercial mobile infrastructure such as the availability of short-codes and APIs are all critical to making good design decisions. Political environment: understanding governance and control of, and access to, communications infrastructure by government and other actors Implementing organization: Many interventions have failed because staff were not able to maintain technology, because power or access to internet were not strong enough, because staff capacity was low or went away, or because the intervention was not supported by a broader culture of innovation and adaptive learning.