As of November 2018, SOS Children’s Villages South Africa (SOS CV) is piloting the use of ICT4D (Information Communication Technology for Development) at two of its Family Strengthening Programmes in the country. SOS CV has 11 programmes across South Africa, providing homes, families and support to over 5, 000 children and young people.
The community based Family Strengthening Programmes provide support to families caring for orphans and vulnerable children, with the aim of keeping these children in their families and communities of origin.
ICT4D is a key element for social, economic and political development especially in developing nations. It is a tool to bridge the digital divide, to tackle social ills through technology, and making information readily accessible to a wider network of communities including those who were previously excluded from technology access.
These mobile devices are internet supported and will provide the co-workers access to their e-mails, enabling them to have uninterrupted communications with colleagues. The ITC South Africa personnel will be able to manage the devices remotely, install updates and any other required software.
“This technology will ensure that we are in touch with people on the ground, this is innovation and progress,” says Dumingu Vikunga, who heads up ICT at SOS Children’s Villages South Africa.
This effort underscores the organisation’s commitment to Simplify SOS by creating a simpler, agile and more digital organisation.
The cost implication of implementing such technology is often prohibitive for many NGOs in Africa, but SOS South Africa, which is financially self-sufficient, has the support of local donors for funding these devices and the hardware.
This technology will allow improved efficiencies, cost cutting, and will enable the instant transmission and sharing of critical data.
“This is a great example of streamlining our operations, so that we can focus on what is important: the children. A simple intervention like this will free up significant time and resources, allowing us to reach more children more efficiently,” concludes Stephen Miller, National Director at SOS Children’s Villages South Africa.
Success and learnings from this pilot will be used to inform the decision to implement this country wide at other SOS Children’s Villages in South Africa.