Inveneo Liberia Archives

Inveneo Launches New Rural Connectivity Project in Liberia with USAID

  1. Posted by Jana Melpolder on July 24, 2018 in the categories: Economic Development, Healthcare, News, Projects, Relief, Software

Inveneo, a Silicon Valley nonprofit that works to increase Internet connectivity in the developing world, is pleased to announce its newest project in partnership with USAID. Inveneo has been contracted by USAID to expand affordable, sustainable, and reliable rural Internet connections throughout Liberia, which was tragically hit with an Ebola outbreak starting in 2014. Known as Recover.IT, the new project will connect or improve 37 different sites in Liberia, many of which are in remote, rural areas. In addition, Inveneo is pleased to partner with Orange Liberia, a subsidiary of the Orange Group.

Not only will these Internet connections help facilitate the work of healthcare workers, clinics, and development organizations already working at the local level, but they will also improve the information and communication technology (ICT) capacity of Liberians and local entrepreneurs. It is estimated that connecting 37 sites with affordable, sustainable, and reliable high-speed Internet access will directly assist almost 3,000 public officials and humanitarian workers.

FJ Cava, Recover.IT’s Project Manager, explains further, saying “it’s been proven that each incremental 10% penetration of Internet into a country increases the GDP of that country by 1%. The hope is that this capacity building allows agencies like the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and the Ministry of Education to be able to better respond to possible national crises in the future.”

Recover.IT is a spinoff of the original ERCI (Ebola Response Connectivity Initiative) project that Inveneo implemented in 2015. During the Ebola epidemic emergency Inveneo partnered with Facebook, NetHope, Cisco, and others to deliver 100 Internet connections in Sierra Leone and Liberia in under five months.

The Inveneo team has gained many valuable insights from over 10 years of experience that it will apply to this new project. For example, Internet providers do not always have an accurate view of the market demand for high speed Internet, and that has prevented them from risking the capital that is necessary to be able to support the expansion of high-speed Internet. Recover.IT will be working on the ground with local contacts to overcome this challenge, as well as others, in the months ahead.

Inveneo’s Mission and Worldwide Impact

Inveneo is a 501c3 nonprofit social enterprise. Its mission is to deliver the tools of information and communications technologies (ICTs)  — sustainable computing and better access to the Internet — to those who need it most, people and organizations in rural and highly underserved communities of the developing world. Inveneo has over 10 years experience transforming lives in 31 countries through better education, healthcare, economic opportunities and faster emergency relief, impacting over 3,250,000 people in more than 1,900 communities.

Inveneo Delivers 100 New Internet Connections for Ebola Fight in West Africa

  1. Posted by Jana Melpolder on June 18, 2015 in the categories: Events

Inveneo, in partnership with Facebook, the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, Cisco, EveryLayer, and NetHope, as part of the joint Ebola Response Connectivity Initiative (ERCI), succeeded in delivering 100 new high-speed Internet connections to government and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Sierra Leone and Liberia.

End Users

Humanitarian workers working in West Africa’s healthcare sector are now able to go online thanks to Inveneo and partners from the Ebola Response Connectivity Initiative (ERCI) project.

As a result of this project, individuals working in NGO, UN, or government offices, Ebola treatment facilities, hospitals, and logistical hubs can now use high-speed broadband Internet to connect with healthcare applications, NGO headquarters, healthcare workers, and friends and family.

Inveneo delivered the milestone of 100 connections in less than five months. According to Inveneo’s Executive Director, Bruce Baikie, “The commitment and close collaboration of all partners was essential. The true stars of this project were the field teams, which included staff from Inveneo and Damsel, Inveneo’s certified partner in Sierra Leone. The field teams were just incredible, scaling rooftops and towers up to 175 feet high to install equipment underneath the blazing hot West African sun, six or more days a week in the realization that every connection counts to help save a life and create a more resilient healthcare system.”

This project establishes a sustainable infrastructure for high-speed Internet access in remote areas of Sierra Leone and Liberia, which plays a key role in preventing and/or mitigating future disease outbreaks while helping organizations respond more efficiently and effectively to community needs.

The ERCI Project Partners

Facebook
Founded in 2004, Facebook’s mission is to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected. People use Facebook to stay connected with friends and family, to discover what’s going on in the world, and to share and express what matters to them.

Paul G. Allen Family Foundation
Founded by Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Paul G. Allen and his sister Jody Allen in 1988, the Allen family’s philanthropy is dedicated to transforming lives and strengthening communities by fostering innovation, creating knowledge and promoting social progress. Since inception, the Foundation has awarded over $529 million to more than 1,500 nonprofit groups to support and advance their critical charitable endeavors in the Pacific Northwest and beyond. The Foundation’s funding programs nurture the arts, engage children in learning, address the needs of vulnerable populations, advance scientific and technological discoveries, and provide economic relief amid the downturn. For more information, visit http://www.pgafamilyfoundation.org.

Cisco
Cisco is the worldwide leader in IT that helps companies seize the opportunities of tomorrow by proving that amazing things can happen when you connect the previously unconnected. For ongoing news, please go to http://thenetwork.cisco.com.

EveryLayer
EveryLayer has developed a cloud-based software platform and new approach that allows ISPs to deliver faster, better, cheaper broadband in the emerging markets of Africa and Asia. EveryLayer’s platform simplifies how providers design, deploy and manage low cost last mile networks and provides technical and commercial blueprints so service providers can speed to market in weeks, not months, with new services that are 80% lower cost than leading broadband providers.
http://www.everylayer.com

Inveneo
Inveneo is a non-profit social enterprise that delivers the tools of technology – sustainable computing and broadband – to those who need it most in the developing world, to transform lives through better education, healthcare, economic opportunities, and faster relief. Inveneo is leveraging more than 10 years of experience of successfully introducing technology and expanding connectivity to underserved areas of Sub-Saharan Africa to implement this project.
http://www.inveneo.org

NetHope
Founded in 2001, NetHope is a consortium of 42 leading international humanitarian organizations providing emergency relief, human development and conservation programs in more than 180 countries. Through member collaboration and by facilitating public-private partnerships with major technology companies, NetHope enables members to leverage their technology investments to better serve their end beneficiaries.
http://www.nethope.org

Inveneo Welcomes a New Project Manager to the Team

  1. Posted by Jana Melpolder on December 12, 2014 in the categories: News

Inveneo is happy to welcome our newest staff member, Kelly Doley, who recently joined the team as the Project Manager. Kelly brings a wealth of knowledge to the Inveneo environment. Kelly DoleyHe previously worked as a Program Officer for USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) in South Sudan, where he served on the Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) for 8 months following the eruption of conflict in December 2013. In South Sudan, Kelly co-managed USAID/OFDA’s humanitarian assistance portfolio, supporting the relief efforts of over 20 U.N. and NGO partners.

Kelly will be working as Project Manager for the Ebola Response Connectivity Initiative (ERCI) that we recently launched this past week. Our team will be sending several engineers and contractors to Accra, Ghana for several weeks to work in partnership with technicians from Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea. Throughout the next few months we will be creating new Internet connections for medical centers located in Ebola-ridden communities. Kelly will be working with our team to manage the project and take numerous safety measures to ensure that our team and partners are safe and use best health practices to avoid Ebola contamination.

Mr. Doley will also be managing the Internet Now! and Ethiopia READ projects. We are very excited to have him on board and look forward to watching our projects grow in impact with his help and support. Welcome to our newest member, Kelly! We’re so glad you joined the team!

Key ICT Features in UNICEF’S Response to Fighting Ebola

  1. Posted by Jana Melpolder on November 6, 2014 in the categories: News

International organizations like UNICEF are no stranger to dealing with devastating medical outbreaks like the ongoing Ebola crisis happening in West Africa, which has already claimed almost 5,000 lives. To engage local supporters, UNICEF recently hosted a speaker luncheon in San Francisco to explain the powerful work they have been doing on the ground throughout Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea. The main speaker was Dr. Kerida McDonald, the UNICEF Senior Advisor for Communication for Development (C4D). A doctor who called in then followed her presentation via Skype from Accra, Ghana, to give an update on UNICEF’s work at the forefront of the crisis.

CIMG2174

Dr. Kerida McDonald (standing, right) and Regional Director Emily Brouwer (standing, left) address several attendees and board members.

How is UNICEF utilizing technology to help make an impact?

1. Understanding the Unique Media Norms of a Culture

Liberia and other West African countries have their own flavor of pop music and media preferences that may surprise some western relief organizations. For example, Liberia’s broadest form of media is radio, not television. To bring communities accurate information on Ebola and how to avoid the disease from spreading, UNICEF has been using media like radio programming, partnerships with media producers, and community cinema nights (for those who don’t have televisions). UNICEF leaders are continuously paying special attention to what individual communities need and what kind of media outlets they are already using.

mobilephone_africa22. Sending Out SMS Messages

UNICEF’s C4D response is also sent via SMS messages. Large numbers of people already use cell phones in West Africa, and to utilize this UNICEF has created a long list of a text messages available in three countries in 18 different languages. This method of communication engages whole communities because individual cell phone users will share the accurate medical information to neighbors, family members, and friends.

3. Cultural Sensitivity and the Need for More Technology

A large problem that health care workers are experiencing in Ebola-ridden communities is the cultural practice of touching bodies while funerals take place. It is common for many different populations to want to continue this practice, but for the sake of the health of family members and communities, this cannot continue. UNICEF is working hard with interfaith relief organizations as well as community leaders to find culturally sensitive solutions to this ongoing problem.

Making cultural changes are always at the grassroots level, which emphasizes the need for accurate medical information to be in the hands of aid workers so they can disseminate it to communities. Technology is essential and tablets, smartphones, or other WiFi-enabled devices need to be sent to West African communities. Inveneo is currently doing that – learn how you can help make this possible.

CIMG2137UNICEF’s C4D response is becoming increasingly more vital as those infected with Ebola continue to suffer. Regional C4D officers are on the ground working in Liberia to breakdown the walls of misconceptions, issues of denial that one can get sick, and the stigma and discrimination that Ebola victims sometimes face.

Many thanks to Ian Rosenfield, the U.S. Fund for UNICEF Northwest Board Chair, Emily Brouwer, Regional Director, Linda Naugle, Director, and the entire Northwest staff who hosted the speaker event in San Francisco. Learn more and how you can help make a difference by visiting the U.S. Fund for UNICEF website.

 

Note: The official photographer of this event was Federica Armstrong. Her photos are not featured above, but you can find her incredible portfolio at www.federicaarmstrong.com