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TechBootCamp 2.0

    Activity Name: TechBootCamp 2.0
    Implemented by: Central Asia Hub
    Contact: timurnurlobekov,
    Location: Dushanbe, Tajikistan
    Date: 07/18/2019
    Activity Type: Event: Innovation Lab

    Featured Video

    Objectives

    • To equip representatives of CSOs from Tajikistan with trending tech, social and data innovations skills and knowledge
    • To develop product prototypes which would help solve social issues of Tajikistan
    • To introduce to participants a new project management method used in the IT sphere – Scrum
    • To inspire NGOs in Tajikistan to start working with IT and tech projects by developing basic Mobile Apps and digital mockups
    • To provide mentorship to participants’ projects on tech, social and data innovations

    Narrative Summary

    During the first session participants were introduced to the concepts of tech, social and data innovations. In addition to some theoretical aspects the examples of possible tech and data solutions to solve social issues were presented and discussed. The first session also included the introduction to the role of ICT in achieving SDGs on the global, national and local level. The overview of relations between ICT and SDGs gave the participants a better understanding of the global agenda on social innovations in the context of achieving sustainable development at all levels.
    At the end of the first session participants also discussed the challenges to democracy and civic space in Tajikistan in order to identify most urgent issues to focus on during the training. The suggested issues affecting civic space in Tajikistan were put on the board. Those issues which were repeated more often and caused most interest served as a basis for future projects of participants. Hence, 5 groups of participants were formed according to the following issues:
    • Corruption
    • Unemployment
    • Poverty
    • Environment
    • Healthcare

    During the third session participants were introduced to the design thinking concept and some innovative brainstorming techniques: mind mapping, idea switch, forced limitations and starbursting. During brainstorming participants analyzed one of the identified social issues in Tajikistan in order to come up with innovative ideas of their future projects and tech products.
    The fourth session was the introduction to the popular Project Management tool used in the IT and tech world – Scrum. Participants learned the basics of Scrum, its logic and system. In addition to learning Scrum methodology and its possible application within their own organizations, participants had a chance to develop their project idea following the Scrum methodology in the form of Sprints: short project management cycles which help to build IT product prototypes in limited time.
    During the fifth session participants focused on working on the prototypes of their products. Majority of participants decided to develop Android and IOs Apps which would contribute to the engagement of citizens with the national/local authorities, inform citizens on specific issues and facilitate P2P engagement to solve some of the pressing social issues raised during the training by the participants.
    Based on participants’ interests a trainer from IIG facilitated the developing of product mockups and prototypes as well as equipped all of the participants with basic App development skills. To develop products participants were asked to write technical assignments. Since technical assignments are essential for building tech products trainers gave useful tips and provided the examples of good tech assignments. In addition, the lifehacks on working with IT specialists were discussed and most trending IT skills which everyone could learn were introduced. Furthermore, databases of IT volunteers, online courses on IT and App development were shared with the participants.
    The first day concluded with the group work on Mobile Apps development. By introducing participants to HTML/CSS/Javascript each participant managed to develop their first Mobile App. This exercise not only has the opportunity for participants to use newly acquired knowledge in IT on practice and code, but also inspired participants to continue working with IT and tech projects.

    Outcomes / Results

    • Participants were equipped with skills and knowledge in tech, social and data innovations

    • Social issues in Tajikistan were identified and possible solutions were discussed through design-thinking techniques

    • Participants learned and tested new approach to project management used in the IT sphere – Scrum

    • Participants developed their first Apps and thus got inspired by IT tools and their possibilities

    • Participants developed Mobile Apps prototypes which will help to solve existing social issues in Tajikistan

    • Participants received mentorship support from the trainers and are expected to receive it as their projects are being developed

    Participant Quotes

    “I am very happy to take part at today’s training and to learn about new technology and innovations that we can apply in our work. I can say that we were introduced to a management method [scrum] that is good and easy to apply and which is relevant to NGOs.”
    – Umeda Ibratshoeva, “Volunteer” NGO

    “The gained knowledge about innovation has strengthened our capacity for creating new projects for improving lives of different communities.” -Akmal, “Youth site” NGO

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